HGH (human growth hormone) has been dubbed the “fountain of youth hormone” for good reason: Research suggests that it helps boost fat burn and protect muscle health! But, your body’s HGH production dips up to 50 percent by your 50s. And while sermorelin injections could help, they can have side effects such as pain, redness, and itching. Luckily, it’s easy to boost HGH naturally using these four tips.
Bite into a cheeseburger.
Beef and cheeses, such as cheddar, Swiss, and mozzarella, brim with an amino acid called arginine. And in a Syracuse University study, folks who upped their arginine intake raised their HGH levels by 121 percent. Turns out arginine blunts the release of somatostatin, a hormone that impairs HGH secretion. Other smart (and tasty!) picks: pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chicken, and turkey.
Sip iced tea this way.
Drinking a tall glass of iced green tea daily does more than cool you off — research in Alternative Medicine Review suggests it boosts HGH production by 321 percent. A compound in green tea called EGCG combats the cell damage that can lower HGH output. Tip: Add a squeeze of lemon to your green tea. Purdue University research reveals citric acid and vitamin C in the juice enhance EGCG absorption by 75 percent.
Fuss over your flowers.
Exercise triggers changes in the sympathetic nervous system that optimize HGH release, but there’s no need to work till it hurts! Mayo Clinic findings reveal enjoying three 10-minute bouts of fun activity daily (like puttering around in your garden) boosts HGH by 81 percent — an effect up to 50 percent better than exercising for 30 minutes. Breaking up activity eases stress on the pituitary gland, improving its ability to pump out HGH.
Have a laugh during the day.
Be sure to enjoy a laugh each day. The reason? Scientists at California’s Loma Linda University say laughter increases HGH secretion by 87 percent for up to 24 hours. Researchers explain that mirthful experiences tame stress and inflammation, both of which hamper HGH release.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.