Eggs are a staple that many people keep on hand even when they’re not dyeing them for Easter . Prepare them scrambled, sunnyside up or as an omelet and breakfast is ready in no time. They are also packed with protein and essential nutrients, making them perfect additions to a pregnant woman’s diet. An overlooked nutrient found in eggs is choline, which is extremely vital to a baby’s brain development and in the prevention of birth defects. According to Frances Largeman-Roth, registered dietician nutritionist and author of “Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide,” choline may even help your baby’s memory and ability to learn. Fortified foods like breakfast cereals – p_saranya/Shutterstock
Slide 1 of 20: Fortified foods are extremely important for mamas-to-be. “Many women think they should be cutting these foods out of their diet because they have ‘too many carbs,’ but fortified foods contain folic acid and iron, two nutrients that are essential during pregnancy,” Largeman-Roth said. According to the CDC, folic acid can help prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine (spina bifida). Largeman-Roth suggests eating fortified breakfast cereals like Total Raisin Bran that have as much as 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per one-cup serving — pregnant women need to get between 600 and 800 mcg of the B-vitamin every day. You can get most of your day’s grains with a bowl of fortified cereal for breakfast, a lunchtime sandwich made with two slices of whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta for dinner.
Pregnant women should consume at least 450 milligrams of choline daily, and an egg itself has 147. Along with choline, one egg contains 6 grams of protein and 0.8 milligrams of iron — and most of all, they require no time at all to cook , making them perfect for those extra-fatigued mornings.
Largeman-Roth said prenatal vitamins generally don’t contain much choline, so pregnant women need to adjust their diet to include foods like Brussels sprouts, wheat germ, soy foods and cauliflower.
When it comes time to eat for two, women need to make sure their diet provides an adequate amount of nutrients and energy for the baby to grow and to keep up with the changes that will occur in their own body. Along with eggs, here are the top foods pregnant women should definitely add to their diet.