What is your first reaction when you hear the word “fat”? Is it: “No…stay 100 feet away from it” – as you find fat as unfriendly, causing you to gain weight? However, not all fats are your foe.
Have you heard of lecithin? It’s a combination of fatty acids – the friendly fat – present naturally in your body’s tissue. However, why are they essential for you?
Lecithin is the primary source of choline in your body – a nutrient similar to vitamin B that benefits you immensely.
People use lecithin supplements to manage several health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, high cholesterol, etc.
However, what can I use instead of lecithin supplements? You can find lecithin in several plant and animal-based sources – soybeans, sunflower, eggs, etc.
What Is Lecithin?
Lecithin is the friendly fat of your body. It’s a mixture of fatty acids essential in constructing your body’s cells.
A necessary element of the cell membrane, lecithin plays a crucial role in maintaining the structural strength of the cells, transporting fat molecules, and transferring signals.
Lecithin turns into acetylcholine that transmits nerve impulses. It also works as a significant energy source for cellular mechanisms.
Lecithin is produced in all animal cells and plant cells, containing glycerol and two fatty acids – phosphate and choline.
In diet, it plays the part of the primary provider of choline, a nutrient similar to vitamin B, offering numerous health benefits.
Organ meats, red meat, seafood, eggs, legumes, plant-based oil are excellent sources of lecithin. However, lecithin supplements are also available that doctors suggest helping treat several health issues.
Why Do You Need Lecithin?
Lecithin is a healthy fat that manages several health issues. It works as an emulsifier, suspending and preventing fats and oils from mixing with other substances.
Lecithin is the alternative medicine doctors usually prescribe to treat liver disease. However, lecithin helps manage several other issues that include-
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Liver disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Head injury
- High cholesterol
- Certain types of depression
- Eye illness
- Age-related memory loss
How Does Lecithin Work?
Lecithin medication primarily helps treat liver disease and nutritional deficiencies.
The medicine mixes a fatty substance that one derives from plants and animals – sunflower seeds, eggs, soybeans, fish, corn, etc.
In addition, the mixture contains phosphatidylcholine that converts into acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essential for your body to transmit nerve impulses.
Lecithin’s are available in capsule form; however, you can buy lecithin in powder and liquid form. Taking lecithin travels to various body parts and metabolizes into glycerol, choline, and phosphate.
However, before you start taking lecithin, consult your doctor and follow the instructions.
Most importantly, do not use different formulations of lecithin as it may cause severe side effects.
What Can I Use Instead Of Lecithin?
Are you searching for lecithin substitutes? Yes, lecithin supplements are handy when you have no time to maintain your lecithin-packed diet. However, if you consume food rich in lecithin, lecithin supplements are not that necessary.
Many foods, including plants, animal, and processed foods, contains lecithin. However, choose foods that are organic or natural-produced.
The study suggested that plant-based foods provide more nutrients than processed foods. The reason is plant-based foods spend sufficient time with nature – sun, soil, water, absorbing all the natural nutrients.
In addition, choose the ones fed on naturally grown grasses containing less harmful substances in animal-based food.
Let’s see some foods that can be your perfect lecithin substitute.
Egg yolk is an excellent source of lecithin that can nourish you to the max. Do you know how much choline a substantial egg contains? 126 milligram!
According to The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, a male needs 550 milligrams of choline per day, and a woman needs 425 milligrams. An egg every morning indeed covers considerably.
Avocado is a nutritious-packed fruit that contains lecithin and monounsaturated fatty acid – a healthy fat less likely to heat-induced oxidation.
The benefits of avocados are numerous – a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, they keep your heart, gut, and weight healthy.
Soybeans contain several different antioxidants, a significant protein fraction, and a substantial amount of choline. After harvesting, oil, tofu, and milk are produced from soya containing the same amount of lecithin.
Soy lecithin, the familiar and popular lecithin substitute, is made from soya, which has numerous uses in the commercial and medical areas. In fact, it’s the waste product left after producing oil and tofu from soya.
Green- leafy vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables are rich in lecithin. Do you know how much choline you can get from a cup of cooked broccoli or cauliflower? – more than 60 milligrams of choline.
So, add more leafy vegetables to your diet.
The yellow queen sunflower is rich in fatty acids, mainly containing phospholipids. You can get oil, seed, and gum from the sunflower with an almost-unchanged amount of lecithin.
Sunflower also contains magnesium, potassium, and fiber that help to lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels.
Organ meats, brain, liver, and kidney, are excellent sources of lecithin. Just 3 ounces of cooked beef liver can provide 240 mg of choline.
Organ meat also contains vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, iron, B12, Selenium, etc., that effortlessly fill up the nutritional gap in your diet.
When I asked my friend, “what I can use instead of lecithin,” he replied with one word – seafood.
Salmon, tuna, cod – these three kinds of seafood are excellent choline sources. Only 85 grams of salmon can provide 187 milligrams of choline. That means 34% of your daily need.
In fact, a piece of baked salmon with roasted leafy vegetables is a perfect meal covering the maximum of your daily lecithin intake. So, why wait; start cooking.
The Side Effects Of Lecithin
Lecithin is usually safe for most. However, you may encounter some side effects that include-
- Stomach pain
- Excessive salivation
- Decreased appetite
Lecithin is a friendly fat with potential benefits in treating several health issues – liver disease, inflammation, dementia, etc. However, what can I use instead of lecithin – mainly with my diet?
Several foods contain considerable lecithin – soybean, egg yolks, leafy vegetables, seafood, etc. Maintaining the proper balance, you can get all the nutrition in one plate, nourishing your wholesome mood, metabolism, and energy.
Contact My Concierge, MD, for proper guidance about your diet, a diet full of nutrients like lecithin. The expert doctors are ready to assist you with the care and support you deserve.