5 Arginine-Rich Foods to Include in Your Diet
Arginine-rich foods are usually beneficial for improving the functioning of the cardiovascular system. We’re talking about an amino acid that can stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which induces vasodilation. This can help to reduce blood pressure levels and make the heart work more efficiently.
Before we begin, we must emphasize that, in order to achieve a healthy diet, it’s important to achieve energetic variety and balance. In this way, you’ll help to prevent harmful changes in body composition that may have an impact on the levels of internal inflammation. In this way, homeostasis is maintained over the years.
Next, we’ll look at a number of arginine-rich foods. However, in order to experience a benefit from this compound in a sports context, you’ll need to include it in supplement form. The amount found in food won’t be enough. However, it is enough to experience health benefits.
Sardines are a good source of arginine. In addition, they contain a significant dose of omega-3 fatty acids. These elements have been shown to help control inflammation levels, which helps prevent the development of many chronic and complex pathologies. However, it’s vital to achieve a good balance between omega 3 and omega 6 to experience the greatest benefits.
Nuts are foods that are characterized by a high nutritional density. They have proteins and fatty acids in significant quantities. They also contain several minerals of special importance and, of course, arginine.
Among the minerals present in almonds, we would highlight selenium, a compound with high antioxidant activity. This is positive for the cardiovascular system, together with the aforementioned arginine. Through antioxidant processes, the risk of developing complex coronary pathologies can be reduced. This is indicated by a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
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Soy is another good source of arginine. It also provides flavonoids, which are particularly good for women’s health. According to research published in the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry, they’re able to reduce inflammatory states, helping to maintain internal homeostasis.
However, there has been a lot of controversy regarding soy consumption in men. For years, it was claimed that this food could act as a suppressor of testosterone levels, something that would be really bad for men’s health. However, current scientific literature maintains that it isn’t too problematic, as long as they’re consumed in moderate amounts.
We can’t mention foods with a high arginine content without including some legumes in the list. Above all, lentils stand out as they provide a significant dose of up to 2 grams per 100 grams (4 oz) of food. These foodstuffs are very suitable to introduce in the context of almost any healthy diet. They contain high amounts of protein, fiber and minerals.
In fact, fiber itself makes a difference when it comes to the functioning of the digestive system. This element increases the volume of the fecal bolus, allowing a greater stimulation of the mechanoreceptors. From this point on, constipation becomes less frequent. At the same time, part of the fiber itself ferments in the digestive tract, becoming an energetic substrate for the bacteria that live there.
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To close the list, we’ll talk about eggs. They contain all the essential amino acids and protein. They’re a source of high quality nutrients and it’s good for them to be present in the diet on a regular basis. For years, it was considered that their frequent consumption could increase cholesterol levels, but this theory is nowadays discarded. In fact, in no case are these products linked to an increased cardiovascular risk.
Include arginine-rich foods in your diet
As you can see, there are several foods that can provide good amounts of arginine. This compound will help to improve vasodilation, thus reducing blood pressure. It can even cause certain synergies with other natural compounds such as nitrates. These are mainly present in beet and are also used in the sports context as an ergogenic aid.
Finally, keep in mind that there’s always the option of taking an arginine supplement to achieve a superior effect. This is often the case when we’re talking about high performance in exercise.
In this type of situation, it’s really important to maximize the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, so the vasodilator effect could make the difference. However, before taking it, it’s always good to consult an expert.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Calder P. C. (2017). Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Biochemical Society transactions, 45(5), 1105–1115. https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20160474
- Xia, N., Daiber, A., Förstermann, U., & Li, H. (2017). Antioxidant effects of resveratrol in the cardiovascular system. British journal of pharmacology, 174(12), 1633–1646. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.13492
- Wen, K., Fang, X., Yang, J., Yao, Y., Nandakumar, K. S., Salem, M. L., & Cheng, K. (2021). Recent Research on Flavonoids and their Biomedical Applications. Current medicinal chemistry, 28(5), 1042–1066. https://doi.org/10.2174/0929867327666200713184138