Every time we think we’ve got our diets sorted, another superfood ingredient we’ve never even heard of comes out of the woodworks. Last year, it was sulforaphane—the molecule found in cruciferous veggies, that’s great for your health but terrible for your nostrils. Now, we’re not even halfway through 2018 and yet another little-known essential nutrient has emerged. But don’t worry, there’s a good chance you’re already eating it.
Enter, Choline. Now, if you’re anything like me, you can’t read that without thinking “Choline, Choline, Choline, CHOLINEEEE!’ in the tune of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene.’ And much like the petite Dolly, this is one pocket rocket nutrient that packs a serious punch.
Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient. It’s made in the liver and is essential for many bodily functions, including fat metabolism, maintaining healthy cell membranes, brain function and memory. New research from Cornell University has also found it’s particularly important during pregnancy and early infancy for the baby’s brain development. The study found the information processing and reaction speed of infants improved when mums consumed higher amounts of choline during the last trimester of pregnancy.
As there’s currently no official recommendation for how much choline we should be consuming it our diet, it’s difficult to say whether the average Australian is getting enough. But as it’s found naturally in found in eggs, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, pulses, soybeans, grains and nuts, you’re probably already eating it some form. But if you’re looking to increase your intake, eggs are one of the best sources—with one yolk containing around 115 mg.
“Choline is an essential nutrient we don’t hear much about. Eggs are a major source of choline and it is much easier to meet the adequate daily intake by including them regularly in your diet,” said Sharon Natoli, Director at Food and Nutrition Australia.
Don’t do eggs? No worries! The next best thing is going to be loading up on leafy green vegetables (which is always a good idea, anyway). Check out 7 clever ways to trick yourself into eating more vegetables.