Top 10 Foods Highest in Methionine

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Top 10 Foods Highest in Methionine

Methionine is an essential amino acid needed for normal metabolism and growth and for helping the liver to process fats. It is also necessary for the production of essential chemicals in the body such as homocysteine, taurine, and sulfate. (1)

Methionine can also help reduce cholesterol levels, prevent kidney stones, reduce the damage from heavy metals in the blood, counteract the toxic effects of acetaminophen, help prevent hair loss, and strengthen nails. (1)

A deficiency of methionine can lead to inflammation of the liver (steatohepatitis), anemia, and greying hair. (1,2) However, a diet low in methionine may also extend lifespan and reduce the risk of cancer. (3)

High methionine foods include turkey, beef, fish, pork, tofu, milk, cheese, nuts, beans, and whole grains like quinoa.

The reference dietary intake (RDI) for methionine is 10.4mg per kilogram of body weight or 4.5mg per pound. A person weighing 70kg (~154 pounds) should consume around 728mg of methionine per day. (4)

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

List of High Methionine Foods

Ground turkey on a plate1 Ground Turkey
per 6oz
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(217% RDI)
(128% RDI)
(169% RDI)

More Poultry High in Methionine

  • 195% RDI in a 6oz chicken breast
  • 115% RDI in a chicken thigh
  • 93% RDI in a chicken drumstick
  • 40% RDI per 3oz chicken hotdog

See all meats high in methionine.

A steak on a plate2 Beef (Skirt Steak)
per 6oz Steak
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(211% RDI)
(124% RDI)
(93% RDI)

More Red Meat High in Methionine

  • 110% RDI per 3oz of beef stew
  • 106% RDI per 3oz of lamb roast
  • 100% RDI per 3oz of veal
  • 89% RDI per 3oz buffalo steak

See all meats high in methionine.

Tuna Fillet3 Tuna
in a 6oz Fillet
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(207% RDI)
(122% RDI)
(132% RDI)

More Fish High in Methionine

  • 204% RDI per 7oz grouper fillet
  • 200% RDI per 6oz salmon fillet
  • 182% RDI per 6oz snapper fillet
  • 179% RDI per 6oz tilapia fillet
  • 153% RDI per 5.6oz mahi mahi fillet

See all fish high in methionine.

A pork chop4 Lean Pork Chops
in a 6oz Chop
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(198% RDI)
(117% RDI)
(120% RDI)

More Pork Products High in Methionine

  • 109% RDI per 5oz rack of ribs
  • 106% RDI per cup of lean ham
  • 85% RDI per 3oz pork bratwurst
  • 79% RDI per 3oz of ground pork
  • 55% RDI per 3oz of salami
  • 46% RDI per 3 slices of bacon

See all meats high in methionine.

A block of tofu5 Firm Tofu
per Cup
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(73% RDI)
(29% RDI)
(40% RDI)

More Soy Products High in Methionine

  • 53% RDI per cup of boiled soybeans (edamame)
  • 13% RDI per cup of cooked soybean sprouts
  • 9% RDI per cup of soymilk
A glass of milk6 Milk
per 16oz Glass
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(59% RDI)
(12% RDI)
(71% RDI)

More Dairy Products High in Methionine

  • 57% RDI per cup of yogurt
  • 29% RDI per cup of buttermilk
A bowl of Cottage Cheese7 Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese
per 1/2 Cup
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(48% RDI)
(39% RDI)
(57% RDI)

More Cheese High in Methionine

  • 37% RDI per oz of grated Parmesan
  • 32% RDI per oz of Gruyere
  • 31% RDI per oz of Swiss
  • 28% RDI per oz of Gouda
  • 28% RDI per oz of Fontina

See all dairy products high in methionine.

Brazil Nuts8 Brazil Nuts
per 1oz Handful
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(44% RDI)
(154% RDI)
(47% RDI)

More Nuts and Seeds High in Methionine

  • 36% RDI per oz of hemp seeds
  • 23% RDI per oz of squash and pumpkin seeds
  • 23% RDI per oz of chia seeds
  • 22% RDI per oz of toasted sesame seeds
  • 16% RDI per oz of sunflower seeds
  • 14% RDI per oz of flax seeds
  • 14% RDI per oz of cashews
  • 14% RDI per oz of pistachios
  • 11% RDI per oz of peanuts

See all nuts and seeds high in methionine.

White Beans9 Large White Beans
per Cup
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(36% RDI)
(20% RDI)
(29% RDI)

More Beans High in Methionine

  • 35% RDI per cup of canned navy beans
  • 35% RDI per cup of kidney beans
  • 31% RDI per cup of black beans
  • 30% RDI per cup of great northern beans
  • 27% RDI per cup of pinto beans

See all beans and lentils high in methionine.

A bowl of quinoa10 Quinoa
per Cup
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(24% RDI)
(13% RDI)
(22% RDI)

More Grains High in Methionine

  • 43% RDI per cup of teff
  • 27% RDI per cup of wild rice
  • 23% RDI per cup of kamut
  • 14% RDI per cup of rice
  • 11% RDI per cup of spaghetti

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Printable list of foods high in methionine.

Extended List of Methionine Rich Foods

1 King Crabin 1 crab leg100% RDI
2 Shrimpper 3oz (about 12 large shrimp)78% RDI
3 Clamsper 3oz serving67% RDI
4 Eggsin 1 large egg27% RDI
5 Green Peasper cup cooked18% RDI
6 Sweet Potatoesper cup mashed17% RDI
7 Lima Beansper cup cooked16% RDI
8 Spinachper cup cooked14% RDI
9 Sweet Cornper cup cooked13% RDI
10 Avocadosper avocado10% RDI
11 Kiwifruitper cup6% RDI
12 Mamey Sapote1 cup chopped6% RDI

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The daily value (%DV) is a general guideline for consumption that will prevent deficiency of a particular nutrient in most people. The %DV refers to the percentage of an amount that's found in a single serving of a food. It also accounts for absorption factors. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (%RDA) - The RDA sets an average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97.5%) healthy individuals. It's more specific than the daily value, and varies by age and gender. The RDA is set by the US National Institutes of Health.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) -The reference dietary intake is similar to the recommended daily allowance, but is specific to age and gender. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - This value is primarily used in reference to omega-3 and omega-6 fats. The Adequate Intake is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. Because there is less evidence to determine the ideal targets for consumption of these nutrients, the specific amount is considered to be less reliable. Using the term Adequate Intake, rather than one of the other terms, helps to emphasize that the ideal intake of that particular nutrient has not yet been scientifically determined.

See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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Data Sources and References

  1. Canadian Drug Database on Methionine
  2. Methionine Deficiency and Hepatic Injury in a Dietary Steatohepatitis Model. Dig Dis Sci. 2008 Mar; 53(3): 767–776.
  3. Methionine restriction and lifespan control.
  4. World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Report Series – Protein And Amino Acid Requirements In Human Nutrition ISBN 978 92 4 120935 9
  5. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central
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