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Nourishing Your Body with Natural Choline

Posted by: Trevor

May 31, 2020

Almost half of our customers buy food from us because they are addressing personal health issues. It is amazing for us to talk to each one of you. We love to hear about your health journeys, and the things that have helped you.

One nutrient we are hearing more about lately is choline. Choline is essential to our health, and particularly our brain (and liver) health. It is an essential nutrient, and because we can't manufacture enough of it in our bodies, we need to get it from our food.

A study known as the "Framingham Heart Study Offspring Study" led to research showing that higher choline intake was related to improved cognitive performance: people who consumed more choline had better memory and cognitive ability. Further, their MRI scans showed that higher choline consumption in the past was associated with healthier brain tissue in the present.

According to Swedish researchers, adolescents with the highest plasma choline levels achieved higher grades than those with lower levels of choline.

And researchers at Harvard determined that higher levels of dietary choline during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy were associated with better performance on visual memory tasks when the resulting children were seven years old (!)

It has even been shown that choline can play a significant role in mental health, with low choline levels being associated with higher levels of anxiety.

Choline is also essential for keeping our livers functioning. People who are low in choline can develop liver damage, according to scientists.

But the troubling thing is this: studies demonstrate that people are not getting enough choline in their diets, and are not even getting the daily adequate intake (AI). Researchers determined that only 8% of adults studied were getting their daily choline AI. Even more troubling is that pregnant women are often not getting enough choline in their diets, prompting the American Medical Association to recently support an increase of choline in prenatal vitamins to 450 mg/day.

Our certified organic, soy-free chicken eggs

The situation is serious enough that an opinion piece recently appeared in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Nutrition, Prevention and Health entitled "Could we be overlooking a potential choline crisis in the United Kingdom?" by Dr Emma Derbyshire.

But the difficulty is this: getting enough choline in your diet can be challenging. According to researchers, "it is extremely difficult to achieve the AI for choline without consuming eggs or taking a dietary supplement" (Usual Choline Intakes Are Associated with Egg and Protein Food Consumption in the United States link here). This is especially important for our vegan and vegetarian friends to remember, as it can be more difficult to get choline from non-animal sources.

Egg yolks are one of the very best sources of choline. An egg typically contains about 125 mg of choline, which is about a quarter of the daily requirement. Beef liver is also an exceptional source of choline, containing about 350 mg of choline in a 3 ounce serving.

But, as is always the case with animal products, it is important to consider the source. For us, organic certification is crucial. So is humane certification. We want to be sure that the animal has been raised naturally and ethically, free from contaminants, and as pristinely as possible.

Eggs are a great example of "you are what you eat". It has been shown that when chickens are fed soy, soy isoflavone is transferred into the yolk. This is one of many reasons our layer chickens are 100% soy-free. We are, to our knowledge, the only 100% soy-free certified organic and certified humane egg producer in the lower mainland of British Columbia.

Beef liver is also a food that is important to keep as pure as possible. The liver's job is to filter blood, and also detoxify the body. The cleaner the cow's diet, and the more natural it is (grass-only), the better. Beef liver from an organic grass-only cow is unique in its flavor, texture, and nutrient profile.

If you are thinking about adding more eggs or beef liver to your diet, remember to always choose an organic, soy-free, pastured and humane source.

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