Table of Contents

Top 10 Foods Highest in Cystine (Cysteine)

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data
Top 10 Foods Highest in Cystine (Cysteine)

Among its many functions, cystine helps create anti-oxidants in the body (1), and can help with hair health. However, none of these claims are well established. (2)

Cystine is the oxidized dimer form of the amino acid cysteine, and is considered nutritionally equivalent to cysteine. (3)

High cystine foods include pork, beef, chicken, fish, lentils, oatmeal, eggs, low-fat yogurt, sunflower seeds, and cheese. (4) The recommended daily intake of cystine is 4.1mg per kilogram of body weight or 1.9mg per pound. A person weighing 70kg (~154 pounds) should consume 287mg of cystine per day. (5)

Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in cystine with the %RDI calculated for someone weighing 70kg (154lbs). For more high cystine foods see the extended list of cystine-rich foods.

A pork chop

#1: Lean Pork Chops

Cystine in a 6oz ChopCystine per 100g
207% RDI (595mg)122% RDI (350mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Pork Chops (Lean)

More Pork High in Cystine

-176% RDI per cup of roast ham
-32% RDI per 3oz sausage link
-28% RDI per oz of salami

See all meats high in cystine.
A steak on a plate

#2: Beef (Skirt Steak)

Cystine per 6oz SteakCystine per 100g
204% RDI (587mg)120% RDI (345mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Skirt Steak

More Beef and Lamb High in Cystine

-126% RDI per 3oz of lamb roast
-99% RDI per 3oz buffalo roast
-92% RDI per 3oz of beef roast

See all meats high in cystine.
A roast chicken

#3: Lean Chicken Breast

Cystine in a 6oz BreastCystine per 100g
199% RDI (571mg)117% RDI (336mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Lean Chicken Breast (Cooked)

More Poultry High in Cystine

-258% RDI per chicken leg
-198% RDI in 6oz of ground turkey
-125% RDI in a roast chicken thigh

See all meats high in cystine.
Tuna Fillet

#4: Tuna

Cystine in a 6oz FilletCystine per 100g
190% RDI (546mg)112% RDI (321mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Bluefin Tuna (Cooked)

More Fish High in Cystine

-222% RDI in 20 small clams
-175% RDI per 6oz salmon fillet
-157% RDI per 6oz tilapia fillet

See all fish and shellfish high in cystine.
Lentils

#5: Lentils

Cystine per CupCystine per 100g
81% RDI (234mg)41% RDI (118mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Lentils (Cooked)

More Beans High in Cystine

-161% RDI per cup of boiled soybeans (edamame)
-87% RDI per cup of split peas
-68% RDI per cup of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

See all beans and legumes high in cystine.
A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

#6: Oatmeal

Cystine per CupCystine per 100g
79% RDI (227mg)34% RDI (97mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Oatmeal

More Whole Grains High in Cystine

-75% RDI per cup of kamut
-51% RDI per cup of whole wheat pasta
-32% RDI per cup of rice

See all grains high in cystine.
Eggs

#7: Eggs

Cystine in 1 Large EggCystine per 100g
51% RDI (146mg)102% RDI (292mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Hard Boiled Eggs
Plain yogurt with raspberries

#8: Low-Fat Yogurt

Cystine per CupCystine per 100g
44% RDI (127mg)18% RDI (52mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Non-fat Yogurt
-36% RDI per 16oz glass of milk

See all dairy foods high in cystine.
Sunflower Seeds

#9: Sunflower Seeds

Cystine per 1oz HandfulCystine per 100g
38% RDI (109mg)133% RDI (383mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Dry Roasted Sunflower Seeds

More Nuts and Seeds High in Cystine

-66% RDI per oz of hemp seeds
-40% RDI per oz of chia seeds
-36% RDI per oz of cashews

See all nuts and seeds high in cystine.
A slice of swiss cheese

#10: Swiss Cheese

Cystine per OzCystine per 100g
29% RDI (82mg)101% RDI (290mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Swiss Cheese

More Cheese High in Cystine

-43% RDI per 1/2 cup of ricotta
-30% RDI per oz of gruyere
-25% RDI per oz of gouda

See all dairy foods high in cystine.

See All 200 Foods High in Cystine

Printable One Page Sheet

Click to Print Pin it button
A printable list of high cystine foods including pork, beef, chicken, fish, lentils, oatmeal, eggs, low-fat yogurt, sunflower seeds, and cheese.

More Cystine Rich Foods

FoodServingCystine
#1 Beef Liver1 slice135% RDI
(388mg)
#2 Somen Noodlesper cup69% RDI
(199mg)
#3 Teffper cup61% RDI
(174mg)
#4 Coucousper cup59% RDI
(168mg)
#5 Firm Tofuper cup50% RDI
(144mg)
#6 Crab Cakesper cake50% RDI
(143mg)
#7 Lima Beansper cup cooked49% RDI
(141mg)
#8 Carrotsper cup chopped21% RDI
(60mg)
#9 Shiitake Mushroomsper cup cooked14% RDI
(39mg)
#10 Almond Butterper tblsp13% RDI
(39mg)

Click to View Comments


View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. Mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective effect of L-cysteine. Mol Cell Biochem. 2005 Sep;277(1-2):27-31.
  2. Effects of the Usage of l-Cysteine (l-Cys) on Human Health Molecules. 2018 Mar; 23(3): 575. Published online 2018 Mar 3. doi: 10.3390/molecules23030575
  3. Biochemical and Functional Evaluation of the Intramolecular Disulfide Bonds in the Zinc-Chelating Antimicrobial Protein Human S100A7 (Psoriasin). Biochemistry. 2017 Oct 31;56(43):5726-5738. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00781. Epub 2017 Oct 19
  4. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
  5. World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Report Series – Protein And Amino Acid Requirements In Human Nutrition ISBN 978 92 4 120935 9
Feedback || Subscribe