Eggs are known as the perfect food as they contain all the important nutrients. Some doctors recommend them to expecting mothers, but are they really safe to eat?
Despite getting a bad rap many years ago, when fortified cereals became popular, a daily serving of egg is not only healthy, but advised. However, if you are pregnant, it’s always best to speak to your doctor about the specifics of your pregnancy diet so that you know what is safe for you and baby.
Benefits of eating eggs when you’re expecting:
- They are high in protein, folate and iron-nutrients, which are very essential for your pregnant self.
- They possess several key nutrients in the form of minerals, fats, vitamin A, vitamin D and protein.
- Choline is an important nutrient that promotes brain development and memory function early in an infant’s life and is found in beans, broccoli, beef and eggs.
Soft-boiled or raw eggs may carry the salmonella bacteria so, while you’re pregnant, make sure that you cook your eggs until the yolk and white are solid. This destroys the salmonella bacteria and makes your egg safe to eat. Fortunately, the salmonella infection can’t be transferred to the baby during pregnancy, but it can result in:
- Preterm labour
- Unnecessary uterine contractions that can stress the baby
- Dehydration due to the persistent diarrhoea or vomiting.
Aid For Expecting Moms
As a way to help new moms or moms-to-be, we have some advice that will assist with reducing the risks caused by eating eggs while pregnant.
- Keep eggs in the fridge.
- Don’t let the eggs come into contact with other foods. Keep them separate in an egg tray or in the box that they were bought in.
- If you eat soft-boiled or runny eggs, make sure that they are not passed their best-before date.
- Don’t use eggs with damaged shells, as dirt or bacteria may have entered them.
- Don’t keep hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for more than three days.
While there are undeniable risks associated with eating eggs during pregnancy, you can include them in your diet if you follow safety precautions:
- Don’t splash raw egg over food, utensils or surfaces.
- Wash and dry your hands thoroughly after touching eggs or cooking with them. The bacteria can sometimes be found on the shell, as well as inside.
- Clean your utensils thoroughly with hot, soapy water.
- Wash kitchen surfaces using hot, soapy water or antibacterial spray and a clean, damp cloth.
Thorough cooking kills bacteria that can live in or on eggs. Don’t wash your eggs before you use them – you won’t get rid of the bacteria that way. Eggshells are porous when wet and washing them only makes it easier for pathogens to get in.