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Foods Containing L-Citrulline

by
author image Maura Wolf
Maura Wolf's published online articles focus on women, children, parenting, non-traditional families, companion animals and mental health. A licensed psychotherapist since 2000, Wolf counsels individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, body image, parenting, aging and LGBTQ issues. Wolf has two Master of Arts degrees: in English, from San Francisco State University and in clinical psychology, from New College.
Foods Containing L-Citrulline
Citrulline is an amino acid found in foods, such as watermelon. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Overview

Citrulline can be obtained from supplements or from foods. Nobel Prize recipient, Professor Louis Ignarro says that when the amino acids -- citrulline and arginine -- are combined, our body's cells are encouraged to produce a beneficial gas called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide can reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol, according to Dr. Ignarro’s website. Citrulline also helps reduce lactic acid and ammonia in your muscle tissues. It promotes energy and assists the immune system, according to Health Vitamins Guide.You should always talk to your health provider before starting a new diet or supplement regimen.

Fruits

Foods Containing L-Citrulline
Slices of watermelon Photo Credit sofiaworld/iStock/Getty Images

One of the richest sources of citrulline is watermelon and it is found in both the fruit and the rind. The results of the study -- conducted by Professor Arturo Figueroa and published in October 2010 on Florida State University's College of Human Sciences website – suggest that the amino acids in watermelon can effectively fight pre-hypertension before it becomes cardiovascular disease. In addition to the positive effects of its natural citrulline content on arterial function and blood pressure, watermelon is full of vitamins A, B-6 and C, plus potassium, fiber and the antioxidant, lycopene. Other fruit sources of citrulline are cucumbers and other melons.

Vegetables

Foods Containing L-Citrulline
Garlic bulb and cloves Photo Credit Tatjana Baibakova/iStock/Getty Images

Onions and garlic are another source of citrulline, The Vegetarian Site says that garlic and onions are alliums -- the Greek word for garlic -- that help protect against diseases that affect the heart, veins and arteries.

Legumes

Foods Containing L-Citrulline
Chick peas in bowl on wood table Photo Credit homydesign/iStock/Getty Images

Garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas, contain citrulline, as do peanuts. Soy is another food from which your body can obtain citrulline. The citrulline you acquire from such foods helps maintain your body's acid balance.

Fish and Meat

Foods Containing L-Citrulline
Cooked liver with onions and side salad Photo Credit Yvonne Bogdanski/Hemera/Getty Images

Liver is one of the few foods with a high level of citrulline. Salmon and red meat also contain some of this amino acid. Citrulline is necessary for detoxifying the liver from ammonia, which is a waste product left over after oxidation in the body.

Nuts

Foods Containing L-Citrulline
Basket filled with almonds Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Almonds and walnuts contain citrulline. This amino acid is found in very high concentrations in walnut seedlings, but much less so in the kernels and nuts, according to the 2001 article in "Tree Physiology".

Other

Foods Containing L-Citrulline
Dark chocolate and spoonful of cocoa powder Photo Credit Shaiith/iStock/Getty Images

Dark chocolate is another source of citrulline so if you are craving something sweet, this type of chocolate may be a suitable choice.

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