Choline Foods - List

Soybean Lecithin Oil
350 mg
Soy based Protein Powder
312.9 mg
Chocolate Powder, no sugar added
266.9 mg
Shiitake Mushrooms, dried
201.7 mg
Soy Protein Isolate
190.9 mg
Meatless Bacon
134.8 mg
Soybeans, roasted in oil + salted
124.3 mg
Mustard Seed, ground
122.7 mg
Celery Flakes, dried
122.3 mg
115.9 mg
Peanut Flour, defatted
108.7 mg
Meatless Luncheon Slices
105.3 mg
Tomatoes, sun-dried
104.6 mg
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans / Bengal Gram)
99.3 mg
Mung Beans
97.9 mg
Parsley, dried
97.1 mg
Coriander Leaves, dried
97.1 mg
Lima Beans
96.7 mg
96.4 mg
Broadbeans (Fava Beans)
95.8 mg
94.7 mg
Cellophane Noodles
93.2 mg
Meatless Meatballs
88.4 mg
Navy Beans
87.4 mg
Vegan Fillets
82 mg
78.7 mg
Wheat Bran
74.4 mg
Vegan Meatloaf / Patties
73.1 mg
72.2 mg
Pistachio Nuts, roasted + salted
71.4 mg
Pistachio Nuts, roasted
71.4 mg
70.2 mg
Amaranth Grain
69.8 mg
Meatless Sausage
69.7 mg
Garlic Powder
67.5 mg
Pink Beans
67.2 mg
Chili Powder
66.5 mg
Black Beans
66.4 mg
Pinto Beans
66.2 mg
White Beans
66.2 mg

Choline is an essential nutrient compound that belongs to the micronutrients. It is often referred to as a vitamin-like substance because it has similar effects or functions to some B vitamins. Although choline is not classified as a vitamin, it is still considered essential because the body can only synthesize limited amounts of it from methionine itself (⇒ methionine foods). The endogenous synthesis of choline from methionine may not be sufficient to meet the demand. Therefore, adequate intake through diet is necessary. The table above shows vegan choline-rich foods.

The vitamin-like substance is crucial for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is important for muscle contraction, memory, and neural development. This is significant for signal transmission in the nervous system. It supports smooth communication between nerve cells and contributes to brain health.

By the way, choline also serves as a precursor for the formation of phospholipids such as phosphatidylcholine, which are essential components of cell membranes. Sufficient intake of choline is therefore essential to ensure the integrity (stability and intactness) as well as functionality of cell membranes.

Choline is involved in the methionine metabolic pathway, in which homocysteine is converted to methionine. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced as a byproduct of methionine metabolism. Elevated homocysteine levels in the blood are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Who has higher requirements?

A balanced diet that is rich in choline-containing foods is typically sufficient to meet the choline needs of most people. The following groups of individuals may have an increased need:

  • Pregnant and lactating women require more choline as it is important for the development of the fetal brain and nervous system or the nursing baby. Therefore, it is recommended to increase choline intake during these phases.
  • Intense physical activity and exercise can increase the demand for choline as it is needed by the body for muscle contraction and recovery after training.
  • With age, the body's ability to synthesize choline may decrease. Older adults may therefore have an increased need for choline to support brain function and fat metabolism.
  • Liver disease, kidney disease, or chronic inflammation can increase the demand for choline. In such cases, it is important to seek the advice of a doctor or nutritionist.
  • Methylating nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin B9 (folate - folic acid), and vitamin B6 are involved in the metabolic processing of choline. These nutrients support the conversion and utilization of choline in the body. Individuals who have an increased consumption of these nutrients due to their diet or other reasons may also need more choline. ⇒ Vitamin B12 foods, ⇒ Vitamin B9 foods, and Vitamin B6 foods
  • Since choline-rich foods are predominantly of animal origin, it may be slightly more challenging for vegetarians and vegans to obtain sufficient amounts of choline through their diet. It is important to focus on a varied and balanced diet including choline-rich foods.

Betaines found in food can reduce the need for choline. Although betaines cannot be directly converted into choline, they can serve as donors of methyl groups. Methyl groups are important for chemical reactions in the body. By providing methyl groups, betaines can help reduce the demand. Spinach, beets, quinoa, amaranth, and whole-grain rye bread are among the betaine foods.

Choline Foods / Sources

We have compiled a list of numerous plant-based foods that have higher choline content in their respective food groups:

  • Legumes are an excellent source of plant-based choline. Choline-rich legumes include soybeans, peanuts, chickpeas, mung beans, black beans, lentils, kidney beans, white beans, and lima beans. They are also very good sources of plant protein and fiber.
  • Nuts and seeds also provide a high amount of choline. According to the table, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pistachios contain a significant amount of choline.
  • Cereals and cereal products such as oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, barley, amaranth, wheat bran, rye, teff, and corn also have higher choline content. Use this table for other choline-containing cereals.
  • Choline-rich vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, beets, romanesco, Jerusalem artichoke, parsnips, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, red cabbage, and asparagus.
  • Mushrooms can also be a good source of choline. Shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms contain higher amounts.
  • Fruits do not contain a high amount of choline. Avocados, mulberries, raspberries, mandarins, blackberries, kumquats, and kiwis are better sources in this group. Dried fruits can be a supplement to a choline-rich diet. According to the table, dried apples, pears, bananas, and dried coconut meat offer moderate amounts of choline.

Choline is a water-soluble compound. Choline-rich foods should not be stored in water or liquids for extended periods to prevent choline from being flushed out. To maximize the bioavailability of choline, choline-containing foods should be freshly prepared and not excessively cooked or heated.

Vegan Choline Diet

The following list provides some vegan recipe ideas that include choline-rich foods for you to try:

  • Tofu scramble: Replace traditional scrambled eggs with tofu scramble by sautéing diced tofu with your choice of vegetables and seasoning it with turmeric and black salt.
  • Lentil soup: Prepare a hearty lentil soup using red or green lentils, onions, carrots, and your preferred spices.
  • Quinoa salad: Mix cooked quinoa with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing salad.
  • Fried soy products: Fry soy granules, tofu, or tempeh with your choice of spices and serve it with vegetables and rice.
  • Mushroom stew: Cook mushrooms in a rich sauce made from vegetable broth, onions, garlic, and spices.
  • Whole wheat pasta with avocado pesto: Blend ripe avocado with basil, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil, and mix it with cooked whole wheat pasta.
  • Spinach smoothie: Blend fresh spinach with a banana, almond milk, and a spoonful of peanut butter.
  • Quinoa burger: Combine cooked quinoa with oats, kidney beans, onions, and spices, shape into patties, and fry them in a pan.
  • Bean salad: Mix different types of beans like kidney beans, chickpeas, and black beans with onions, bell peppers, parsley, and a dressing of your choice.
  • Broccoli nut salad: Combine cooked broccoli with chopped nuts (such as walnuts or almonds), cranberries, and a lemon dressing.
  • Chickpea curry: Cook chickpeas with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a blend of spices.
  • Sautéed seitan: Sauté marinated seitan with your choice of vegetables in a pan and serve it with rice or quinoa.
  • Avocado toast: Spread ripe avocado on whole wheat bread and garnish it with tomato slices, salt, and pepper.
  • Coconut chia pudding: Mix chia seeds with coconut milk and let it thicken into a creamy pudding overnight in the refrigerator. Serve it with fresh fruit.