Choline. Ever heard of it? Me neither. Until recently. As a result of what I’ve learned, I’d like to share with you.
Choline – apparently – is a nutrient deemed essential for brain development. Who knew? And not only brain development but also cognitive functioning, memory, muscle function, and so much more; something so essential and yet… only 6.6.% of American adults consume an adequate amount, according to a National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration suggests we get in 550 mg of choline a day. Being deficient in choline can lead to conditions such as “fatty liver, atherosclerosis, and neurological disorders;” can also leave individuals experiencing “low energy level, memory loss, cognitive decline, muscle aches, and mood changes or disorders” per a recent Psychology Today article (Feb 2017). Thinking of having children? For men, lack of choline can actually impact not only the structure of sperm, but also energy and mobility of such. Additionally, for mothers-to-be, deficiency of choline during pregnancy can stunt the developing brain of the fetus.
Now that we know what it is, what it does, and the hazards of not getting enough… let’s problem-solve. Where can we get choline? The biggest sources of choline derive from some of our feathered friends – turkey and chicken. Eggs are also a top source. Choline doesn’t discriminate against the sea though; salmon is also a good place to get it. Not to worry if you’re vegan, or maybe your taste buds just don’t care for the aforementioned foods, because you can also find it in cauliflower and brussel sprouts, in addition to purchasing choline in a supplement form quite affordably.