Hormones are important. They regulate our body’s processes and help us stay healthy and strong as we grow, age and function. One of these hormones is human growth hormone (HGH). It naturally decreases as we age, which can cause unpleasant symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue and depression. If you suspect you have an HGH deficiency, talk to your doctor. In the meantime, check out these healthy ways to promote healthy, natural HGH production.
What is HGH?
HGH is a natural hormone released by the pituitary gland in the brain. It helps children grow and adults stay fit and regulates metabolism. It also helps adults maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Because it has so many health benefits, some people are tempted to take synthetic, supplemental HGH—but it’s not recommended without a doctor’s prescription and a diagnosis of hormone deficiency. However, there are some things you can do to maintain your natural level so you can feel your best.
Eat foods rich in glutamine
Prepare a delicious chicken or steak dinner. Both of these delicious foods are top sources of glutamine, an amino acid needed for the body’s production of HGH. In a study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who increased their glutamine levels by 2 grams (about the same amount in one serving of beef or chicken) also significantly increased their HGH levels. Other tasty foods rich in glutamine: salmon, eggs and cheddar cheese.
Want a glutamate-rich food that’s simple and tasty? Try this recipe for Tangy Lemon Chicken Picatta.
Tangy Lemon Chicken Piccata (Offers 4)
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup low-fat sour cream
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 4 boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
- Heat garlic and oil in a pan over medium heat; cook for 2 minutes. Add broth. Simmer until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 5 minutes. Add sour cream, capers and lemon juice. Let it boil for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; book.
- Coat chicken with cooking spray; sprinkle with seasoning. Cook the chicken in a pan over medium heat, turning once, for 8 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with the finished sauce.
Exercise in short, easy spurts
Physical activity triggers changes in the sympathetic nervous system that increase the secretion of HGH. And it doesn’t take long workouts in the gym to benefit. Research actually The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that just three 10-minute bouts of easy activity each day (like dancing around the living room for about three songs) can increase HGH just as effectively as continuous exercise. As an added bonus: It is easier to train even in short periods.
Develop a regular sleep routine
Your body produces HGH at different stages of your sleep cycle, say researchers Pediatric Neuroendocrinology. Research object Clinical endocrinology suggests that if you don’t get enough sleep or don’t sleep deeply enough, the HGH production process may be suppressed. Take 1-3 milligrams of melatonin 30 minutes before bed to get more Zzz’s and regulate your HGH production. Research in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests that increasing sleep-inducing hormone can increase HGH levels.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always talk to your doctor before completing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.