Choline is one of the most essential nutrients that the body needs for better liver, brain and muscle function. It is a water-soluble nutrient present in the form of phophatidycholine that the body can produce but only in small amounts. It is therefore vital that we eat foods high in choline because these foods can also increase energy and promote healthy metabolism. Choline plays an important role in the body to make cells healthier as well. This macronutrient can also greatly improve your cognitive function and is highly recommended especially for pregnant women and young children. It is advised that men consume at least 550 mg of choline per day and 425mg for women daily for optimal health.
1. Beef Liver
There are a lot of people who are not eating liver but liver, especially beef liver can have wonderful effect to one’s overall health. Beef liver is one of the best sources of choline because 50z of liver is composed of 423 mg of choline which can greatly improve brain development and muscle function.
2. Cod Fish
People who are strict about including meat in their diet but can eat fish can get their choline from cod fish. Cod fish is widely known for its health benefits that can help people improve muscle, immunity, nerve and digestive health. Cod fish has abundant composition of choline which is about 60-150 mg per serving.
Eggs are rich in choline (especially the yolk) and it can be the everyday source of choline in your diet. This is highly recommended for pregnant women who need additional choline to maintain top health. One egg yolk contains 115 mg of choline and 100 grams of egg yolk contains 683 mg. The egg white can also be a source but it only contains minimal amount (1.1 mg per 100 grams) of this nutrient.
Chocolates can help boost cognitive function and can increase energy. Choline nutrient is present in fatty foods and surprisingly, chocolate is one of the best sources of choline. About one tablespoon of cocoa powder contains 20 mg of choline. It is better if you consume dark chocolate or those that are mildly sweet only. You can get 20 mg of choline from a 1.5 oz of milk chocolate and even in chocolate cake because 4 oz of chocolate cake can give you 130 mg of this essential nutrient.
5. Cauliflower and Broccoli
Broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables that are very rich in choline. They are also considered as “superfoods” because they can aid in promoting good health and has a big role in brain development. They can also help people in preventing age-related memory loss. These veggies when cooked contain 65 mg of choline per 100 grams.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable is very high in choline. It is loaded with this vital nutrient that can improve brain and muscle function. It is also helpful for people who are having problems with their metabolism. For every 100 grams of uncooked spinach, you can get 24.8 mg of choline. For people who do not eat meat or fish, load up on spinach to get your daily choline requirement.
7. Meat and Poultry
Meat is very high in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. There are a variety of meat sources that are high in choline which include chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and pork. Whether lean meat or red meat, just 80-85 grams of meat can give your approximately 200-300 mg of choline that your body needs.
8. Bok Choy
Bok choy is one of the green leafy vegetables that have high choline content. This type of vegetable is advised to be included in your daily diet because it is very nutritious and can inhibit faulty digestive system and promote better metabolism. Just a cup of bok choy contains 65 mg which is almost 15% of the daily recommended allowance of choline in the daily diet.
9. Nuts and Seeds
These are plant based sources of choline that contain high level of choline. Nuts and seeds are also high in fat and should be consumed in moderation. Just a cup of garbanzo beans, lima beans or lentils have approximately 70 mg of choline. Flax seeds, nuts, pistachio, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds have at least 60 mg of choline per 3 oz serving.
For strictly vegan individuals, you can get your choline from soy products. Tofu is a soy product that is very high in choline. Just 100 grams of tofu can contain 100 mg of choline. This can help in synthesizing Acetylchonine, a neurotransmitter that can improve memory, reasoning, learning and concentration.
Something to Take Away
Choline can be naturally produced by the body but it is not enough to get the needed daily dose for our brain and muscles to develop normally. Therefore, eating foods that are high in choline is essential to promote total wellness and improve cognitive and muscle function. This is especially important for people who are pregnant and lactating because it can help the mother in maintaining positive brain and total body health. For the baby, it can help in developing the child’s learning ability and memory. Choline can also help in preventing mental illness and reduced risk of breast cancer. Not having enough choline in your body can be harmful to your liver and can put you at risk for heart disease, cancers, muscle deterioration and memory loss.