Arginine is an amino acid essential only in the early stages of growth. In early stages of growth, it must be obtained from dietary sources. At later stages, it becomes non-essential, as humans can produce it from other amino acids. There might be conditions an adult may require extra arginine from food. Typical such conditions include when one is injured or arginine production in the body is impaired.

Arginine is found in high amounts in vegetarian sources such as legumes, nuts, vegetables, fruits. Of course, animal products also contain arginine. Depending on whether you plan to consume high arginine foods or avoid them, below is a list of arginine food sources that you can use as a reference. The food items are among the highest in arginine content in their category, of all the food products evaluated by the USDA nutrient analysis lab.

Nuts, Legumes, and (Oil) Seeds High in Arginine Content

Nuts, Legume, Oil Seed TypeArginine Content (grams/100 grams)
Sesame seed flour 7.44
Cotton seed flour 6.73
Soy protein isolate 6.67
Peanut flour, defatted 6.24
Pumpkin seed 5.28
Squash seed 5.28
Sunflower seed flour 5.07
Watermelon seeds, dry 4.90
Butternuts, dry 4.86
Hemp seed, hulled 4.55
Soybeans, raw 3.15
Peanuts, Spanish, raw 3.13
Tofu (Koyadofu) 3.19
Sesame butter (paste) 2.68
Almonds 2.46
Chickpeas (garbanzo, bengal gram) 1.94
Peas, split, green 1.90
Flaxseed 1.90
Lentils 1.90
Mung beans 1.67


Vegetables and Fruits High in Arginine Content

Vegetable, Fruit TypeArginine Content (grams/100 grams)
seaweed, sprirulina, dry 4.15
Garlic powder 3.35
Chives, freeze-dried 1.53
Onions, dhydrated flakes 1.20
Soybeans, green and raw 1.04
Shallots, freeze-dried 0.89
Peppers, sweet and red, freeze-dried 0.79
Goji berries, dry 0.72
Shiitake mushrooms, dry 0.65
Garlic, raw 0.63


Arginine Content in Eggs

Egg TypeArginine Content (grams/100 grams)
Egg, white, dry 4.41
Egg, whole, dry 3.07
Egg, yolk, dry 2.34
Egg, yolk, fresh, raw 1.10
Egg, whole, cooked, fried 0.89
Egg, turkey, whole, fresh, raw 0.88
Egg, quail, whole, fresh, raw 0.83
Egg, goose, whole, fresh, raw 0.83
Egg, duck, whole, fresh, raw 0.77
Egg, white, raw, fresh 0.65



US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. Version Current: September 2015.