Eating a full English breakfast during pregnancy could increase a babies’ IQ, new research has found.
The study, published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, revealed that mothers who consumed eggs and bacon during the last three months of their term performed better in tests.
This, it says, is because both foods are rich in a nutrient called choline, which despite being vital during pregnancy, most women do not consume enough of.
The link between increased levels of choline and higher IQ has previously been made in mice but has now also been proven in humans.
Dividing 26 participants into two groups, half the women received 480mg/day of choline, slightly more than the adequate intake level of 450mg/day, and the other 930mg.
Researchers then tested information processing speed and visuo-spatial memory at four, seven, 10 and 13 months of age, the Mirror reports.
They recorded how long each baby took to look towards an image on the periphery of a computer screen, a measure of the time it takes for a cue to produce a motor response.
As a result of the findings, Professor Marie Caudill, of Cornell University in New York, has said the recommended daily guidelines on how much choline humans should consume should be boosted, adding “this single nutrient has lifelong benefits”.
Fry-ups tend to be associated with negative health effects, but egg yolks and lean red meats like bacon are rich in choline, The Sun have claimed. The micronutrient is found in chicken, fish, milk, nuts and green vegetables.
Choline is needed in pregnancy but many do not consume the recommendeed 450mg a day as eggs and meat are linked with high cholesterol and fat.
Dr Richard Canfield, a colleague of Prof Caudill, said: 'A lot of choline-rich foods have a bad reputation these days.'
However, if the thought of consuming a fry-up doesn’t appeal due to morning sickness, it’s important to note that choline is also found in fish, chicken, milk, legumes, nuts and broccoli.