Top 10 Foods Highest in Choline

Photo of Daisy Whitbread Written by Daisy Whitbread
BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
Photo of Dr. Patricia Shelton Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Patricia Shelton
Evidence Based. References sourced from PubMed.
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Top 10 Foods Highest in Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient necessary for a wide range of functions including cellular maintenance, liver function, creating neurotransmitters, and regulating homocysteine metabolism. (1,2)

Due to its role in brain development in the early stages of life, adequate choline levels are particularly essential for pregnant women. (3,4)

While rare, a deficiency in choline often causes an increase in the levels of certain liver enzymes in the blood, which indicates liver damage. Besides the liver, the heart and nervous system are also affected by choline deficiency. (2)

While more research needs to be conducted, preliminary studies suggest that the health benefits of adequate choline intake include a reduced risk of dementia and cancer. (1,5,6)

Note: As with many nutrients, more choline is not always better, and it's possible to get too much. The tolerable upper limits are 1000mg per day for children, 2000mg for teenagers, and 3500mg for adults. (3)

High choline foods include lean chicken, fish, lean pork, eggs, beef, shrimp, beans, low-fat milk, broccoli, and green peas. The daily value (DV) for choline is 550mg per day. (7)

Below is a list of common foods high in choline. For more see the extended list of choline rich foods, and the complete ranking of 200 foods high in choline.

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Printable list of high choline foods including lean chicken, fish, lean pork, eggs, beef, shrimp, beans, low-fat milk, broccoli, and green peas.

More Choline Rich Foods

1. Whey Protein Isolate per 3 scoops (3oz) 35% DV
2. Roasted Lean Buffalo per 3oz serving 18% DV
3. Shiitake Mushrooms per cup cooked 10% DV
4. Toasted Wheat Germ per oz 9% DV
5. Cauliflower per cup cooked 9% DV
6. Fish Roe (Ikura, Caviar) per tblsp 9% DV
7. Oyster Mushrooms per cup cooked 8% DV
8. Pickled Beets per cup 6% DV
9. Sweet Corn per cup cooked 6% DV
10. Flax Seeds per oz 4% DV

Choline Requirements By Age and Gender

The adequate intake (AI) for choline ranges from 125mg to 550mg per day. The daily value for choline is 550mg per day. (7)

Life StageAI
0-6 months old125mg
7-12 months old150mg
1-3 years old200mg
4-8 years old250mg
9-13 years old375mg
14-18 years old550mg
19-50 years old550mg
50+ years old550mg
9-13 years old375mg
14-18 years old400mg
19-50 years old425mg
50+ years old425mg
14-18 years old450mg
18+ years old450mg
14-18 years old550mg
18+ years old550mg
Source: Dietary Reference Intakes for Choline.

Use the ranking tool links below to select foods and create your own food list to share or print.

View more nutrients with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. [Importance of choline in cognitive function]
  2. Choline: an essential nutrient for public health
  3. Choline: critical role during fetal development and dietary requirements in adults
  4. Choline, Neurological Development and Brain Function: A Systematic Review Focusing on the First 1000 Days
  5. Is dietary choline intake related to dementia and Alzheimer's disease risks? Results from the Framingham Heart Study
  6. Choline and betaine consumption lowers cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies
  7. U.S.FDA - Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels
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