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Eggs are an excellent source of choline, a little-known but essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. The National Academy of Sciences recommends increased choline intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Two eggs – including the yolks – contain about 250 milligrams of choline, or roughly half the recommended daily amount. The National Academy of Sciences recommends that pregnant women consume 450 milligrams of choline per day and that breastfeeding women consume 550 milligrams per day.
In addition to choline, eggs have varying amounts of three other nutrients that pregnant women need most. Eggs are a good source of the highest quality protein, which helps to support fetal growth. Eggs also have a B vitamin that is important for normal development of nerve tissue and can help reduce the risk of serious birth defects that affect the baby’s brain and spinal cord development. The type of iron in eggs (a healthy mixture of heme and non-heme iron) is particularly well-absorbed, making eggs a good choice for pregnant and breastfeeding women who are at higher risk for anemia.
To learn more about choline and stay up-to-date on the latest research visit The National Institutes of Health.