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Foods Containing L-Citrulline

author image Maura Wolf
I have been working at a variety of freelance jobs: quality rater, researcher, editor, writer, virtual assistant. I’m also a psychotherapist who counsels clients online and by telephone when they cannot meet regularly in person. I hope to continue telecommuting from my fully equipped home office, as I am quite productive here, and my animals enjoy having me around. My most recent job was as a Quality Rater with Google. I enjoyed the variety, research, freedom, challenge, and especially the flexibility of telecommuting and the regular paycheck. Google enforces a two year cap on the number of years they will keep contracted workers and, sadly, my time with Google just ended. My unique employment, education, and life history includes two M.A. degrees, one in English and one in Clinical Psychology. I am curious, intelligent and intuitive, and hope to find a job which will allow me to use, expand on and share my talents, skills, interests, education, and experience. {{}}{{}}{{}}{{}}
Foods Containing L-Citrulline
Citrulline is an amino acid found in foods, such as watermelon. Photo Credit: Getty

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.

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Slices of watermelon
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.


Garlic bulb and cloves
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.


Chick peas in bowl on wood table
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

Cooked liver with onions and side salad
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.


Basket filled with almonds
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".


Dark chocolate and spoonful of cocoa powder
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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