Springtime is a beautiful time of year! The grass is green, flowers are starting to bloom and we are thinking of the approaching summer and warm weather. This time of year also means thinking of trying to fit into our summer bathing suit. The best way to do that is plenty of exercise and a calorie controlled diet rich in protein.
Protein sources include chicken, beef, pork and fish…but don’t forget it is also found in eggs. Eggs are very nutrient dense and provide high-quality protein that is rich inn vitamin A, D, E, iron, folate, riboflavin, selenium, lutein and Choline. One egg has about 80 calories and 6-7 grams of protein. Eggs are commonly eaten for breakfast, but can also be included as a healthy snack, in salads and with other meals. Eating an egg as part of a healthy breakfast may help you lose weight by preventing you from snacking between meals and will keep you satisfied on those busy days when mealtimes are delayed.
You may wonder if an egg a day is healthy because of the eggs cholesterol content. The cholesterol in eggs shouldn’t scare you. Your blood cholesterol levels are primarily due to the cholesterol that the body, your liver, produces on a daily basis. Usually a person can eat one egg a day without harming the cholesterol and other blood-fat levels. According to the new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition data, consuming an egg a day fits easily within dietary guidance, which recommends limiting cholesterol consumption to 300 mg per day.
Eggs are also an excellent source of choline, which is important during pregnancy. Choline is an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. That National Academy of Sciences recommends increased choline intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women. One egg provides approximately 125 milligrams (mgs) of choline, or roughly one quarter of the recommended daily amount of 450 mgs per day. Breastfeeding women should consume at least 550 mgs per day.
An egg has other nutrients pregnant women need most. The protein supports fetal growth, but the egg also provides B vitamins for nerve and spinal cord development and iron which is important for mom since pregnant moms are at a higher-risk for anemia. If mom is thinking of including increased protein in her diet, eggs should be high on the list.
As you progress through your pregnancy, deliver and begin your course to get back into your pre-pregnancy shape, eggs should continue to be included in your daily protein intake. Eggs provide pure protein as many nutrients throughout all stages of life. Before you know it, you’ll be back in your summer bathing suit!
I would love to hear your questions and comments.