So what are some of these nootropic nutrients you need to be getting from your food?
Choline deficiency is not uncommon. If your body is low in choline you may experience insomnia, fatigue, kidney and nerve-muscle problems, as well as fat accumulation in your blood. Don’t some of these symptoms sound like reasons you would turn to nootropics? These symptoms can occur from a diet low in choline containing foods.
Choline is made of three molecules: vitamin B-3, folic acid, and the amino acid, methionine. If we are low in any of these three molecules our body will not be able to self-synthesize choline and we will start to notice many of the symptoms that cause us to turn to using nootropics. So how can we make sure to get enough choline, methionine, B-3, and folate in our diet?
When it comes to getting choline from your foods there is one thing to remember. Choline breaks down with high heat so avoiding over cooking to get the most choline from your food. The highest dietary compound containing choline is lecithin, a food additive from soybeans. The highest whole food sources are eggs, 112mg/egg, shrimp, 92mg/4oz, and collard greens, 60mg/cup cooked. The average adult female is recommended to have 425mg a day and, for males, 550mg. On the other end, toxicity symptoms of high levels of choline are common when supplementing with 5-10g a day. A suggested upper limit is set at 3.5g a day by the National Academy of Science where a risk of blood pressure lowering effect starts to show up, which may not be a risk but a benefit to some.
It would be hard to reach toxic levels by eating whole food sources of choline. Focusing on eating more foods high in choline can give you the edge that you can also receive with supplementation, without worry of hitting a toxic level . It is also important to make sure you get enough of the three molecules that make up choline. Of them, methionine does not have recommendations by the National Academy of Science. It found highest in eggs, fish, and sesame seeds .
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online for more learning opportunities or work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultations.