Eggs an incredible source of lean, complete protein, and they are also rich in so many nutrients such as B-vitamins, essential fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins (especially vitamin A), cholesterol… alongside many other nutrients.
Eggs are specifically rich in choline, a powerhouse nutrient for fertility. Choline is critical for a number of precesses during pregnancy, and also during preconception. Research indicates that choline is involved with all stages of early reproduction, from egg health to supporting fertilization and implantation. Studies have shown that supplementing mom’s diet with additional choline may improve pregnancy outcomes and protect against certain neural tube defects, as choline is essential for baby’s brain and spinal cord development during pregnancy (1), (2).
Findings from various clinical trials on the positive effect of prenatal choline and baby’s cognitive outcomes have also been studied (3), (4). In a particular randomized controlled study, faster processing speed was observed among infants born to mothers consuming higher amounts of choline during their third trimester of pregnancy (5).
Choline is a methyl donor (similar to folate) found in foods such as eggs, meat, fish and milk, as well as some leafy greens and whole grains. Eggs, even when cooked, are the richest food source of choline, providing more than double the amount of choline per 100g than any other food sources! (6)
Remember, eggs are only as healthy for you as the health of the chicken. Happy, healthy animals produce nutrient-dense food, which means sourcing quality eggs is important! Look for poultry raised on pastures (truly free-range) as they produce significantly more nutrient-dense eggs. So if you choose to include eggs in your diet, I invite you to purchase free range/organic varieties, to ensure that you are providing your body with a rich source of choline, protein, and so many other nutrients.
You may be able to get enough choline by eating a varied diet, but some pregnant women don't get enough choline from diet alone and may need a supplement. If you are worried you may not be consuming enough choline in your diet, it is recommended to supplement with a high quality prenatal vitamin that includes choline. You can find this in Fertilitae’s professional grade complete prenatal vitamin
Written by: Melissa Mastroberardino, RHN
- Shaw G.M., Carmichael S.L., Yang W., Selvin S., Schaffer D.M. Periconceptional Dietary Intake of Choline and Betaine and Neural Tube Defects in Offspring. Am. J. Epidemiol. 2004;160:102–109. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwh187.
- Shaw G.M., Finnell R.H., Blom H.J., Carmichael S.L., Vollset S.E., Yang W., Ueland P.M. Choline and Risk of Neural Tube Defects in a Folate-fortified Population. Epidemiology. 2009;20:714–719.
- Signore C., Ueland P.M., Troendle J., Mills J.L. Choline concentrations in human maternal and cord blood and intelligence at 5 y of age. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2008;87:896–902. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.4.896.
- Wu B.T., Dyer R.A., King D.J., Richardson K.J., Innis S.M. Early second trimester maternal plasma choline and betaine are related to measures of early cognitive development in term infants. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e43448. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043448.
- Caudill M.A., Strupp B.J., Muscalu L., Nevins J.E.H., Canfield R.L. Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: A randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study. FASEB J. 2018;32:2172–2180. doi: 10.1096/fj.201700692RR.
- Réhault-Godbert S, Guyot N, Nys Y. The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health. Nutrients. 2019 Mar 22;11(3):684. doi: 10.3390/nu11030684.