How Can Choline Boost Women’s Health During And After Pregnancy? : Choline may be big on the health scene, but it wasn’t identified as a required nutrient until 1998. Today, it is considered crucial for the health and fitness of both women and men. This water-soluble compound isn’t a vitamin or mineral, but it is key for various physiological processes – from nervous system function to fat transport and metabolism.
It is produced in tiny amounts in the liver, but is actually sourced in the most part from the food you eat, although it can also be taken as a supplement. Top sources of choline include egg yolks, fish, lean red meat, chicken, nuts, legumes, broccoli and cauliflower. In what way is choline important to pregnant women’s health in particular?
Choline During Pregnancy
Consuming enough choline during pregnancy can result in big cognitive benefits for offspring, according to a 2018 study by researchers at Cornell University. The findings were key because although choline is key during pregnancy, most women take less than the required 450 mg per day. The researchers stated that sometimes women avoid choline-rich foods because of health concerns (including, for instance, the danger of raw egg during pregnancy).
By choosing items which are safe and choline rich, however (including cruciferous vegetables and hard boiled eggs), women can ensure they reach their daily targets during pregnancy. To give you an idea of amounts, one large egg yolk contains 28% of a pregnant woman’s daily choline needs.
Choline Can Prevent Brain Development Problems In Babies
A March 2019 study by scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus found that choline can help prevent fetal brain developmental problems, which can arise from prenatal maternal infections like the cold or flu. It can sometimes be impossible to avoid colds during pregnancy, even if mothers have been vaccinated.
However, as noted by researchers, battling a cold and flu can double the risk of issues related to brain development. Consuming higher levels of choline, however, can boost a newborn’s ability to control impulses by 27%. As they grow, they also display better attention, the ability to play quietly, and interest in giving and receiving affection from their parents.
Choline Can Help Mothers Maintain A Healthy Weight
Women who start out underweight should put on between 28 and 40 pounds, while those who are overweight should not gain more than 25. Many women can struggle to stay within a healthy weight gain range during pregnancy, though choline can help lower fat levels in a unique way, since choline is considered lipotropic. That is, it has the ability to aid in fat burning. When it is combined with other fat burners and B-vitamins, it is known to aid in converting fat into fuel and reducing fat tissue throughout the body. Therefore, pregnant women can not only aid their babies with issues such as memory and focus, but also work on their own bodies by embracing choline-rich foods as part of their daily diet, or looking to supplements and injections to boost their intake.
Choline Can Help Women Feel Energetic And Stay Active During Pregnancy
The symptoms of low choline levels include having low energy levels and fatigue. Especially during the first trimester, pregnant women can feel particularly tired. However, staying fit and sticking to an appropriate workout routine is key throughout pregnancy. Ensuring you consume between 450mg and 550mg of choline will help you feel the surge of energy you need to go for a daily brisk walk, run or other routine that is approved by your doctor.
Various studies have shown that choline is key for optimal brain development in foetuses. The good news is that you can easily and cheaply source this nutrient from a wide array of foods, including chickpeas, split peas, grass-fed beef, salmon and turkey. Consult a nutritional table to ensure you keep your consumption at a minimum of 450mg per day. This will also help you feel vital, and ready to take on your favorite workout on a daily basis.
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