Lysine is an amino acid found in protein foods. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most people get the necessary amount of lysine from their diet without the need for special diet modifications or supplements, but vegans who eschew beans and athletes who continually subject their bodies to strenuous and vigorous exercise could be at risk. A lysine deficiency can lead to fatigue, anemia, dizziness and nausea. Additionally, supplementation might be useful to prevent herpes outbreaks and osteoporosis.
Animal products are high in protein, and they offer the most readily available form of lysine. Meats, cheese, eggs and fish are all good choices. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, red meat, chicken and Parmesan cheese are especially good sources. Lysine is also abundant in sardines and cod fish. Mayonnaise, butter and other products made with eggs or milk also contain lysine.
Vegetarians can obtain lysine from plant protein sources such as beans and nuts. Lima beans are particularly high in lysine, according to the San Diego Homeophathy Center. Soy in any of its forms, including tofu, soy milk, soy flour or soy protein products, is a good source. Lentil sprouts and seeds like fenugreek also contain some lysine.
Seaweed is another source of lysine. Dried spirulina in particular is high in lysine. Freeze-dried parsley also contains lysine. According to the San Diego Homeopathy Center, papaya, beets, avocados and apricots are also sources of lysine. While the amounts of lysine in other foods is smaller, they can still provide some lysine, especially if you consume them regularly. Examples of foods containing a small amount of lysine include Brussels sprouts, wheat germ, wheat granules, squash and green peas.
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