Wouldn’t it be great to sail through autumn looking and feeling your best? You can — by optimizing your levels of DHEA, a “fountain of youth” hormone that replaces fat with muscle, boosts memory and bone strength, and keeps skin supple. DHEA levels dip by 60 percent by our 50s, and while supplements are available, they can cause acne and facial hair growth. Check out these tips for lifting DHEA safely and effectively.
Tune into a tale.
Listening to an audiobook creates a bond with the narrator that transports you away from DHEA-depleting stress. In fact, a German study found folks who listened to audiobooks for 20 minutes daily upped their DHEA levels by 62 percent in eight weeks. You can access audiobooks at subscription sites such as Audible.com, which offers a free trial. Even better: At Archive.org, you can listen to thousands of classic titles at no cost.
Pretty up your porch.
Love perching pumpkins on your steps or hanging a colorful wreath on your door? Good for you. British findings reveal that women who engage in a mere 10 minutes of physical activity each day harbor 81 percent more DHEA than their less-active counterparts. Turns out that moving your muscles enhances the ability of the liver and adrenal glands to produce DHEA.
Sip some cabernet.
Or savor pinot noir. In an Italian study, women who drank a glass of red wine daily had DHEA levels that were up to 87 percent higher than those who abstained. Credit goes to compounds called flavonoids that abound in the beverage, which tame the cellular damage that can lower DHEA.
Indulge in dark chocolate.
Great news for women who can’t resist dark chocolate Halloween candy: It brims with magnesium. In fact, 1 oz. (about 4 mini bars) contains more of the mineral than a cup of raw spinach. That’s key since magnesium optimizes DHEA production. And a study in Biological Trace Elements Research found that women who upped their magnesium intakes boosted their DHEA by 27 percent in eight weeks. Other magnesium-rich foods: Kale, cashews, almonds, avocados and black beans.
Looking for a sweet treat that optimizes DHEA production? Try this chocolatey recipe.
Nutty Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bark
- 1 (4 oz.) bar semisweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup assorted chopped nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts
- ½ cup popped popcorn
- Line baking sheet with wax paper, coat with cooking spray
- Melt chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla in double-boiler over medium heat
- Pour over wax paper on baking sheet, spread into nine-inch round
- Top with nuts and popcorn
- Chill until solid, 15 minutes
- Cut into pieces
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.