What does arginine do?
Here’s what arginine does for your body:
- Creates nitric oxide, which widens and relaxes arteries and blood vessels, improving blood flow
- Helps heal injuries
- Aids kidneys in removing waste
- Boosts immune system function
People take arginine as a dietary supplement to help manage heart disease, angina, and erectile dysfunction, as well as for bodybuilding, healing wounds, and repairing tissue.
There is some evidence that an increased arginine intake may be helpful for treating all of these conditions.
However, taking it as a supplement may have side effects such as upset stomach and diarrhea. Larger doses may also carry risks for people who take other medications or have certain health conditions.
The good news is that getting arginine from high-protein foods is safe and healthy. And since arginine is made from other amino acids, high-protein foods in general help increase arginine levels.
Boost your arginine intake with these 10 foods.
Chicken is another popular and healthy way to get protein. It’s also the third-best source of arginine.
One chicken breast has 70 percent of your daily recommendation for protein and almost 9 grams of arginine. This chicken and pinto bean sauté is packed with flavor and protein.
Several different fishes contain high amounts of arginine. You can include seafood, such as crabs, tuna, lobsters, shrimps, salmon, haddock, and sardines, in your diet as they are rich sources of this crucial amino acid.
Note that Sockeye Salmon is the excellent source of arginine that greatly helps your arteries to relax.
Dairy products offer you good amounts of arginine and other essential proteins. You can include milk, cheese, and yogurt in your regular diet to boost the level of this amino acid in your body.
Just one single cup of milk offers you about 0.2 grams of this crucial nutrient and four ounces of cheddar cheese provides 0.25 grams of this vital amino acid.
You’ll find the highest amount of arginine in turkey breast. One cooked breast has 16 grams!
Not only is turkey a great source of protein, it has a high concentration of other nutrients such as B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids.
This turkey rice bowl makes for an easy dinner with only 15 minutes of prep time.
Spirulina is a popular bluish-green sea algae, which is used in many cuisines and smoothies to enhance their nutritional level.
Just one cup of this nutritious algae offers you about 4.6 grams of arginine. Also, spirulina contains high amounts of calcium, niacin, iron, and potassium.
Egg yolk possesses good amounts of this vital amino acid. Eggs are easily available and you can include them in your daily breakfast or meal.
Hot chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder contains high amounts of arginine. Enjoy eating hot chocolate in appropriate amounts to ensure good levels of this nutrient.
Animal sources aren’t the only way to get protein and arginine. One cup of pumpkin seeds has almost 7 grams.
Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of the minerals iron and zinc. Try adding them as a crunchy salad topping or as part of a trail mix.
Preparations made out of whole grains, such as pastas and breads, are rich sources of arginine. Whole wheat is known for comprising highest amount of this crucial amino acid since only 100 grams of it provides you 650 mgs of arginine.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a great way to get protein and fiber, especially if you don’t eat meat.
One cup of cooked chickpeas contains 1.3 grams of arginine, 14.5 grams of protein, and 12.5 grams of dietary fiber. Make chickpeas with curry or help yourself to some hummus!