Is It Safe To Consume Them During Pregnancy?
Eggs can be a healthy addition to your morning plate. They can be consumed in a variety of ways such as poached, scrambled, fried, or sunny side up. Eggs are known to be rich in all the essential nutrients including proteins fats and minerals.
Yes, you can eat eggs during pregnancy, but there are certain ways to eat them.
Eggs During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a doctor usually lists down foods that should be avoided. These include pasteurized foods and a list of raw and uncooked items.
Pasteurizing and cooking eliminate harmful bacteria from the food. Normally our body can handle the effects caused by harmful bacteria, but during pregnancy the immune system is weak. Raw and uncooked food may harm you and your baby.
Therefore eggs are safe to be eaten during pregnancy if they are pasteurized or cooked. Cooking food kills bacteria and reduces the risk of salmonella poisoning(1).
In facts, eggs are known for numerous benefits if eaten during pregnancy
Benefits Of Eating Eggs During Pregnancy
Egg is a nutrient-rich food that is beneficial for both the mother and the baby.
Eggs Are Rich In Protein
A protein-rich diet is essential for the healthy development of the baby. Every fetal cell is made of protein.
Consuming eggs in adequate amounts during pregnancy can be helpful for the growing fetus(2).
Eggs are a complete source of protein and contain all the nine essential amino acids that the body is not able to synthesize.
Rich in Vitamins
Eggs are rich sources of vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. It also contains minerals such as selenium, zinc, iron, and copper.
All these vitamins and minerals are essential for the growth of the baby.
Helps In Brain Development
Eggs contain choline that is good for the growth and development of the fetal brain and prevents the development of neural tube defects(3).
During pregnancy 200-300 extra calories are required (4). The average size of an egg contains 70 calories and helps in meeting the calorie requirement of both mother and baby.
Eating eggs regularly balances the cholesterol levels in the body(5). The daily intake of eggs depends on the cholesterol level of the body.
However, those with cholesterol problems should stick to whites of the eggs and avoid the yolks.
How To Properly Prepare Eggs During Pregnancy?
Eggs carry the risk of food borne illness such as salmonella and can be dangerous for the mother and the baby.
Eggs are highly versatile and can be cooked in various ways. One method involves partially cooking it while in the other egg is completely cooked. During pregnancy avoid the preparations in which there is runny yolk such as sunny-side up, poached, and soft boiled.
Also, avoid the preparations that contain undercooked eggs such as ice cream, mayonnaise, eggnog, raw cookie dough, and salad dressings containing eggs.
Food poisoning from undercooked eggs can pass on to the baby during pregnancy and cause infection in the amniotic fluid.
How To Select The Best Eggs?
Some foods that may be high in nutrition, but, if not chosen correctly can prove to be harmful. It applies for eggs too.
- Before buying always check the best before date.
- Avoid buying eggs with cracked shells as they are more susceptible to bacteria and dirt.
- Prefer buying organic eggs as they do not contain antibodies or hormones(6).
- You can do a freshness test of the eggs. Eggs that float in water are not fresh and those of which do not float are fresh.
- If taking the egg out of a refrigerator, do not use it immediately. Let it set in the room temperature for at least 2 hours.
Always store the eggs inside a refrigerator and keep them in a separate tray. Do not store hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for more than three days.
During pregnancy, a balanced diet is essential. If craving eggs, go ahead and enjoy. You can boil them eat them in scrambled form, but make sure they are cooked properly. It can help prevent the risk of food borne illness, which you would never want during pregnancy.