The following nutrients need to be a priority for you. Omega-3s, fiber, protein… A registered dietitian or other health expert may easily rattle off a list of foods containing them in their sleep. Others, while important, do not generate the same level of buzz. The nutrient choline belongs to this category. Having never heard of it, you may have never heard about this under-the-radar project.
It’s no mystery why most people have never heard of choline, says Sonya Angelone, RD. Since [health experts] can only discover nutrients a century or so ago, Choline did not appear in the conversation until 1998, when the Institute of Medicine recognized its essential role.” Choline entered our lexicon the same year as Furby, so that’s relatively recent, considering the age of food (um, forever).
In spite of the fact that the body creates some choline, the body needs foods that contain it to get enough, says Angelone. Choline is a member of the vitamin B family even though it isn’t a vitamin per se.
There are a few reasons why choline-containing foods should be included in everyone’s diet, even if it is not talked about too often. There is also a list of the best food sources of this nutrient here. For more information, keep reading.
The five key benefits of choline
1. It plays a role in the health of cells.
As Angelone points out, choline is important for the health of every cell in the body. The integrity of the cell membrane is crucial for choline. In order to survive and defend the body from disease, the integrity of the cell membrane is crucial.
2. Cognitive decline is prevented by choline.
According to Angelone, choline plays an important role in brain functions. As choline is directly associated with the development of the brain during pregnancy, it is of particular importance to get enough during this time. Consuming choline-rich foods is associated with better cognitive performance, according to scientific research. Traumatic brain injury survivors benefit from this as well. Interestingly, choline is so important for brain health in these ways because it functions as a neurotransmitter; without it, neurotransmitters are unable to communicate.
3. It helps you remember things better.
It supports a strong memory as one of the specific ways choline is beneficial for brain health. Several studies indicate that regular consumption of choline-rich foods may help prevent various types of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease. As a precursor to acetylcholine, choline is vital for memory functions in the brain.
4. Supports the health of the liver.
Keeping the brain healthy is not the only benefit of choline. In addition to the liver, Angelone claims that it nourishes the body. “Choline plays a role in fat metabolism, which takes place in the liver,” she says. Choline deficiency is a major cause of fatty liver disease, according to research.
5. Choline helps to keep your heart healthy.
Your heart is another organ that choline benefits directly. According to Angelone, choline consumption is directly associated with a lower risk of heart disease. A more detailed understanding of how choline is good for the heart needs to be explored.
A resume like this probably has you wondering which groceries to buy to make sure you get enough of this multitasking, brain-boosting vitamin, right? According to Angelone, it is generally recommended that adults consume around 400 to 550 milligrams of choline per day, although there is no official set amount. To reach your daily intake of choline, you need to know which foods contain this mineral.
Choline-rich foods: a list of 10
With 147 milligrams of choline per serving, eggs are a good source of choline. Almost a quarter of the daily recommended dose is consumed during that time.
Choline can be found in choline-rich meats like beef and chicken. The daily recommended intake of choline for adults is 117 milligrams for beef and 72 milligrams for chicken.
3. Lamb liver
In order to make sure you’ve got enough choline, the liver is your best option. With 356 milligrams per serving, beef liver provides more than half of the recommended daily intake. The liver benefits from choline, so it makes sense.
It’s not just the omega-3 fatty acids in fish that make it good for brain health; it’s also a great source of choline. Fish rich in the nutrient, with 71 milligrams per serving, is recommended by the National Institutes of Health.
You do not have to miss out on this crucial nutrient if you do not eat meat or animal products. As soybeans contain choline as well, you can work into your diet foods such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame that are rich in choline.
The most notable vegetable containing choline is the potato. 57 milligrams equal one serving. Adding to the nutrient-rich qualities of a tuber.
Brussels sprouts are also packed with choline. About 32 milligrams of the nutrient are in a single serving, which isn’t much, but if you eat mainly vegan or plant-based, every drop in the bucket matters.
Another veggie to add to your shopping list if you get your choline mostly from plants is peas. The number of choline-rich veggies in these are pretty small, but when combined, they make a big difference, particularly brussel sprouts.
Beans are packed with nutrients. The dietary fiber in them contains choline, an essential nutrient for your brain and heart. Just one more reason to have them stocked in your pantry, right?
Great if cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower pizza, and cauliflower rice are your thing! Choline is already a part of your diet since you’ve been incorporating it. This nutrient contains 24 milligrams in one serving. Despite the fact that it’s not a lot, it definitely makes a difference when combined with a few other foods on this list.
There are certainly no shortages of ways to consume choline, as you can see from the list above. Chances are that you already consume at least a few choline-rich foods, even if you weren’t aware of their existence. Choline is likely to be found in animal products without you even noticing. Vegans, vegetarians, and plant-based eaters can still get enough choline, but they may have to pay closer attention. It’s certainly worth the effort, especially if brain health is one of your health goals. You shouldn’t miss out on choline. It’s great for the whole body.
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