A news story about one of the least well known nutrients was in the Washington Post this week and unfortunately Americans are not getting enough of it from food and this nutrient is rarely added to vitamin/mineral supplements: Choline.
Why is there interest?
The Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition cites the benefits of choline for athletes including facilitating muscle recovery and possibly for increasing endurance. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM, formerly the Institute of Medicine) cited findings from a 1992 study that showed a modest impact on performance in endurance athletes (marathoners) with supplemental choline, but little research on this nutrient has been conducted.
The NAM established an adequate intake (AI) for choline of 550 mg a day (men), 425 (women) and a modest increase to 450 mg/day for pregnant and 550 mg/day for lactating women. Adequate intakes are established when there is insufficient evidence to develop an RDA (recommended dietary allowance).
Choline is just one nutrient, among many in foods, that may be needed for health and for athletic performance, so be sure to include these foods, spices, and herbs regularly in your intake:
- Eggs (whole eggs, choline is in the yolk)
- Beef, lamb, chicken, duck, pork, fish, and shellfish
- Lentils, split peas, chickpeas, tofu, soybeans, quinoa, pistachios, peanuts
- Lima beans, shitake mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, sun-dried tomatoes
- Mustard seed, cilantro, parsley, garlic powder, chili powder
Happy and healthful eating,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN
Questions about eating during the holidays? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.