An ordinary chicken egg and a pregnant woman, what do they have in common? Well, they are both the same shape but more importantly they are both capable of containing everything necessary to create and sustain new life.
Just one little egg contains 13 essential nutrients, including high quality protein, folate, iron, zinc and choline. All of these nutrients would be necessary for a growing chick, they also happen to be crucial for a growing human baby.
Choline is an essential amino acid that aids fetal brain development.
Dr. Randy Fink, a Miami, Fla., OB/GYN and Fellow with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, states: "Prenatal vitamins contain lecithin, which is a partially absorbable form of choline, but it may not represent an adeq uate enough daily amount," Dr. Fink says. "Recently, more attention has been paid to choline in pregnancy, and some see it as a miracle brain drug for unborn babies; some say it "supercharges the brain" of the unborn fetus. This arises from data in laboratory animals. Pregnant rats that were given extra doses of choline had offspring that learned more efficiently and had better memory function. Those that were deprived on choline had poorer memory capacity. The changes – both for better and for worse – seemed to be lifelong."
The National Academy of Sciences recommends that pregnant women consume 450 milligrams of choine per day. Breastfeeding moms need to comsume 550 milligrams per day because human milk actually contains a substantial amount of choline.
Eggs are the most inexpensive, convenient and versatile sources of dietary choline. They also provide more choline for less calories than other high-choline foods. Eating just 2 eggs can provide 250 milligrams of choline along with many other essential nutrients. Since most of these nutrients are found in the yolk, it is important to eat the entire egg not just the egg whites. Also, when preparing breakfast for mom-to-be make sure that all eggs are cooked thoroughly because pregnant women are more susceptible to salmonella.
Unlike the nicely shell-wrapped egg a pregnant woman must continually consume the essential building blocks for the new life being created within. This means that she is able to choose which gifts to give her developing baby every time she eats. Choline can help give baby a brain boost and the best place to get it is in a delicious scrambled, boiled, poached, fried or even microwaved breakfast. Hint: for some scrumptious and simple omelet ideas check out my Be Prepared for Breakfast article also in this month’s newsletter.
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