Make Sure to Get Enough Choline in Your Diet for a Healthy Pregnancy
Give your baby a good start in life by making sure you receive adequate amounts of choline during your pregnancy. Choline is a nutrient that is crucial for proper development of your baby’s spinal column and healthy brain function; it also helps to prevent conditions such as spina bifida. Studies have found that most women are unfamiliar with choline and its nutritional value for their unborn child. Adding choline to your diet may also reduce your child’s chances of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. Choline not only helps to improve the cognitive function of your unborn child, it improves yours too.
A 12-week study at Cornell University found that when pregnant women consumed 930 milligrams of choline a day, they had a 33% reduction in the cortisol level of their unborn children over women who consumed 430 milligrams a day. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can be potentially harmful to the body when produced in excess. This study showed that increased choline in a pregnant woman’s diet may prevent some of the stress related effects pregnancy can have on your unborn child, which can later cause certain types of diseases. This study utilized twice the recommended daily allowance of choline which is 450 milligrams a day.
Choline keeps your memory strong during pregnancy
Choline is not only beneficial for your unborn child during pregnancy, it is vitally important for your brain too. It has been found that your brain cells actually shrink during pregnancy by the third trimester, making you very forgetful and a little absent-minded. The good news is that the cells get back to normal after you deliver your baby. The addition of choline in your diet during pregnancy helps to keep your brain functioning at an optimal level because it is a building block for acetylcholine, a natural memory chemical formed by your brain.
Which foods contain choline?
Choline is contained in foods such as chicken, beef, eggs yolks, liver and cauliflower. It is also contained in soybeans, milk and wheat germ. Choose healthy snacks during pregnancy that naturally contain choline and make sure to supplement your diet with prenatal multivitamins that contain choline.
University of Rochester Medical Center, http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3617
Cornell University, http://www.pressoffice.cornell.edu/releases/release.cfm?r=65568&y=2012&m=