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Foods Containing Methionine

By Michelle Kerns

Methionine is an amino acid your body needs for normal growth and development and for the synthesis of creatine, a compound necessary in cellular energy production. A healthy adult requires approximately 800 to 1,000 milligrams of methionine daily, the NYU Langone Medical Center says. A study published in 2012 in "Transplantation Proceedings" demonstrated that methionine administered along with cranberry juice may help treat and prevent urinary tract infections. Most people can obtain adequate methionine from high-protein animal-based foods like seafood, meat and dairy products.

Have Some Fish

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that yellowtail fish contains one of the highest natural concentrations of methionine. Half of a cooked fillet supplies nearly 1.3 grams of the amino acid, more than an adult needs daily. A popular sushi fish similar in texture to tuna, yellowtail is best purchased from U.S. or Mexican sources, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch reports, because yellowtail from Australia or Japan has a higher risk of carrying diseases or parasites. Other methionine-rich fish include bluefish and swordfish. Because these fish may be contaminated with mercury, young children, the elderly, those with a compromised immune system and pregnant or nursing women should avoid them.

Work in Dairy

A 1-cup serving of 1 percent milk contains around 0.2 gram of methionine and a cup of low-fat plain yogurt has almost 0.4 gram. Other dairy products such as cheese are also excellent sources: 1 ounce of Swiss or provolone cheese has about 0.2 gram of methionine. Choose non- or reduced-fat dairy instead of whole-milk products to keep your saturated fat and cholesterol intake low and to decrease your risk of heart disease.

Pick Lean Pork

A 3-ounce patty of lean ground pork contains almost 0.7 gram of methionine. Other pork cuts, including country-style ribs and pork shoulder, are also high in methionine, but they contain higher amounts of fat and should be eaten in moderation.

Beef Up the Lean Beef

One grass-fed, Australian-raised beef tenderloin steak has almost 0.9 gram of methionine. A 3-ounce serving of top sirloin petite roast, top round steak or beef brisket all provide about 0.75 gram of methionine. All three of these cuts are considered lean; however, the Harvard School of Public Health advises limiting yourself to two 3-ounce servings of red meat a week, including lean cuts of beef. Doing so can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

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