Nutrient Spotlight: Choline and Plant-Based Pregnancy

Getting Enough Choline During Your Plant-Based Pregnancy

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Choline is an essential nutrient we all need in every day, but it becomes especially important during pregnancy because it plays a key role in brain and nervous system development. Choline is found in the highest quantities in eggs, meats, such as poultry and fish, as well as dairy. So what’s a plant-based mom-to-be supposed to do?


How Much Choline Do You Need?

If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, choline is one of the important nutrients you want to keep in mind and ensure you get sufficient quantities of. How much exactly? 425 milligrams per day for an adult woman, 450 milligrams during pregnancy, and 550 when breastfeeding.

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Plant-Based Sources of Choline

While animal products are the highest sources of choline, you can find choline in a variety of plant-based foods, including:

  • asparagus

  • cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, swiss chard

  • mushrooms

  • peanuts

  • quinoa

  • soy products: soy milk, tofu, tempeh

  • spinach

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Should You Supplement?

Yes. While the foods mentioned above are good sources of choline, I would recommend supplementing with choline. To do that, opt for a high quality prenatal multivitamin containing adequate choline to ensure you meet your needs every day. If the prenatal multivitamin you are currently taking does not contain choline, consider a choline supplement in addition to your multi.

Be sure to speak to your practitioner or nutritionist to ensure all of your nutrient needs are being met in the lead up to conception, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, as well.

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