Nutrient to Know: Choline

You probably haven't heard much about choline, but you will be amazed at the important jobs this nutrient has.

What is it?

Choline is an "essential" nutrient -- meaning you need to get it from food because the body can’t make enough of it. (I remember it this way: Essential nutrients must be Eaten.) Technically choline is not a vitamin, but the body uses just like it uses water-soluble vitamins like the B vitamins and vitamin C.

Why is it good for you?

Choline helps to form lecithin, a structural part of every cell in the body. It also plays a role in the formation of acetylcholine, a powerful chemical that sends messages throughout the nervous system. Some recent research also suggests that choline influences fetal brain development, so moms-to-be should make sure they are eating plenty of choline-rich foods.

Where can I find it?

Milk, eggs, liver, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds and wheat germ all contain choline. It's also available in supplement form and is in many multivitamins. A recent Los Angeles Times article discusses whether or not choline supplements are necessary. Eating a well-rounded diet is the best way to get your daily dose of it.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Nutrient to Know: Zeaxanthin

This antioxidant powerhouse helps to protect your vision. Are you getting enough in your diet?

Nutrient to Know: Selenium

I once learned to remember the important antioxidant vitamins and minerals with the acronym “A.C.E.S.” -- vitamins A, C, E, and the “S” is for the mineral, Selenium. Find out what makes this nutrient worth remembering.

Nutrient to Know: Quercetin

This lesser-known nutrient is becoming more mainstream. Find out if it’s plentiful in your daily diet.

Nutrient to Know: Riboflavin

It’s found in everything from dairy products to vegetables, are you making smart choices to get enough of this energy boosting B-vitamin?

Nutrient to Know: Thiamin

This water-soluble nutrient can be found in a variety of foods including some popular picnic fare. Here’s what you want to know about thiamin just in time for grilling season.

Nutrient to Know: Lutein

Every wondered what makes spinach green? Or egg yolks yellow? The answer: Lutein. This antioxidant doesn’t just add color to your groceries -- lutein has numerous health benefits for your body, inside and out.

Nutrient to Know: Anthocyanins

Berries are brimming with these antioxidants but you can also find them in veggies. Are you getting enough in your diet?

Nutrient to Know: Potassium

Your muscles just wouldn’t be the same without this mineral. Most folks know there’s potassium in bananas, but that’s not the only place you can find this powerful electrolyte.

Nutrient to Know: Iron

Without iron in our diet we’d be in big trouble, but get too much from supplements and it can be toxic. Make sure you're getting the right amount.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.