The Best Vegan Food Sources of Choline [Chart + Table]

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Choline is an essential nutrient that vegans can have trouble getting.

The absolute best sources of choline are animal products (meat, fish, dairy, etc.).

To help fellow vegans out, I compiled a list of the best vegan food sources of choline.

Keep in mind that if you buy any packaged foods like cereal, they may be fortified with choline as well.

Before we get to the list, how much choline do you need a day?

According to the NIH, adult men need 550 mg per day, while adult women need at least 425 mg.

The Best Vegan Food Sources of Choline

You’ll notice that no one serving of any food will get you past the RDA. You’re going to have to combine multiple foods on a regular basis.

FoodCholine (mg) per 100 gramsCholine (mg) per 100 calories
Flaxseed78.614.7
Seaweed (dried)65.723.0
Cashew61.010.6
Pine nuts55.98.3
Buckwheat groats54.215.7
Peanuts52.59.3
Almonds52.09.0
Hazelnut45.67.3
Navy beans44.731.9
Cauliflower44.3175.6
Lima beans44.135.9
Chickpeas42.826.1
Brussels sprouts40.6113.0
Pecans40.45.8
Walnut39.16.0
Cowpeas32.933.9
Lentils32.728.1
Black beans32.624.7
Wheat flour (whole-grain)31.29.4
Fava bean30.627.8
Kidney beans30.524.0
Rye grain30.49.0
Ginger30.030.0
Mung bean29.428.0
Brazil nut28.94.4
Peas28.435.2
Asparagus26.2120.8
Sesame seeds25.64.5
Cassava23.714.8
Garlic23.317.5
Corn23.026.7
Quinoa23.019.1
Spinach19.384.1
Broccoli18.754.8
Rapini18.382.9
Swiss chard18.094.9
Green bean15.349.4
Avocado14.28.5
Plantain13.511.1
Barley13.410.9
Okra12.337.7
Sweet potato12.314.3
Raspberry12.123.0
Coconut meat12.13.4
Lettuce (red leaf)11.891.0
White potato11.015.9
Cabbage10.743.2
Tangerine10.219.1
Olive10.08.4
Date9.93.6
Banana9.811.0
Leek9.615.7
Zucchini9.555.8
Watercress8.873.3
Carrot8.821.0
Blackberry8.519.7
Orange8.418.4
Cantaloupe7.622.3
Guava7.611.4
Melon7.621.1
Mango7.612.6
Lychee7.110.6
Eggplant6.927.6
Tomato6.737.0
Squash6.741.5
Radish6.740.0
Bok choy6.450.0
Beets6.314.3
Nectarine6.214.1
Peach6.115.9
Onion6.115.3
Celery6.143.3
Cherry6.19.7
Cucumber6.039.1
Strawberry5.717.9
Red bell pepper5.621.4
Grapes5.57.9
Cranberry5.512.0
Green bell pepper5.527.3
Pineapple5.511.0
Lemon5.217.6
Pear5.19.0
Lime5.117.0
Fig4.76.3
Apple3.46.6
Apricot2.85.8
Rice2.11.6
Plum2.04.3
Chestnut1.50.6
Mustard greens0.52.0
Kale0.51.3
There are 3 main types of vegan foods high in choline:
  • Overall, legumes are amazing sources of choline. Just about every type of bean and lentil is near the top of the list.
  • There’s also quite a few vegetables like spinach, chard, and brussel sprouts.
  • Specific types of grain (buckwheat and rye) also have a large amount of choline.

The Best OVERALL Choline Sources for Vegans

There’s one last way we can look at choline sources, by comparing the amount of choline per serving and per 100 calories at the same time.

Below is a bubble chart that does this. The best sources should rank well on both axis, meaning the very best ones will be close to the top-right of the chart.

Click the chart to see the full-sized version.

best choline sources overall bubble chartNone hit that top-right corner.

In terms of overall balance, brussel sprouts and spinach come the closest and are the best “overall” sources of choline.

Other than that, we see the other foods that topped the 2 main lists we looked at above:

  • Cauliflower
  • Swiss chard
  • Lima beans
  • Navy beans

Stick to these if you’re trying to get the most choline possible, with the least amount of servings and calories.

What is Choline Used For?

While choline technically can be made in the body, it can only be made in very small amounts. The majority of your choline must come from foods.

A significant deficit in choline can lead to liver and muscle damage, and an increase of an amino acid called homocysteine. Homocysteine is associated with heart disease, heart attacks, and more.

In short, it’s pretty important that you get enough choline from your diet on a regular basis.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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