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Choline: Benefits and Food Sources of this Essential Nutrient

As far as essential nutrients go, choline is the new kid on the block. The Institute of Medicine didn’t establish this water-soluble vitamin as a required nutrient until 1998. Don’t let this delay diminish your view on how important choline is for overall well-being, though! Not only does choline promote healthy brain and nervous system function, but it also supports mood regulation, and is involved in normal cellular function.

grains and legumes contain the essential nutrient choline

Food sources of choline

Choline is found in varying amounts within a wide range of foods, such as:

  • Eggs
  • Chicken breast
  • Pork chops
  • Beef
  • Salmon
  • Potatoes
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Grains and legumes

Foods classified as an excellent source of any nutrient must contain at least 20 percent of the recommended daily value of the nutrient in question, per serving size. Good sources, on the other hand, contain between 10 – 19 percent of the recommended daily value.

To put this into context, 1 egg would be considered an excellent source of choline, as it contains 27 percent of the daily value, whereas 1 large red baked potato would be considered a good source of choline, as it contains 10 percent of the daily value. 

Our favorite choline-rich food sources

lupini beans is an excellent food source of choline

BRAMI Lupini Beans Snack

Fun fact: lupini beans contain the most protein per calorie of any known plant on earth! They require a lengthy cooking process though, making these packs of precooked lupini beans a time-friendly way to enjoy these filling legumes.

tofu is an excellent food source of choline

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu, Extra Firm

If you think tofu is only for vegetarians and vegans to enjoy, think again. This versatile ingredient is packed with protein and can be baked, roasted, blended as the base for sauces or spreads, or scrambled like eggs. The key is to season it well, as tofu has a mild flavor on its own.

navy beans roasted are an excellent food source of choline

Eden Organic Navy Beans

From bean dips, to veggie burgers, to soups, these choline, protein, and fiber-packed legumes are an excellent addition to a variety of recipes. The fact that they are precooked helps cut down on prep time, so you can make healthful, homemade recipes without spending the whole day in the kitchen.

pickled beets are an excellent food source of choline

Sunraised, Pickled Beets

These pickled beets are delightfully sweet, slightly sour, and overall a great addition to a number of meals or snacks. Pop these vibrant root veggies on top of a salad, add to a charcuterie board, or simply enjoy them as a no-fuss side dish. 

roasted edamame is an excellent food source of choline

Seapoint Farms, Sea Salt Dry Roasted Edamame

Roasted edamame is such a fun-to-eat, nutrient-dense snack, making it an enjoyable way to get your protein, choline, and iron in. These tasty little bean pods are crisp, crunchy, lightly salted, and borderline addictive.

Explore all of our food recommendations for choline on our Food Guide here!

Recommended daily intakes

Recommended intakes vary with age, gender, and pregnancy or lactation status. Women aged nineteen or older are recommended 425 mg of choline/day, unless they are pregnant or lactating, in which case they are recommended 450 mg/day and 550 mg/day, respectively. Men aged nineteen or older are recommended 550 mg of choline/day.

Absorption rates

The reason why combining a foundation of nutrient-dense food sources with personalized supplementation is critical is because food sources of choline offer anywhere between a 10 – 90 percent absorption rate. This variability in absorption is down to a number of factors, such as growing conditions, weather, the timing of harvest, storage conditions, and natural variation. Not only that but your personal absorption rate is dependant on a variety of factors including your age, gender, activity level, diet, and more.

Our choline

The kind of choline supplement matters in order to get the most benefit.

We use two forms of choline supplements: choline bitartrate and alpha-GPC (L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine). Both forms offer a 100% absorption rate and are equally successful in helping the body reach optimal blood levels.

Stop guessing, start measuring.

test your nutrient levels with Baze

Wondering what your choline nutrient levels are? Get your Baze Nutrient Test delivered to your door today and map your results to food products in the Baze food guide!

Disclosure: The links in the Baze Food Guide are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Baze will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. All opinions are our own and based on our registered dietitian criteria.

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