Why is choline so important to your pregnancy?

Choline is a key nutrient for mums to consume during pregnancy as it supports your growing baby’s brain development.i

During pregnancy, choline helps proper development of your growing baby’s brain cells and strengthens the structure of cell membranes.ii

Choline may also help protect your growing baby against neural tube defectsi, thus making it one of the important nutrients you should be taking to support the optimal fetal development.

How much choline do you and your growing baby need?

You should increase your choline intake to 550 milligrams during lactation.iii

Where can you get choline?

Here are some key sources of choline that you should include in your diet during your pregnancy to support your growing baby’s brain development:

  • Eggs (especially the yolk)
  • Meat (such as chicken, beef , and pork)
  • Fish (such as cod, salmon, and tilapia)
  • Vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower)
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Beans (such as soy beans, kidney beans, and peas)
  • Nuts (such as peanuts, pistachios, and cashews)

 

 

References:

iZeisel, S. H. (2013). Nutrition in pregnancy: the argument for including a source of choline. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639110/

iiZeisel SH (2006) Choline: Critical Role During Fetal Development and Dietary Requirements in Adults; Annu Reb Nutr; 26: 229-250

iiiCholine: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Retrieved 2 June 2017 from, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/