High Arginine Foods: Benefits, and Risks

Amino acids are divided into three categories: essential, non-essential, and semi-essential. Arginine, or L-arginine, is a semi-essential amino acid.

This means that arginine is not normally required by the body, but the body may need it at certain times because it is important for the growth of the body and nitric oxide release.

A person may become deficient in arginine during times of stress if the body’s production does not meet its demands.

Adults can produce enough arginine to meet their bodies’ needs, but children need to consume extra quantities of arginine from their diet to enhance the growth of their bodies.

These are some functions of arginine in the body.

  • improves blood flow
  • helps heal injuries
  • aids kidneys in removing waste
  • boosts immunity

Arginine is used as a dietary supplement to manage heart disease, angina, and erectile dysfunction, as well as for bodybuilding, wound healing, and tissue repair.

There is some evidence that increasing arginine intake may be beneficial in the treatment of these illnesses (1, 2, 3, 4).

Taking it as a supplement may cause stomach distress and diarrhoea. Larger doses might pose concerns for persons who are taking other medications or have specific medical problems (5).

The good news is that getting arginine from high-protein foods is both safe and healthful.

Because arginine is derived from other amino acids, high-protein diets aid in increasing arginine levels. These are foods that are high in arginine..


Red meat is a complete source of protein because it includes all the amino acids that the body needs, including arginine.

  • Beef. Beef is rich in protein, but it contains more fat than any other source of protein. One pound of cooked beef contains 4.131 grams of arginine.
  • Turkey. One cooked turkey breast contains 16.207 grams of arginine. Besides being a substantial source of protein, turkey has a high concentration of other nutrients, such as vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Chicken. Chicken is another common, safe way of gaining protein. One chicken breast contains almost 9 grams of arginine.

Plant Source Foods

  • Soybeans. One cup of roasted soybeans contains 4.6 grams of arginine. Soybeans are a major source of potassium and magnesium.
  • Chickpeas. Chickpeas are a substantial source of protein and fiber, especially if you don’t eat meat. One cup of cooked chickpeas contains 1.3 grams of arginine.
  • Pumpkin Seeds. One cup of pumpkin seeds has about 7 grams of arginine. Pumpkin seeds are also a major source of iron and zinc.
  • Peanuts. Peanuts are a significant source of protein, vitamin B-3, Vitamin E, folate, and niacin. A cup of peanuts contains 4.6 grams of arginine. However, peanuts are high in fat and you should not eat one complete cup in one sitting. It is a brilliant idea to split it into 4 servings.
  • Lentils. Lentils are a substantial source of fiber and protein. One cup of lentils contains 1.3 grams of arginine. Lentils also provides 63% of your daily requirement for dietary fiber.


Spirulina is a blue-green algae that rises in the water. It’s often purchased as a powder and added to smoothies.

Therefore, one cup of spirulina contains 4.6 grams of arginine along with high calcium, magnesium, potassium, and niacin content.

You are more likely to use one tablespoon of spirulina, which would place the count of arginine at 0.28 grams.

Dairy Products

You can get arginine from dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.

There are about 0.2 grams in one cup of milk, and about 0.25 grams in 4 ounces of cheddar cheese.

In addition, the dairy product is also a significant source of protein and other nutrients.


However, some conditions may cause a deficiency in arginine.

This means a person might need to integrate foods rich in arginine into the diet.

Arginine is found in a variety of foods, including legumes, nuts, and meats. Always talk to your doctor before taking arginine supplements.

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