The nutrition of choline is an essential part of any well-balanced and healthy diet. Considered as one of the building blocks of the body, choline is usually associated with B-vitamins, although it is not yet officially considered as one. Even though the interaction of choline with other nutrients is yet to be discovered, it has been established that choline is an important compound when it comes to maintaining the good health of your cells. Read on to learn more about the benefits of choline and what foods are the best sources of this nutrient.
Improved Memory and Other Mental Functions
One of the benefits associated with choline is its ability to improve brain functions, including memory. Research has shown that choline has a positive effect on particular brain areas that are responsible for memory and learning ability. This positive effect is greater in newborn babies and fetuses that are still undergoing development. So if you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, then it’s important that you incorporate plenty of choline into your diet. This will ensure the proper mental development of your baby.
Age-related mental disorders, like Alzheimer’s and dementia, may also be prevented by choline. However, the connection between these mental conditions and choline is yet to be studied further. However, it has been established that choline can help you avoid memory loss as you age.
Protection Against Heart Disease
Another reason to add choline to your diet is that this nutrient can protect you against heart disease. Studies suggest that regular consumption of choline can lower the levels of homocysteine in your blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is believed to contribute to the onset of heart disease. Aside from causing cardiovascular diseases, homocysteine can also lead to osteoporosis and the occurrence of a stroke. Choline also prevents heart disease by reducing your risk of chronic inflammation, which could lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
In 2008, the National Institutes of Health funded a study that proved how choline can lower the risk of breast cancer. The study showed that women who have more choline in their diets have lower chances of developing breast cancer than women who are choline deficient.
Sources of Choline
Now that you know how choline can benefit your health, it’s time to make a plan to make sure that you get plenty of choline. Even though choline supplements are widely available, it’s still better to get choline through the foods you eat. Soybeans are a great source of choline because of their high lecithin content. Eggs are also a rich source of choline, especially the yolk. Eating eggs for breakfast or snacks on a regular basis will ensure that you get plenty of choline in your diet. Flax seeds, sesame seeds and peanuts also contain plenty of choline. Other foods that are rich in choline are corn, whole wheat bread, barley, oats, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, milk, butter and peanut butter.