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Pregnant women advised to tuck into eggs

Pregnant women advised to tuck into eggs

Expectant mothers should consider incorporating more egg into their diets, according to a leading health authority.

The European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) is advising pregnant women to tuck into the breakfast staple, because they contain choline - a nutrient which can make children smarter.
In the late '80s the British egg industry was hit by the salmonella crisis, which saw sales plummet and caused widespread concern among expectant mothers. 

However, emerging research has shown that choline, which was officially recognised as an essential nutrient by the U.S. Institute of Medicine in 1998, is vital for the development of the central nervous system of a baby in the womb - as well as being important for the brain, spinal cord and cognitive ability.

According to the Daily Mail, higher intakes of choline during the second trimester have also been associated with better visual memory skills in children at the age of seven.

Choline is often classified alongside the B vitamin complex because it has some similar functions. Thanks to the new research confirming its importance in our diets, the ESFA has now recommended an Adequate Intake (AI) level of 400mg daily for pregnant women, with an AI for adults of 425mg.

With the average medium size egg providing 144mg of choline, two eggs will provide around two-thirds of a pregnant women's recommended daily intake. A baby aged seven to 11 months will get 90 per cent of the choline it needs, and a toddler 100 per cent from a single egg.

TV health expert Dr Michael Mosley is a big advocate of eating the popular protein dish. He told The Daily Mail: "If you want to keep fuller for longer then the evidence is clear that you should eat a breakfast that is rich in protein, like eggs, ham or fish, rather than sugary cereals or toast. Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates."

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