Arginine plays a vital role in many bodily processes and is commonly found in nitric oxide supplements. It fights free radicals, improves your immune system, and serves as a precursor to nitric oxide, which is important for healthy circulation. Aside from supplements, which are recommended for athletes and bodybuilders (read about l-arginine benefits here), the following seven arginine foods can provide even more benefit.
#1 – Turkey
If you work out often, then you already understand the importance of getting healthy, lean protein into your diet. Turkey is a phenomenal source of lean protein, and it also contains a high amount of arginine along with omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins.
#2 – Pumpkin Seeds
If you’re a fan of crunchy, salty snacks, be sure to nosh on a handful of pumpkin seeds now and then. They’re one of the most delicious arginine foods out there, and they make a great addition to a salad or your favorite trail mix. A single cup of the crunchy seeds contains seven grams of proteins and lots of healthy arginine.
#3 – Spirulina
Spirulina is more than just one of the best arginine foods you can eat; it’s also a superfood that is nutritionally valuable for anyone and everyone. It’s a blue-green alga that usually comes in powdered form, so you’ll add it to your favorite shakes and smoothies. Each tablespoon of spirulina contains almost 0.3 grams of arginine along with plenty of other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
#4 – Dairy Products
Cheese lovers can rejoice since all of the melty, gooey, and stringy cheese out there contains protein and arginine. Four ounces of cheddar cheese contains a quarter gram of arginine, and a cup of milk contains almost that much. Dairy products also supply calcium and other vitamins that are essential for good health.
#5 – Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
Chickpeas, sometimes called garbanzo beans, are incredibly versatile. They’re phenomenal when added to soups and stews, served as a side dish alongside lean meat, or even blended with garlic and red pepper in hummus. One cup will provide you with 14.5 grams of protein and 1.3 grams of arginine.
#6 – Soybeans
Whether you like your soybeans in the pod in the form of edamame or processed into tofu, they’re one of the best arginine foods out there. A cup of roasted soybeans contains 4.6 grams or arginine – more than many other foods out there. They’ll also give you plenty of heart-healthy potassium and fatigue-fighting magnesium.
#7 – Peanuts
Peanuts are high in fat, so you’ll want to spread a few servings out over the course of a week. However, they contain just as much arginine as soybeans, and they also offer up as much protein as most types of meat. They’re a great source of folate, niacin, vitamin B3, and vitamin E, too.
When it comes to eating healthy, there are plenty of delicious arginine foods out there that give your body the proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals it needs to perform at its very best. What’s more, these foods can improve your body’s heart health and immune system when you consume them regularly.