With all of the vitamins health experts recommend, it’s easy to obsess over only a few and focus on the most popular like Vitamin C to fight off that dreaded winter cold and Calcium to support strong bone health. But, it's time we bring attention to a lesser-known option that's vital for your health year-round. Say hello to Choline.
Choline is often overlooked in conversation, and the majority of women aren’t getting their recommended amount according to a study in the Journal of American College of Nutrition.
Choline helps convert food into energy, and without Choline, your liver is unable to rid itself of cholesterol and fat. This puts you at a greater risk for developing non-alchoholic fatty liver disease (which is also linked to metabolic syndrome), registered dietician Sarah Pflugradt shared with Prevention. With that comes an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. In addition, other preliminary studies say Choline might also reduce the risk of breast cancer.
All of this makes Choline super important when it comes to making sure you’re getting enough. A healthy recommended amount for women is 425 mg choline per day, according to the Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Since Choline comes primarily through your food and supplements, you need to make a conscious effort to be sure you’re getting enough.
Luckily, Choline is already in a lot of common foods like eggs, nuts, quinoa and broccoli. A large egg contains about 120 mg of Choline, for example, while a cup of cooked broccoli or Brussels sprouts contain about 60 mg. Other foods that contain Choline include: beef, chicken, salmon, milk and chocolate.
Since Choline continues to be needed for proper body function through adulthood and into old age, this is one nutrient you don’t want to forget about. So as everyone is talking about their Vitamin C emergency plan this winter, you might better inform them about the benefits of this essential nutrient. They’ll thank you later.