11 Foods High in Spermidine You’ll Actually Want to Eat

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Spermidine has in my view the greatest origin story for any supplement ever. This is the kind of origin story superheroes could only dream of.

The punchline is that, yes, as the name implies, it comes from sperm.

But it gets better. Anthon Van Leeuwenhoek (yes, the guy who invented the microscope) discovered it in the 1600s. How? Well,  he decided to put sperm, presumably his own, under a microscope and look at it. Why why why? That, I don’t have the answer to. I hope that answer was for science.

Fortunately, for us, we know partly thanks to Leeuwenhoek, that spermidine has an array of health benefits.

Spermidine may…

Promote Healthy Aging

Support Memory and Cognitive Health in older people

Provide anti-inflammatory properties

Today You Don’t Need to Get Spermidine From Male Ejaculate

(Although, I suppose, you totally could, and you could view it as a potentially positive side effect if giving blow jobs. For legal reasons I can’t recommend this, but I wish I could.)

Spermidine is very popular as a supplement, and we cover the best options in this article on the best spermidine supplements. But if you get it through foods, all the better.

You Can Also Get it From Various Foods, Both Plant and Animal Sources

A 2019 study in Frontiers in Nutrition outlined the best sources. They use the term “polyamines” which is a class of organic compounds that includes spermidine among others, while this 2011 study in Food Nutrition Research created a food database for polyamines.

Here we’ll outline some of the most abundant sources based on their research. To sum it up, here’s what the researchers said. “Spermidine content was high in dry soy bean, chicken liver, green peas, corn, shell fish, and blue cheese. A high content of spermine was found in most of the meat products (like sausages, pork, chicken, and turkey), some vegetables (like pumpkin), and cheese.”

I made a table based on some of the results of this study. 

Foods High in Spermidine

Food Spermidine Content (mg/kg)
Soybeans 128-207
Aged Cheddar Cheese 200
Mushroom 89
Ground Beef 71
Chicken Liver 72
Grilled Chicken Breast 17
Rice Bran 51
Green Peas 46-65
Mustard 34
Sardines 12
Peanuts 16
Blue Cheese 24

As I go through the most abundant sources, I have them listed in milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg.) Yes, I know you’re not going to eat a kilogram of green peas. However, keep in mind that spermidine supplements typically have between 1-5mg of spermidine. That means you won’t need a lot. It also means for foods where you eat a high quantity (like chicken), even a modest spermidine amount per kilogram means you’ll get a lot overall.

First I’ll start with the ones that had the highest numbers overall, then I’ll discuss some that have less, but I find practical to keep their spermidine content in mind.

Also note that these are all averages. Spermidine content will vary.


128-207 mg/kg

Per the study, dried soybeans had on average 128-207 mg/kg of spermidine. That’s a lot. You can buy soybeans, which are also a solid plant-based source of protein.

Practical Idea to Eat Soybeans

Soybeans are relatively easy to buy, cook, and through onto all kinds of bowls. So if you already eat rice or grain bowls, consider throwing on some soybeans.

Personally, I’ll just eat them in my overpriced, boujie poke bowls in the West Village.

Make sure you get non-GMO soybeans. Most soy produced in the U.S. is utter garbage. This is one where you should get the good stuff. Make sure it’s non-GMO, and preferably organic. 

Aged Cheddar Cheese

200 mg/kg

Specifically, cheddar cheese aged for at least one year. The non-aged stuff won’t get it done. So break up the charcuterie board, I guess?

Practical Idea for Aged Chedder Cheese

If the charcuterie board isn’t calling your name, chedder cheese is a great snack idea. It’s high-protein and low in carbs and tastes great. Get some good cheese, cut up slices or blocks, and put them in the fridge for when you want a snack.


89 mg/kg

Practical Idea for Mushrooms

Try sautéing them with garlic and herbs as a side dish or tossing them into omelets, pasta, or stir-fries. Or get the big ones and then grill them. If you’re short on time, simply add sliced mushrooms to your salads or sandwiches. For lazy chefs (like me) I’ll just eat them raw in a salad.

Ground Beef

71 mg/kg

For meat eaters, this is a huge win.

Practical Idea for Ground Beef

To increase your spermidine intake, opt for leaner cuts of ground beef and pair them with other spermidine-rich ingredients, such as aged cheddar cheese or mushrooms. That sounds like the base for a very yummy rice bowl.

Chicken Liver

72 mg/kg

I’ve never eaten this and probably never will. Which is why I’m going to give chicken breast the honorable mention.

Grilled Chicken Breast

17 mg/kg

No, this isn’t as high as others, but it’s much more practical.

Rice Bran

51 mg/kg

Again, not sure I’ll ever eat this. The practical option here is whole wheat bread, which has 24 mg/kg.

Green Peas

46-65 mg/kg

Peas are an underrated vegetable. Why do they get so much hate?

Practical Idea for Ground Beef

Toss them into salads, stir-fries, or pasta dishes for a pop of color and nutrition. You can also blend them into soups or dips, or enjoy them as a simple side dish with a sprinkle of herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

More Honorable Mentions

These ones aren’t as high, but I think they deserve a nod.

Mustard – 34 mg/kg: Put it on your burger and you have spermidine on spermidine.

Sardines – 12 mg/kg: High in omega 3s, extremely portable, gets so much unwarranted hate. I love them so much I wrote an article about sardines.

Peanuts – 16 mg/kg: This means peanut butter also has some, which is huge.

Blue Cheese – 24mg/kg: I like to put it on salads.

So It Seems, A Healthy Diet Wins Again

I know you’ve heard from fitness people like me over and over and over about the importance of a healthy diet. That’s because for every superfood out there, dozens of supplements exist trying to extract its ingredients. Now, the supplements have their place, of course, but maybe you should try eating peas first.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Spermidine

Can spermidine reverse aging?

While spermidine has shown promising results in anti-aging research, particularly in animal models, the current scientific evidence does not conclusively support its ability to reverse aging in humans. The studies have demonstrated potential benefits in slowing down the aging process and improving cellular function, but reversing aging is a complex matter that goes beyond the capabilities of spermidine alone.

What is the best form of spermidine to take?

The top supplements typically use a naturally-derived form of spermidine rather than a synthetic form. Natural sources are often considered more bioavailable and may provide additional benefits. For a detailed review of the best spermidine supplements, including those derived from natural sources, you can refer to this article on the best spermidine supplements.

Is spermidine hard on the liver?

Based on the research available, spermidine does not appear to be hard on the liver. In fact, several studies suggest that spermidine can have positive effects on liver health.

Liver Fibrosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: One study found that spermidine can alleviate liver fibrosis and prevent hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.
Liver Endothelium Protection: Another study showed that spermidine supplementation protects the liver endothelium from oxidative stress and liver damage.

Fatty Liver Disease: Some research even suggests that spermidine can help reverse the negative effects of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In an experiment with obese mice (poor fellas) with NAFLD, spermidine supplementation led to healthier liver conditions.

Can I get enough spermidine from my diet?

Many foods are rich in spermidine, including soybeans, aged cheddar cheese, mushrooms, ground beef, and more. Supplements can also be a convenient option.

Is spermidine safe to consume?

Spermidine is generally considered safe to consume, both in food and supplement form. It is a naturally occurring compound found in various foods. However, as with any supplement or dietary change, individual reactions may vary, and it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

About the Author

David William Rosales is a writer and strength coach. He's the head trainer and editor at Roman Fitness Systems. In addition to helping run RFS, he's also the head editor for, the official website of the Strength and Conditioning Association of Professional Hockey. You can also check out his Instagram, he's pretty easy on the eyes.

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