Nutrition is always an important consideration for women, but there's no time more critical to consider what you eat than when you are pregnant. You want to support your changing body and satisfy your cravings, but you also want to eat to help your growing baby thrive.
"Nutrients serve double duty during pregnancy because they support both mom and baby," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian nutritionist based in the US. "It's no secret pregnant women need additional nutrition, but we continue to learn more and more about nutrients that are important during this time.
We already know things like Omega-3s and folic acid are significant for foetal development, but one nutrient we're now realising is vital is choline. Choline is essential for a child's early brain development during pregnancy and even supports early brain health during infancy."
A recent Cornell University study found that choline intake was particularly beneficial in the third trimester. Researchers found infants exposed to higher levels of maternal choline during this period had improved brain information processing speed.
However, most people don't get enough choline in their diets. Prenatal supplements often have little or no choline, so it's an imperative nutrition consideration when choosing foods to eat while pregnant.
"The problem is choline is not found in high quantities in most foods," Blatner says. "Fortunately, there is one readily available option packed with choline: Eggs. This is good news for moms-to-be seeking optimum nutrition during pregnancy and moms of infants transitioning to table foods as eggs can be a wonderful soft food for babies. Bonus: Eggs also include significant levels of lutein, another powerful brain-building nutrient."
If you're pregnant or a mom of a young child, eating eggs regularly can help provide your family the essential nutrition to build brain health. More than just hard boiled, there are so many ways to prepare this versatile food.
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