Recent recommendations by the American Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for birth to 24 months, and specifically eggs as a first food, and for pregnant and lactating women are welcome.
All the points they cover have previously been items we have outlined and promulgated in the Hotwire editorial, but reminders never go amiss.
Eggs are one of the best sources of choline, an essential nutrient, critical for foetal brain development. Some 92% of pregnant women fail to meet the daily Adequate Intake amounts for choline.
The Committee emphasise that the latest research on food allergy prevention recommends introducing eggs when the baby is 4 months old and developmentally ready. This helps reduce the chance of developing a food allergy.
Dr Kari Nadeau, Stanford University Allergy and Asthma Research Centre.
10% of American and 20% of UK affected by allergies.
Peanut allergy has doubled in past two decades. 1 in 50 children affected.
In 1908, Alfred Schofield, a Harley Street Doctor, reported in The Lancet, that he had cured a boy with an egg allergy by feeding him pills containing one ten-thousandth of an egg and gradually increasing the dose until he could eat a daily egg without suffering.
This research has been forgotten.
The process of oral immunology followed by Nadeau, can take up to 2 years, but some are de-sensitised in 6 months.
The treatment starts by serving a portion that is one tenth the size of the smallest amount of the allergen that has been associated with an allergic reaction, and then gradually increasing.
About 85& of patients respond. The FDA have recently licensed a drug for treating peanut allergy. It is called ‘Palforzia’ and is made from peanut flour.
Vitamin D deficiency appears to be a potential contributing factor to allergies.
Also, rising global temperatures have been put forward as a factor, by increasing allergenic protein levels in plants, and increasing the length of the pollen season.
Nadeau recommends pregnant and lactating women eat whatever they want.
Eggs are a powerful source of critical nutrients, including protein, choline, riboflavin (B2) Vitamin B12, biotin (B7) pantothenic acid (B5), iodine and selenium. They are also, as we have recently pointed out, a source of Vitamin D, under-consumed by most adults.
There are warnings for older children , spending long periods of time gazing at a TV, tablet, phone or gaming system, that digital eye strain and dry eye could result.
You blink less when doing these activities.
One needs to take a 20 second break and look about 20 feet away, once every 20 minutes.
As we know, eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin (252mcg per large egg), important for eye health.
They help block out the damaging blue light given out by digital devices.
For infants of 24 months, it is recommended that they receive the equivalent of 3.5 oz/week (99g) as eggs.
When recovering from a cold or flu, patients of all ages, who don’t have much energy, find that eggs are probably the easiest and fastest food, especially valuable for the Vitamin D, zinc and selenium, all helping to boost the immune system.
B vitamins have been found to slow the progress of mental decline in the elderly.
Folate, in particular, is important, because deficiency, is found in most elderly people with depression.
Studies have shown that eggs have antioxidant properties. When cooked, they lose half of these properties, but they still retain enough to matter, an amount equal to apples in their antioxidant value.
Two large eggs contain 56% of your recommended daily intake of selenium. Recent research has shown that a selenium-rich diet can help protect against skin cancer.
The protein in eggs does not cause blood sugar or insulin to spike. Instead, it supplies a steady flow of energy.
The amino acid leucine, helps the body utilise that energy also.
Lysine and zinc in eggs have been found to help protect against skin cancer and reduce long-term anxiety and acute stress.
In addition, lysine has been shown to suppress herpes outbreaks, improve glucose response in diabetics and even lower blood pressure.
It also helps the body produce collagen, digestive enzymes, antibodies and protein hormones.
No wonder multiple-egg diets are popular. They have a lot going for them, don’t they?