Choline: The Magical Nutrient You Need to Support Your (& Your Baby’s) Brain. Plus, a Recipe You’ll Want to Make ASAP

As a postpartum doula, a huge part of my work is feeding people. It’s my favorite way to make my clients feel cared for, loved, and nourished. 

And honestly, no one needs nourishment like someone in the postpartum period! 

When you take into account the ten long months of pregnancy plus the endurance event of labor and delivery, it’s pretty clear that all of the above have taken a major toll on your body. 

The best way to start the healing and recovery process? Food. It truly is one of the most important medicines we can integrate once our nutrient stores have been greatly depleted.

While it can be tempting to give into the urge to “bounce back” after pregnancy, remember that you’re not a basketball. You’re a person who just created another person inside your own body. 

That’s incredible! Like really sit with how incredible that is.

You deserve to take it slow and to create space for self-care. And while that space can be hard to come by in the whirlwind of the newborn months, a great way to start to really care for yourself is to feed yourself lovingly. 

Love is…

  • A hot bowl of soup and a thick slice of homemade sourdough bread (with the good butter).
  • A Greek yogurt parfait with berries and your favorite granola.
  • A hearty grain bowl with roasted salmon and veggies. (This especially applies to those who are nursing — you need to eat more than you did when you were pregnant, an extra 400 or so calories per day.) 

So eat up, buttercup.

Ok, now that we are on the same page that postpartum nutrition is an integral part of your healing, what should you eat after birth? 


  • whole foods
  • lots of good fats
  • plenty of carbs for energy. 

A varied diet will ensure you get all the nutrition you need. 

And today, we’re going to focus on one powerful nutrient: Choline

Choline is similar to folic acid found in eggs, organ meats like liver, cooked cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and cauliflower), brewer’s yeast, quinoa, and almonds. Pregnancy increases the need for this nutrient, and nursing parents need it even more. 

Choline is also a key nutrient for fetal brain development and the formation of neural synapses which support healthy heart function and memory. And you know what? It supports your brain function, neural synapses, heart health, and memory too. 

While our bodies do produce some choline on our own, incorporating additional sources will ensure you get adequate amounts.  

Recipe to Try: Roasted Broccoli with Garlic, Lemon, and Parmesan Cheese from Erren’s Kitchen


4 pounds broccoli

4 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced

Good olive oil or for Keto – butter flavor coconut oil

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets.
  3. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
  5. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and Parmesan.  
  6. Enjoy hot.

NOTE: Forward this to your friends and family for your postpartum meal train. The only thing tastier than this meal, is having someone else cook it for you.

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