Choline Rich Foods

Top 10 Choline Rich Foods – What They Are and How Much They Contain

Choline is an essential nutrient that you need to consume on a daily basis to remain healthy. If you don’t get enough choline in your diet, it can lead to liver damage, inflammation, poor memory and even cancer in some cases. It’s important to know which foods are high in choline and which foods are not so you can choose what to eat accordingly. Here are the top 15 choline rich foods that you should be eating every day (in no particular order).

Top 15 Choline Rich Foods

1 Eggs

A large egg has around 186 mg of choline. Eggs are a rich source of choline, which is a precursor to acetylcholine. As we age, our body’s ability to convert choline into acetylcholine declines, leading some researchers to speculate that supplemental choline may improve memory in older adults.

Eggs are also loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin which have been linked to promoting healthy vision as well as improving cognitive function. Lutein accumulates in brain tissue, promotes blood flow and reduces free radical damage in neurons. [1]

Eggs are high in cholesterol but it appears there is little reason for concern here, with several studies having failed to find any link between dietary cholesterol intake and heart disease risk.

2 Milk

Most adults don’t get enough choline in their diets, but it’s especially important for breastfeeding moms. That’s because choline is an essential nutrient for brain development—especially for infants. Although there are many foods high in choline, nothing beats breast milk, which contains 1/3 more choline than cow’s milk.

While breastfed babies can get enough from nursing alone, if mom doesn’t have enough choline in her diet, she may need to take a supplement to provide additional nutrients for herself and her baby.

It’s also important that breastfeeding mothers avoid taking certain medications that can be dangerous to a baby (such as certain cold medicines), so talk with your doctor about which drugs you should avoid while breastfeeding.

3 Fish

Salmon, herring, and trout are excellent sources of choline. Salmon in particular contains a whopping 709 mg per 3-ounce serving. To increase your intake of choline through fish, try grilling it with a little extra virgin olive oil or eating it raw (this is recommended only for those who enjoy sushi, since salmon is usually served raw).

One word of caution: unless you’re very careful when shopping for salmon, there’s a good chance it will be contaminated with mercury—eating too much could cause symptoms like headaches and nausea.

Also Read: Omega 3 Fatty Acid Benefits

4 Wheat germ

Wheat germ contains a significant amount of choline per ounce: 137 mg. The fact that wheat germ is so high in nutrients may surprise you, since it’s technically not food itself—it’s removed from its original form before you buy it at the store. Wheat germ is great for adding flavor to recipes or for snacking on by itself.

Sprinkle some wheat germ on your salads or even add a little to yogurt to make yourself some healthy treats! Just remember that if you want to eat enough wheat germ to reach your choline goals, you’ll need about a cup of it daily. While wheat germ does contain cholesterol-reducing fiber, it also has quite a bit of fat, so don’t go overboard!

5 Peanuts

16% of Daily Value (DV) or 24% of your daily value if you eat a cup. Peanuts are actually one of my favorite sources for choline, which is a little strange because I typically don’t like peanut butter. One ounce has about 110 calories, 12 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein. Don’t worry, only 0.4 gram of that fat is saturated so it won’t harm your cholesterol levels or your heart health too much but it can still lead to weight gain if you aren’t careful in portioning them out during meals.

6 Soybeans

Soybeans are an excellent source of magnesium too with 8% of your daily intake per serving! Soybeans are a great substitute for meat in meals as they contain so much protein! If you aren’t a fan of soy milk or tempeh, why not try some edamame or miso soup?

Also Read: Top 13 Best Calcium Rich Foods and their Benefits

7 Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are rich in choline. 1 cup of cooked or raw brussels sprouts contains 284 mg of choline, about 40% of your daily need. The sprouts can be stir-fried, roasted or simmered. For example, you can steam them for 20 minutes to get as much choline from one cup. If you prefer roasting them in oven, cook them for half an hour and eat with a dash of salt and pepper for best results.

8 Broccoli

This leafy green vegetable is not only a rich source of Vitamin C, but also choline. One cup of steamed broccoli contains 124 milligrams of choline, which is about 19 percent of an adult’s daily recommended intake.

9 Spinach

A cup of raw spinach contains 0.5mg of choline. 100g (3oz) of boiled spinach contains 1.08mg of choline, giving it a total nutritional value of 3.4 mg/100g. Spinach is among one of your best sources for choline. It’s not as high in choline as beef liver or egg yolks, but if you don’t eat any other food then you can still meet your daily needs with a plateful—or two—of leafy greens! And if you just can’t stomach steamed spinach then adding some to a smoothie or soup should help get things moving along nicely!

10 Cauliflower

One cup of cauliflower contains about 24.6 micrograms of choline, which is over 9% of your daily recommended value. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories but high in fiber and nutrients, including vitamins A, C, K, B-6, folate, calcium and iron.

One cup also has only 50 calories so it’s easy to add to salads or eat as a side dish instead of rice or potatoes. It pairs well with almost any food so it’s very versatile. This veggie can be eaten raw or cooked—grilled cauliflower florets are a favorite for many people!

11 Chicken

It’s best to cook your chicken without skin, as most of choline is in chicken fat. The same goes for other poultry such as turkey. For every 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast, you’ll get 60 milligrams of choline. Some studies have linked higher consumption of whole eggs (and even egg yolks) with lower levels of bad cholesterol, but watch out: three large eggs contains around 500 milligrams of choline, which is more than twice what you need on a daily basis.

12 Almonds

One ounce of almonds contains 73 milligrams of choline. That’s an astounding 29 percent of your daily needs in just one serving. (Note: The actual amount you should consume per day is 500-550 milligrams, not just 400 mg.) Almonds are actually some of your best bets for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels as well—and keeping your memory sharp—due to their vitamin E content.

Make sure to choose raw, unsalted varieties instead of roasted or salted nuts. Adding chopped, slivered or sliced almonds to oatmeal and smoothies is a tasty way to start your day without consuming lots of calories or fat that can potentially cause harm.

13 Red potatoes

Potatoes contain 0.28mg of choline per 100g of cooked potato, which is 2% of your daily intake. Although they are not a rich source of choline, potatoes have other great benefits in your diet like a high amount of vitamin C (27%), lots of dietary fiber (5%) and a low amount of calories.

In addition, they contain good amounts of potassium, iron and magnesium. A 100g serving also provides about half your recommended intake for vitamin B6, copper and manganese.

14 Kidney beans

Kidney beans are a very versatile food, and can be used to make chili, stews, or dips such as hummus. When they are made into chili they not only provide you with a good amount of choline but also lots of vitamin C to help increase your immune system. Be sure to soak your beans overnight before cooking them to reduce gas production by up to 50%.

15 Quinoa

One cup of cooked quinoa contains 27.2 milligrams of choline, according to USDA figures. That’s roughly one-quarter of your daily recommended intake, making it a good source. Cooked brown rice is also an excellent source at just over 20 milligrams per cup. A 4-ounce serving of sirloin has 14 milligrams while 3 ounces of salmon has 18 milligrams and two hard-boiled eggs have 24 milligrams, putting them in the high-choline category as well.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Choline?

Some research has shown that choline can help reduce body fat and lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It may also improve memory and protect against Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, many countries have recently introduced dietary recommendations for choline in an effort to prevent conditions like fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), hypertension, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cognitive decline, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, birth defects and preeclampsia. In other words: consuming foods that are rich in choline could potentially improve your overall health…

May Improve Brain Function
Also, it is important to remember that a lot of people don’t realize just how important choline is to brain function. In fact, a deficiency in choline has been linked to numerous neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s. As our population ages, many people are looking for natural ways to improve their memory and reduce cognitive decline later in life. Luckily, there are many foods that have significant amounts of choline – so if you are wanting an alternative way to sharpen your mind as you age, it may be time to start eating choline rich foods.

May Support Heart Health
Choline, which is found in lecithin (the phospholipid that is a component of cell membranes), is important for regulating lipid metabolism. It has been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels, improve blood vessel elasticity, support healthy nerve development and help control blood pressure. It may also play a role in reducing inflammation throughout your body. Although more research needs to be done on humans to prove these effects, taking choline supplements in addition to eating foods high in choline may help support heart health—and your overall health as well.

Effects Of Choline Deficiency

Choline is an essential nutrient that is needed to form cellular membranes. It also plays a critical role in liver function, neurotransmitter synthesis, and gene regulation. A deficiency of choline can have devastating effects on your overall health, including potentially leading to liver failure or damage as well as neurological issues. Many of these symptoms may not be noticeable right away; chronic deficiencies could lead to future problems down the road. In other words, it’s important to make sure you are getting enough choline!

How Much Choline Does A Human Body Need?

Before you look at those choline rich foods, you should know how much choline your body needs. The standard daily recommendation for choline is 425 mg. For men and women who are healthy and aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s a great idea to aim for that amount in each day. If you’re eating a varied diet full of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds then chances are you’re getting plenty of choline without even trying. You can also get choline from supplement form but I would recommend against taking more than 425 mg per day because if not enough B12 is in your system then it could turn into homocysteine which could be bad for your health.


You’ll find foods high in choline throughout nature, but some particularly rich sources include organ meats like liver, eggs, poultry and fish. However, even though it is found naturally in many of our favorite foods , choline can also be synthesized in a lab. As you can see from these top 15 list of choline-rich foods above, eating enough of these nutritious superfoods will ensure that you meet your daily recommended intake for such an important nutrient. To boost your potential benefits even further, add more of them to your diet on a regular basis. Since there are no negatives associated with consuming too much choline on a daily basis , you don’t have to worry about consuming too much!

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