Despite its bad reputation, this food brings great benefits to the unborn baby
Feeding during pregnancy is one of the most recurrent consultation topics for women when they are expecting their baby. Everything we eat will have a direct impact on the child that is developing and one of the star foods could be the egg, despite having a bad reputation for causing high cholesterol.
According to Mail Online, and according to recent research, pregnant women who eat up to nine eggs a day have babies with higher IQs. The key is in a nutrient that contains the yolk of the egg called choline, which is also in red meat, fish, poultry and nuts.
More eggs, smarter babies
Although 9 is a high number of eggs to eat in a single day, the study carried out by researchers at Cornell University, highlights that this amount of eggs is what the daily intake would contain, which would result in a higher IQ for unborn babies.
The recommendations advise 480 mg of the nutrient per day in pregnant women, however, the study suggests that almost twice that amount is needed for optimal results. Despite this, experts warn that pregnant women do not get to consume the minimum recommended intake, since the consumption of eggs during pregnancy is related to the fear of contracting salmonella if they are not cooked properly.
What the researchers did was analyze a group of pregnant women who were going through the third trimester. Half of the study participants ate 480 mg of choline every day until delivery, while the rest ate 930 mg. The participants’ infants were tested for their information processing speed and memories at four, seven, ten and thirteen months of age. The results reveal that babies have significantly faster reaction times if their mothers ate 930 mg of choline a day during the final stage of their pregnancy. Babies are also faster at processing information. The findings were published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
Despite what the study says, many people still associate the ingestion of eggs with one of the prohibited foods during pregnancy. However, if the egg is prepared correctly and cooked well, there would be no risk of salmonella, and its nutritional benefits would be maximized.
On the other hand, before eating 9 eggs a day, it is best to consult your doctor, since although this food product is very beneficial, the yolk contains 1,085 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams and not all people can consume that daily amount.
It’s not as bad as it seems
The egg – particularly the yolk – is commonly associated with high cholesterol. However, in recent years, doctors have been trying to dispel this myth and encourage the population to consume eggs for its great nutritional benefits.
According to the Nuevo Herald, the general recommendation is usually 2 to 6 buds a week, but there is no scientific evidence to support these limits. According to the BBC, and according to the cardiologist Francisco López Jiménez, a healthy person can consume up to seven eggs a week without this representing heart problems or any other health problem.
Eggs are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that reduce the risk of eye diseases. They also contain choline, an essential nutrient for the brain and special for pregnant women, as mentioned above. On the other hand, they are rich in quality animal protein, and this has many benefits, such as increasing muscle mass and improving bone health.
How to increase your benefits and reduce risks?
Now that we know the great benefits of eating eggs, and even more so for pregnant women, it is essential to know the ways of cooking to increase its nutritional benefits. One of the fears of pregnant women is consuming eggs because of the risk of contracting salmonella, a disease caused by a group of bacteria that can be found in raw poultry, eggs, beef, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
That is why cooking is essential. The yolk must be well cooked to avoid the risk of contracting salmonella and it is also important to buy only eggs that are trusted and pasteurized. In many countries the eggs come with a quality seal that guarantees their reliability.
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides a series of recommendations for a reliable handling and cooking of this food:
Always buy eggs and products made with pasteurized eggs
Keeping Eggs Refrigerated
Discard dirty or broken eggs
Cook until the yolk and white are firm
Quickly eat or refrigerate eggs and foods that contain eggs after cooking
Wash your hands and thoroughly wash objects that came into contact with raw eggs, such as utensils, dishes, and cutting boards.
Eating eggs every day is very healthy not only for pregnant women but for all people in general, as long as care is taken to avoid the risk of diseases and always consulting the family doctor to be sure of the adequate daily amount for our body.