Which foods have the naturally highest quantity of NMN?

Many people hope to boost NMN levels through their diet, but which foods would be best to try?

A desire for a healthier, as well as longer, life is driving a move toward supplements containing the so-called miracle molecule NMN. These supplements offer a host of benefits including more energy, better focus, greater fitness levels and weight loss among others. Most importantly, there is also evidence which suggests they may extend life expectancy. The trouble is that, at $60 or more per bottle, they can be expensive. People are naturally wondering if there’s any way they can get the same effects for less money through their diet.

Where is NMN found?

Nicotinamide mononucleotide naturally occurs in all life forms and is available in certain whole foods. NMN in supplement form has recently become popular on the growing longevity supplement scene. In molecular terms it is a ribo nucleotide which is a structural unit of the nucleic acid RNA. It is composed of a nicotinamide group, a ribose and phosphate group. What’s important to know, though, is that it’s a direct precursor of another vital molecule, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which helps your body maintain functions such as cellular energy, DNA repair and your metabolic system.

NAD+ is consumed by enzymes such as mitochondria and sirtuins which are crucial to fueling these systems. Without it, they slow down and eventually cease working, and this is exactly what happens as we age and NAD+ levels decrease. This is partly because our bodies become less effective at producing it, but also because more of it is consumed as our bodies work harder to repair the wear and tear of aging.

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Benefits to health and longevity

If you can increase NAD+ levels in the body, it stands to reason that you should be able to slow the rate of aging. There is considerable clinical evidence that it can do so in yeast and mice, which is where NMN comes in.

Data suggests that NMN supplements can increase NAD+ biosynthesis, which lends weight to the assertion that it can be useful in slowing down the aging process.

Data suggests that NMN supplements can increase NAD+ biosynthesis, which lends weight to the assertion that it can be useful in slowing down the aging process. However, we are still lacking clear clinical trial evidence that it can increase lifespan in humans – largely because such a trial would inevitably take decades.

NMN supplements, therefore, represent something of a leap of faith. All the evidence suggests they should work, and that the gains can be substantial, but with prices so high, it’s only natural to wonder if you can get the same impact just by changing your diet.

Read more about the benefits of NMN to health and longevity HERE

NMN-friendly food

There is some good news here. NMN can be found in fruits and vegetables including avocados, broccoli, cabbage, edamame and cucumbers. Including these as part of your daily diet can increase levels of NMN. Unfortunately, there is a catch – the levels of NNM found in supplements is much higher than you could possibly consume through a natural diet.

When replenishing NAD+, you are attempting to reverse a natural age-related decline in levels.
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When replenishing NAD+, you are attempting to reverse a natural age-related decline in levels. By the time you’re 40, the chances are you’ll have around half the amount of NAD+ you had when you were younger. The gap you’re trying to bridge is pretty big.

Those hoping to recreate the effect of supplements, therefore, might be disappointed. However, eating the right foods can still have an accumulative impact on NAD+ levels, slowing the rate of decline and leading to some anti-aging effects.

So, the next question is, which of these foods will have the most NMN?
A 2016 study found the following levels;

  • Cucumber and cabbage: 0.25-1.88mg of NMN per 100g.
  • Fruits like avocado and tomato: 0.26 to 1.60mg per 100g.
  • Raw beef, meat and shrimp: These produce much lower amounts of NMN at around 0.06 to 0.42mg/100g.

Including these in your diet, therefore, will boost levels of NAD+ to some degree and will help you reduce the effects of aging. A healthy diet in any case will have a host of other benefits which can keep you healthier and younger for longer. Combining this with exercise can also boost NAD+ levels as well as making you generally healthier and less susceptible to many of the health risks you take NMN to avoid.

Supplements vs diet

By comparison, most NMN supplements contain between 100mg to 300mg of NMN in each tablet. Taking one a day would produce vastly more NMN than you could ever hope to get from your diet. However, not all NMN supplements are created equally. Because of their high cost, there are plenty of other products on the market which are either fake or lower quality. They have bulked out tablets with other ingredients which may be bad for your health.

If you go the supplement route, therefore, it pays to look at those products which have a proven track record and have demonstrated their effectiveness through independent studies.

A good diet can be helpful in replenishing NMN levels, especially if you eat plenty of cabbage and cucumber. However, if you want a real boost, it pays to combine this with a regular course of NMN supplements.

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The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.