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More than 90 per cent of expectant mothers consume less than the recommended amount of choline, according to a new Cornell study. Choline is an essential nutrient needed for various bodily functions, including cellular growth and metabolism. Although our body makes choline, the majority comes from dietary sources. The study, recently published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, also highlighted that the recommended choline intake for expectant mothers does not fully meet the needs of the fetal brain. The researchers found that children whose mothers consumed twice the recommended amount of choline during their pregnancy performed better on a challenging task requiring sustained attention, as compared to those whose mothers had consumed the recommended choline amount. Based on this finding, they suggested adding choline to a standard prenatal vitamin regimen. Want to increase your choline intake, add these foods rich in Choline to your diet:
Earlier, study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in 2018 also revealed that consuming choline-rich foods like egg yolks and nuts, during the last trimester of pregnancy, can give a boost to the IQ of the babies.
Make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly with no trace of pink or blood. Besides choline, red meat is also good source of protein and has many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential for pregnant women.
Along with choline, some fish can be an excellent source of protein, iron and zinc — crucial nutrients for your baby's growth and development. In addition, many fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that can promote your baby's brain development.
For vegetarians, legumes are great sources of choline. Legumes also contain fiber, protein, iron, folate, and calcium — all of which are required more during pregnancy.
Nuts such as almond, cashew, pistachios or walnuts, are loaded with nutrients and thus they are highly recommended during pregnancy. They are also good sources of choline.
Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. One cup of cooked cauliflower can provide about 13 per cent of your daily choline needs.