If you are planning to have a baby, and are trying to get pregnant, hopefully you either like eggs or are not allergic to eggs. The reason for this is because the latest research conducted suggests that expecting moms who eat up to nine eggs a day have extremely smart babies. Yes, their IQ’s are quite high. And yes that’s a LOT of eggs!
The study suggests the reason for this is because eggs have a high concentration of a mineral called choline, which boosts the memories of babies, as well as their ability to process information.
However, on the flip side, it probably is not the best idea to eat nine eggs whether you are pregnant or not because eggs can increase cholesterol levels. Therefore, that can be quite dangerous whether you are pregnant or not. Salmonella poisoning can be quite serious and not just make you very sick but can put your unborn baby at risk. You definitely do not want to take that chance.
Therefore, the recommendation is having 480mg of choline, and pregnant women who want to have optimal results need to double that amount.
Unfortunately, research has shown that many pregnant women do not consume the recommended amount of choline because of their fear of having high cholesterol and also being afraid to eat eggs that are undercooked, which is understandable. Even mayonnaise is not recommended to eat due to the fact that raw egg is an ingredient. And there is no need to even talk about eggnog, even without the alcohol, which we know has a detrimental effect on the unborn child’s development anyway.
In order to know what other foods that could contain raw eggs, it is best to consult your dietician about it so you are careful.
On average, one egg yolk has about 115mg of choline. And there is good news. If you are afraid to eat eggs, or allergic to eggs, or simply are not crazy about eating eggs, there are other sources that are safe and will not raise your cholesterol.
Red meat has plenty of choline as well, but pregnant women are probably afraid of eating red meat as well due to the risk of it being undercooked, as well as it also is known to raise cholesterol levels. Legumes and nuts have plenty of choline, but there is also a concern of eating too many nuts during pregnancy due to the risk of the baby developing a nut allergy. Poultry and fish are great sources as well, but again being undercooked is a concern. Not to mention, some types of fish like tuna and swordfish contain high levels of mercury. Some types of salmon can also contain contaminants. Ah, too many concerns!
Pregnant women can take choline supplements as well, whichever ones are recommended by their doctors. And the best time to consume choline whether it is through eggs, fish, nuts or supplements, or a mix of all of those sources is during the third trimester because the absorption is higher and the unborn babies react to it the most then.
I just remember when I was pregnant with my daughter, I wanted to eat plenty of egg sandwiches and I had salmon as well even though this study was recently conducted and I was pregnant with my daughter 16 years ago. However, even back then, it was known that eggs were a great food for pregnant women to consume because it helps with the brain development of their unborn babies.
Not to brag, but because I ate a lot of eggs, and plenty of salmon, and had a little bit of nuts during the pregnancy, and some burgers since my iron was low, she is a very smart girl.
So again if you are incredibly concerned about high cholesterol levels from eating too many eggs, or the risk of contracting salmonella due to it being undercooked, then you can eat hardboiled eggs and don’t eat nine a day. Hardboiled eggs are safe to eat, as well as scrambled eggs cooked well, so they are cooked all the way through.
It is best to keep away from soft boiled eggs, as well as sunny side up eggs because they are not cooked well. That is when you are taking a risk.
If you are suffering from morning sickness and the idea of eggs is a huge turn-off for you, then you can stick to the supplements, and also remember that the study conducted indicated that eating eggs in the third trimester was incredibly important and in the majority of cases, morning sickness is well over by then.
You can always work with a dietician who specializes in fertility and pregnancy, and you eat the number of eggs that the dietician says is safe. Your OBGYN will have your bloodwork done often and if your cholesterol is increasing, then adjustments can be made.
However, keep in mind that consuming high levels of choline will not prevent genetic issues getting into the way of your child’s congnitive and social development. If there is a chromosomal issue that is affecting your unborn baby, perhaps eating plenty of eggs will help reduce the severity of it but it won’t prevent it. An example of that is Down Syndrome.
If your unborn baby has Down Syndrome, eating plenty of eggs will not correct the issue. What it may do is perhaps reduce the severity of its effect, and perhaps the child will be on the higher functioning end and be self-sufficient and able to learn. There is still more research to be done in a scenario such as that.
However, if you haven’t conceived yet and you are thinking about it, this information about choline being incredibly important for your baby’s brain development and IQ is important to know. Even if you are allergic to eggs or don’t like eggs, you can talk with a nutritiionist about supplements and other courses you can get the mineral from to have a very smart baby!