By Dr. Brenda Fairchild
When feeding our bodies in pregnancy, choline is not usually at the top of our lists. We are usually more concerned about a clean diet, taking the right prenatal, drinking enough water, and making sure we get plenty of sleep. So, what exactly is choline? Choline is considered an essential nutrient, which means your body needs to have enough to function normally. One of the most important things is to help our B12 and folate absorb in our body. So this is something that’s very important during pregnancy. It helps with maintaining our cell walls, which can help ward off neural tube defects.
Choline is important for brain and muscle development, helps out the nervous system to function (of course along with regular chiropractic adjustments), and aids metabolism by helping to maintain a healthy liver by lowering cholesterol. Choline is needed to help produce Acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter, which can help with stabilizing your mood to help with balancing anxiety and depression. It can also help with regulating heart rate and breathing especially those with asthma. In other words, it’s important!
During pregnancy, moms tend to be low in choline, more than likely to the fact babies are needing more for development. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the recommended dosage during pregnancy is 450mg per day. Breastfeeding moms need around 550mg per day.
Best sources for obtaining choline:
- Beef Liver has the highest source
- Beef and chicken
- Seafood such as Cod, salmon, scallops
- Wheat Germ
- Spinach and Brussel Sprouts
If you are a vegetarian, you may have to supplement just like you have to with B12 to make sure you maintain your daily amount. What you should notice with getting the right amount of choline:
- Better bowels— helps the slow liver to detox
- Thinking clearer
- May lose some weight
- Helps decrease pregnancy complications