Arginine is a non-essential amino acid that participates in a large number of functions in our body and it is advisable to take it, even though our body can produce it by itself. It is present in many foods that should not be missing in our usual diet, as it is very beneficial to strengthen the immune system, regulate hormones, protect the health and proper functions of the liver, improve the health of the skin, muscles and joints, promote the elimination of toxins, among others.
In the following article we are going to detail what are all the benefits of this amino acid for health and we show you what are the foods rich in arginine that you can consume.
Arginine Health Benefits
Arginine is beneficial for our body but keep in mind that when our body produces it, a small contribution can be good for us but, like everything, in excess it can be harmful. In recent years, athletes and bodybuilders have used arginine powder as a supplement, as it helps muscle growth and, in most cases, they do so without medical supervision which can become dangerous. Let's know now what are the main benefits of arginine for the health of the organism:
- It increases the defenses, as it helps strengthen our immune system.
- It regulates blood sugar, so it is recommended for those with diabetes.
- It promotes blood circulation and helps in cases of impotence and infertility.
- It is beneficial for cases of thrombosis and hemorrhoids, as it favors the fluidity of the blood.
- It eliminates toxic substances and helps the proper function of the liver.
- It decreases the production of fatty tissue and helps keep cholesterol at bay.
The foods richest in arginine
Below, we detail the list of foods that contain arginine, most of them are common in our diet, so it will not be difficult for you to introduce it little by little:
- Fish: The vast majority of fish and seafood contain arginine. In fact, it is the food that helps you the most to ingest it. For example, thanks to sockeye salmon, sardines or squid you will be able to increase it.
- Meats: Meat, in addition to protein, contains a good amount of arginine. Bet on beef, pork, turkey or chicken. We warn you that beef liver is the largest carrier of arginine as far as meat is concerned.
- Legumes: lentils help the creation of arginine in your body. It is also found in peas or beans.
- Eggs: The egg is one of the largest carriers. Arginine is found specifically in the yolk.
- Nuts: not all, specifically, in peanuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts. In addition to providing arginine, they are also a powerful source of omega-3.
- Chocolate: we give you good news, hot chocolate and cocoa powder (do not sugar) also raises your arginine levels.
- Tea and coffee: These drinks have a small amount, but they do. Remember to take them in moderation, arginine is good but caffeine in excess is not. Other drinks that also contain it are beer and wine.
- Vegetables: focus mainly on spinach, peppers, leeks, garlic or mushrooms. Soy will also help you create arginine and a host of other benefits for your body.
- Fruit: apart from being a source of antioxidants and vitamins, they also have arginine. You will find it in avocado, orange, watermelon, strawberries or kiwis.
- Wheat: Bread with whole wheat is one of the main sources of arginine.
Arginine powder as a sports supplement
As we have mentioned at the beginning, arginine has been used lately as a sports supplement since, among other benefits, it helps reduce fat, increases anaerobic capacity, increases blood flow and helps us in the functioning of joints and muscles, since it produces collagen and proteins that repair muscle tissues and helps us avoid cramps.
You should exercise special caution when taking it as a powdered supplement. It is recommended to divide your dose into three doses of 3 to 5 grams. If used before a workout, you should take (at most) between three and six grams about 45 minutes before.
From we recommend that, if you have any questions, you ask your doctor or sports specialist to know how and in what way it is convenient for you to ingest extra amounts of arginine. What is clear is that there are many benefits and that it can help you in various problems that you may have.