6 Choline Rich Foods to Support Your Pregnancy and Fertility

Want to know how to boost your fertility diet?

Then you need to learn about Choline! Choline is just as important in helping to prevent neural tube defects as the well known vitamin folate, but unfortunately it’s not as well known or spoken about. ⁠If you’re looking for some choline rich foods for fertility, then read on! 

Choline also plays an important role in:⁠

  1. Supporting the transfer of nutrients across the placenta⁠ to ensure your baby receives the nutrients it needs
  2. Fetal brain development⁠
  3. May assist in reducing the chances of your baby developing chronic diseases later in life ⁠

What’s the data?

The research that has been done over the past 20 years, outlines very clearly the benefits of choline when it comes to both overall health during pregnancy and the development of our babies brain.

Studies on animal models have shown that Choline plays a key role in enhancing brain function and also serves to protect the brain and its various elements as it develops. 

Choline for fetal brain development

Human studies on the other hand have shown that taking Choline in doses higher than what is currently recommended by various health bodies, has multiple benefits, including:

  • Enhancing the function of the placenta
  • May reduce the risk of preeclampsia 
  • Improves brain development in the infant 
  • Boosts reaction times in the infant
  • Enhances an infants visual memory

Why haven’t you heard of Choline before?

Unfortunately as the research around Choline is relatively new in scientific terms (by this I mean the research has only really been looking into this topic for the past 20 years), and it’s not a well known supplement when it comes to fertility (well outside of the dietetic community anyway!).

The evidence while not well known, is really promising and it is well worth aiming to include more sources of choline in your diet if you are trying to conceive or pregnant.

So where do you find Choline?

Choline is found in the highest amounts in animal products. ⁠

choline rich foods for pregnancy

Top Choline Rich Foods for Fertility:⁠

  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Dairy products
  • Soybeans

Like many other nutrients, our choline needs increase dramatically during pregnancy with some studies suggesting that our choline needs may be almost double what is currently recommended by the guidelines.

Should I supplement Choline?

Unfortunately many of us don’t currently get our choline needs from food alone, and in these cases a supplement may be of benefit to support a healthy pregnancy. Not all prenatal supplements contain Choline, and some also don’t contain enough to provide you with all the benefits. Some of my favorite prenatals that include adequate choline are FullWell Prenatal and Needed.

If you’re already taking a prenatal that doesn’t have choline, consider supplementing or assessing your diet to see if you meet the choline requirements for adequate fertility and pregnancy. You can find more fertility supportive supplements in my fertility dispensary here. Remember, it’s important to ensure that you work with a professional when selecting the right prenatal supplements for you!


Looking for More Support? 

gut health and fertility, functional nutrition, anabelle clebaner

Looking for more 1-on-1 support on your fertility journey? Apply for a free 20 minute strategy call today. I can help you regulate your cycles, ovulate, and have a healthy pregnancy using my proven functional nutrition method. I look forward to speaking with you! 

 

References: 

  1. Blusztajn, Jan Krzysztof, and Tiffany J. Mellott. “Neuroprotective actions of perinatal choline nutrition.” Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine 3 (2013): 591-599.
  2. Kwan, Sze Ting Cecilia, et al. “Maternal choline supplementation during pregnancy improves placental vascularization and modulates placental nutrient supply in a sexually dimorphic manner.” Placenta 45 (2016): 130. ; Jiang, Xinyin, et al. “A higher maternal choline intake among third-trimester pregnant women lowers placental and circulating
  3. Boeke, Caroline E., et al. “Choline intake during pregnancy and child cognition at age 7 years.” American journal of epidemiology 12 (2012): 1338-1347.
  4. What Is Choline? An Essential Nutrient With Many Benefits (healthline.com)

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