Got Choline? Why Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women Need to Eat Eggs

Got Choline? Why Pregnant or Breastsfeeding Women Need to Eat Eggs?

What are eggs? What do they contain? How many eggs are there in one egg?

Do they have any special nutritional value compared with other food sources of choline like meat, poultry, dairy products etc.?

Eggs are a good source of dietary choline. They contain high amounts of the essential amino acid L-DOPA (Lysine). L-DOPA is necessary for proper brain function. Without it, your body cannot produce dopamine, nor can it make serotonin.

Dopamine helps regulate mood and serotonin regulates feelings of well being.

Choline is an essential nutrient needed for normal growth and development of the nervous system. It plays a role in cell division, protein synthesis, neurotransmitter production and cell communication among other functions. Choline deficiency leads to mental retardation, learning disabilities and even death.

The most common form of choline deficiency is called methylmalonic aciduria (MMA), which occurs when the body does not convert homocysteine into methionine properly. Homocysteine is a toxic substance that damages red blood cells and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers.

Eggs are the best source of inositol. Inositol is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin which is not stored in the body. It must be obtained daily from the diet. It plays a role in cell membrane function, signaling and intracellular communication, lipid metabolism, bone formation and myoinositol (a specific type of inositol).

Inositol supplementation can benefit patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It also reduces the frequency of panic attacks in patients with panic disorder. Inositol also has anti-depressant effects.

Eggs are also a good source of choline. Choline is a B-complex vitamin that is involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. When you consume enough choline, it can improve your memory and reverse age-related memory loss. It can also improve your chances of avoiding Alzheimer’s disease.

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Choline is an essential nutrient for normal brain development and function. It is involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Choline deficiency can lead to irritability, fatigue, depression, poor memory, difficulty with concentration, liver dysfunction, and even muscle control problems.

Eggs are a wonderful source of lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are macular pigments that are beneficial for eye health. They are antioxidants that help protect the eye against oxidative damage which can lead to age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and can slow down the progression of this disease.

Eggs also contain small amounts of vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin D, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. They also contain minerals such as zinc, iron, selenium, phosphorus and copper.

Even though eggs have gotten a bad reputation, they are an excellent choice for breakfast and should not be avoided if you’re trying to lose weight. They provide a high quality protein and the healthy fats they contain will keep you feeling fuller longer. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t raise your cholesterol levels. If anything, they have a small, beneficial effect on HDL cholesterol levels.

If you’re trying to avoid cholesterol in your diet, then it would be best to avoid chicken and duck eggs because they contain more cholesterol than turkey, goose and quail eggs.

Creamed Eggs

Ingredients:

2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled

1 tbsp. butter or vegetable oil

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

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1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground white or black pepper

Dash of cayenne pepper

1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour, salt, white and black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add the broth, milk and eggs and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve hot.

Omelet with Creamed Eggs Filling

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. butter

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1 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

2 eggs, beaten slightly

1/4 tsp. dried tarragon, crushed

1/4 cup chopped ham

1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese (optional)

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)

4 eggs, separated

Directions:

To make the sauce, melt butter and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.

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Remove from heat and whisk a little of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs. Slowly add the eggs to the pan, stirring constantly. Stir in the tarragon. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

To prepare the omelets, heat a little butter in a skillet over medium heat. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and carefully fold in the yolks. Season with salt and pepper.

Wipe out the pan and melt a little more butter. Pour in the egg mixture and shake the pan to distribute evenly. As the edges set, lift the edges with a spatula and tilt the pan so the uncooked portion flows underneath. When it is ready, loosen the omelet around the edges with a spatula and turn out onto a plate.

Spread half the sauce over half the omelet. Top with the ham, cheese, if using, and parsley. Fold the plain half over the filled half. Slide the omelet into a hot greased skillet and cook until the second side is golden brown.

Cut into four slices and serve immediately with the remaining sauce.

Easy Crepes

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

5 eggs

1 tsp. salt

3 cups milk

2 tbsp. butter, melted

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vegetable oil for greasing

Directions:

Sift together the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter.

Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and tilt to coat the bottom. Cook until the top of the crepe is dry and the bottom is light golden, about 1 minute. Loosen with a spatula and flip.

Cook until the other side is light golden, about 1 minute.

Transfer to a plate. Cover with a clean, dry towel. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 14 crepes.

Filling:

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

1 cup sugar

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1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. orange extract

3 cups milk

3 cups whipping cream

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, 1 cup of the sugar and the extracts. Cover and refrigerate.

In a large saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Ladle about 1/2 cup of the chilled milk mixture into a crepe and spread evenly. Turn the edges in to create a neat cylinder and place in a buttered baking dish. Repeat until all the crepes are rolled.

Pour the remaining milk mixture over the galettes and bake for 20 minutes, basting twice with the milk mixture. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). After another 10 minutes, the galettes should be a nice, even golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

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Makes 14.

Rugelach

Ingredients:

Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup sugar

Filling:

1/2 lb. cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sugar

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2 eggs

2 tbsp. honey or golden syrup (corn syrup will do at a pinch)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 lb. raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

Topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

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To make the dough, sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the sugar and then add just enough cold water to bring the dough together. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling, put the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, honey and vanilla into a bowl and beat with a fork until smooth. Stir in the raisins and walnuts.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Take walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll out into thin circles.

Sources & references used in this article:

Choline: an essential nutrient for public health by SH Zeisel, KA Da Costa – Nutrition reviews, 2009 – academic.oup.com

Choline: needed for normal development of memory by SH Zeisel – Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2000 – Taylor & Francis

Nutrition in pregnancy: the argument for including a source of choline by SH Zeisel – International journal of women’s health, 2013 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Pre-and postnatal health: evidence of increased choline needs by MA Caudill – Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2010 – Elsevier

Eggs early in complementary feeding increase choline pathway biomarkers and DHA: a randomized controlled trial in Ecuador by LL Iannotti, CK Lutter, WF Waters… – … American journal of …, 2017 – academic.oup.com

Phosphatidylcholine supplementation in pregnant women consuming moderate-choline diets does not enhance infant cognitive function: a randomized, double-blind … by CL Cheatham, BD Goldman, LM Fischer… – … American journal of …, 2012 – academic.oup.com

Could we be overlooking a potential choline crisis in the United Kingdom? by E Derbyshire – BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 2019 – nutrition.bmj.com