Arginine is one of the most talked about elements in heart health over the past few months, and for good reason. This amino acid is linked to many heart health benefits including increased blood flow, lowered blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, maintenance of healthy blood pressure, strengthened immune system, and much more. While arginine supplements greatly increase your levels of this substance, increasing arginine in your diet also shows great benefits. Find out how to boost your heart health through an arginine rich diet.


What is Arginine?

Arginine is an amino acid and in its L-form (L-arginine) is one of the most common naturally occurring amino acids. This amino acid is produced by the human body when it is in healthy form, and what the body does not produce we naturally get from our diet. However, people with certain medical conditions and overall poor health can benefit from increasing their intake of Arginine. How much you need exactly is not one size fits all; needed increases of arginine intake may vary depending on current diet and nitrogen balance.


Foods Highest in Arginine

Arginine is mainly found in foods with high protein levels; protein in food has a higher level of arginine than other types of important amino acids. The really good news is, foods that are high in arginine are really good for you and should already be a vital part of your healthy diet program. Adding certain foods rich in this important supplement will likely boost your health in other ways too.

The top foods for heart healthy arginine include:

  • Poultry
  • Seafood -*This is one the good and bad heart health list as certain seafood, especially shellfish, is high in mercury and sodium. Opt for healthier options such as salmon, rainbow bass, tilapia, and oysters.
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Cottage cheese
  • Skim Milk
  • Raisins
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice

Arginine rich foods to avoid:

  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Fatty versions of any of the foods mentioned

Keep in mind when preparing these foods that the way you cook them makes a world of difference. While the arginine levels will not deplete with preparation, other nutrients will if cooked too long. Also, avoid adding unhealthy fats, frying, and breading if at all possible. Adding arginine foods to your diet can complement your supplementing and promote a heart healthy lifestyle.