You’ve undoubtedly heard that fruits and vegetables are a necessary part of a healthy diet and that processed foods should only be enjoyed in moderation, if at all. You may not have heard that eating eggs can vastly improve the health of adults and children.
Eggs contain a valuable nutrient called choline. It’s actually essential to normal bodily function, but its role in brain development and prenatal health is widely unknown. 92% of pregnant women don’t consume enough choline each day, and only 26% of pregnant mothers are even aware it exists, according to statistics reported by The Incredible Egg.
Eggs are one of the most abundant and concentrated sources of choline among the foods Americans eat. One egg is enough for babies and toddlers to receive their daily value of choline, and two eggs provide more than half the daily value for pregnant mothers. Many prenatal supplements don’t provide sufficient amounts of choline, so eating this nutrient in real foods is very important.
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that pregnant women, infants, and toddlers eat eggs so that they are on track for proper choline consumption and other nutritional needs. 90% of a child’s brain develops before kindergarten, which makes choline’s role in brain development even more important for mothers who are pregnant or who have recently given birth. Choline also helps develop a child’s spinal cord and reduces the risk of neural tube defects. In addition, choline is important for cell structure and messaging, fat transport, metabolism, DNA synthesis, and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
The Dietary Guidelines say that children should only consume human milk for the first six months of their lives. After that, encouraging children to eat eggs regularly can have a significant impact on their long-term health, and it can even reduce the chances of developing egg allergies.
Eggs pack quite the punch because choline is far from their only nutritional feature. They also contain protein, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin A, vitamin B12, biotin, iodine, selenium, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Each of these contributes to human development and a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, you can’t reach your health goals by eating only eggs. A complete healthy diet pattern (which includes vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat dairy, and protein) can prevent obesity, diabetes, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The Incredible Egg hopes parents and children can learn to make every bite count by adding eggs to their diet from an early age, boosting the nutritional value of their meals and setting them up for long-term health.
You can check out more recipes and nutrition facts about eggs by visiting incredibleegg.org. This year, don’t forget to join the 12th annual B’More Healthy Expo virtually between March 15 and March 21.