A new study from Washington University suggests that feeding babies one egg per day for six months could significantly boost brain function. Eggs contain choline and DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, both of which are vital nutrients for brain health and development. Both of these nutrients are actually present in the egg yolk, meaning that egg whites won’t cut it. Not that you were trying to lower your baby’s cholesterol, anyway.
According to previous research referenced by the study’s authors, feeding babies eggs improves overall growth patterns and prevents stunted growth. So clearly, eggs contain important nutrients for babies’ development. This follow-up study confirms that part of the reason they benefit so much from eating eggs is due to a boost in these two nutrients.
The study followed 163 babies over several years. Around half of the babies ate an egg every day, while the other half didn’t eat any eggs. Their diets were otherwise normal and nutritious.
Blood tests revealed that the babies who had eaten eggs had significantly higher levels of choline and DHA. Since these nutrients play a vital role in brain development and function, this study implies that parents should consider either introducing more eggs into their babies’ diets or providing these nutrients from other food sources.
“Eggs provide essential fatty acids, proteins, choline, vitamins A and B12, selenium, and other critical nutrients at levels above or comparable to those found in other animal food products, but they are relatively more affordable,” said lead study author Lora Iannotti.
Of course, eggs aren’t the only foods with the potential to boost brain health. These other 10 foods could make an impact, as well.