April 14, 2017

Health Benefits of Eggs – You Know About the Protein, But What Is Choline?

Eggs have been called the “perfect protein,” and for good reason. One egg provides more than six grams of protein, which is 13 percent of the recommended daily amount. Packing that much protein with no sugar and no carbs makes eggs an easy choice for a healthy meal.

But a lesser known benefit of eggs is that they are rich in choline. So, what is choline, exactly?

Choline is an essential nutrient, meaning it is required for normal bodily function. While the liver can produce small amounts, the majority of protein must come from the diet.

Choline promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body. It’s also key in the development of memory functions for infants, which is why it is used as a supplement in infant formulas. Choline supplements are also taken by pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects in their babies.

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. Choline is also found in fish, nuts, beans, peas, spinach and wheat germ.

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.