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Foods high in arginine amino acids

Updated May 10, 2017

Arginine is a non-essential amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are necessary for health and well-bring. A non-essential amino acid is one that human bodies can produce on their own. There are many benefits of arginine, according to the Nutritional Supplements Health Guide, including increased immune function, the ability to detoxify the liver, and increased fertility in men. The best sources of foods for arginine are high protein foods. These foods are common and easy to incorporate into your daily meals. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will often result in obtaining the appropriate amounts of any amino acid, including arginine.

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One of the highest sources of arginine is nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seeds, peanuts and sesame seeds contain large amounts of arginine. Almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts are also good choices. Most nuts have approximately 2-4 grams of arginine per 100 gram serving, according to Dietary Fiber Food. Nuts are convenient snack food options, making it easy to consume enough arginine.


Because dairy is a high protein food, it also contains a good amount of arginine. Cheeses like mozzarella, provolone and Parmesan contain 1 gram of arginine per serving. Milk and buttermilk also provide about the same amount. If you enjoy dairy, adding small amounts of cheese or other dairy products to a meal will help meet your arginine requirements.


Beef and veal are the meats that contain the highest amounts of arginine, providing about 2 grams per 100 gram serving. Chicken and tuna also have a notable amount of about 1.19 and 1.74, respectively, according to Dietary Fiber Food. Salmon and shrimp are other options for acquiring your arginine from animal sources.


Beans offer a high vegetarian source of arginine. Kidney beans, French beans and black beans are good selections, with around 2 grams per serving. One of the highest sources of arginine in legumes comes from soybeans. Dry, roasted soybeans, for example, contain 3 grams of arginine. Soy flour also has the same amount, and it's easy to add to baking recipes to help the amino acid profile of the recipe.


Arginine is found in most whole grains foods, including brown rice, quinoa and teff. Sweet potatoes and wheat germ are also good sources. Sprouted wheat bread contains ample amounts of arginine, too. Arginine is present in a vast amount of foods, from animal products to plant products. This makes the inclusion of liberal amounts of it trouble-free.

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About the Author

Sunny Griffis, a certified performance technologist, is a fitness coach who has been a professional writer since 1998. Her work can be seen in online and print publications such as "Family Fun," "Cappers," "Rutherford Woman Magazine" and "Healthy Family Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in metaphysics from AIHT, and a CPT certification from NFPT.

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