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Choline is a water-soluble nutrient essential to the human diet. Sources of choline include meat, milk, eggs, legumes and some vegetables. Choline is grouped with the B vitamins although it is not technically a vitamin. Choline and its metabolites are necessary for cell membrane structure, cell signaling, nerve impulse transmission and fat transportation and metabolism. Vegetarians who do not consume milk or eggs need to consume a variety of vegetables high in choline in order to avoid a deficiency.
Your body is capable of synthesizing a small amount of choline, however in order to maintain health you need choline in your diet as well. The Institute of Medicine recommends men consume 550 mg of choline daily and women consume 425 mg. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, choline deficiency is associated with increased risk of heart disease, cancer and pregnancy complications 1.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable loaded with many essential nutrients including choline. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 g of chopped spinach contains 24.8 mg of choline 2. Spinach also provides dietary fiber, beta carotene and iron.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable high in choline and other essential vitamins. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 g of cooked broccoli has 40.1 mg of choline 2. Other nutrients in broccoli include folate, vitamin C and beta carotene.
Brussel sprouts are relatives of broccoli and are another source of choline. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 g of cooked brussel sprouts contains 40.6 mg of choline 2. Other essential vitamins in brussel sprouts include vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K.
Tomato paste is concentrated tomato solids with seeds and skins removed. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, tomato paste provides 38.5 mg of choline per 100 g. Tomato paste also provides beta carotene, niacin, vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene 2.
Green peas and other legumes are good sources of choline. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 g of cooked green peas contains 27.5 mg of choline 2. Peas also provide dietary fiber, calcium and phosphorus.
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