The struggle for survival and the desire for longevity are innate to all living things on this planet. However, humans are the only creatures striving to find ways to live past the barriers nature has put forth for them. One such way is to use various natural (like foods high in spermidine) or synthetic compounds that slow down aging and improve longevity.
Spermidine is the predominant polyamine, biological compounds found in all human cells. It is derived either from its precursor putrescine or by the degradation of spermine. Polyamines are involved with cell growth, division, and differentiation. While the mechanism remains unknown, they appear to be required for DNA synthesis (2).
Spermidine has many cardioprotective, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory benefits. While it exerts its effects in many ways, autophagy is the dominant mechanism. Unfortunately, the levels of polyamines, including spermidine, decline with ageing (4). As a result, it is crucial to compensate for this decline, either by taking supplements or foods highest in spermidine.
While supplements are a popular way to replenish spermidine, ensuring you take spermidine rich foods is also essential. Both plant and animal-based foods are excellent sources of spermidine and related polyamine compounds. Here we provide a complete list of foods high in spermidine.
These spermidine rich foods include:
When it comes to spermidine, wheat germ is the real champion. It provides 350 mg of spermidine for every kg of wheat germ (5).
Along with wheat germ, soybean stands out in particular, with its spermidine content between 167 and 291 mg per kg (6).
Mushrooms like Black Shimeji are also among the foods highest in spermidine, delivering more than 120 mg of spermidine for every kilogram of mushroom (7).
While many legumes like chickpeas and black beans are spermidine rich foods, green peas contribute spermidine the most —i.e., more than 50mg per kg (8).
Besides providing many nutrients, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables also pack a lot of spermidine. Broccoli, for example, provides 32.4 mg of spermidine for every kilogram (9).
Fruits like mangos, passion fruit and pineapples are a great source of spermidine. The spermidine content of various fruits varies significantly. For example, on the lower end, mangos pack in more than 10mg/kg, while oranges, on the higher end, are loaded with more than 90mg/kg (10).
Meat And Meat Products
Although meat like beef and other meat products are low in spermidine, they are a great source of its precursor, spermine. Beef, for example, delivers nearly 5mg of spermidine but more than 40mg of spermine per kilogram (11) (12).
Livers Of Different Animals
Livers are another great source of spermidine, with the highest spermidine found in the livers of bulls and cows. You can expect a spermidine content between 32 and 161 mg kg−1 in the livers of pigs, chickens and cows (13).
While potatoes may not be the foods highest in spermidine, they are definitely an important source, cooked potatoes and potato chips and crisps supplying between 15.8 to 39.9mg of spermidine for every kilogram (14).
Green pepper is especially loaded with spermidine, with a spermidine content of over 90mg/kg (15).
In addition to these spermidine foods, other foods such as lentils, hazelnuts and grapefruits are also high in these polyamines. Almost all kinds of animal or plant-based foods contain some amount of spermidine.
It can be challenging to eat specific foods high in spermidine over and over again. However, ensuring a varied diet consisting of different plant and animal-based spermidine foods can suffice your needs for polyamines.