Once shunned by consumers concerned about their health, the egg has been redeemed by recent research that shows the benefits of eating eggs far outweigh any negative effects.
According to an article at purehealthmd.com, eggs have been given a bum rap, but actually are one of the most nutrient rich foods anyone can eat. Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin A, potassium and many B vitamins. The egg contains diverse nutrients specifically needed for brain function and healthy nerves. However, because fats have been blamed in recent years for increased risk of heart disease and other health problems, consumers reduced or eliminated eggs from their diets. But eaten in moderation, eggs are an exceptional source of nutrients needed for good health. Eggs contain almost every nutrient known to be essential to humans.
Carotenoid nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, contained in eggs, may help prevent diseases that affect the eyes, such as macular degeneration. The nutrients also contribute to a lower risk of developing cataracts.
All nine essential amino acids are found in one egg. An added benefit is that one egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein, needed by the body to build, maintain and repair cells and produce enzymes, hormones and antibodies.
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. Other studies have found eating eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.
Choline, a nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and the cardiovascular system, is found in eggs. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, making eggs a good source of the nutrient.
One egg contains 5 grams of fat, which includes 1.5 grams of saturated fat. The fat contained in eggs is the good kind of fat. Studies show moderate consumption of eggs does not negatively impact cholesterol. Two eggs per day do not affect a person’s lipid profile and may improve it.
Eggs contain natural Vitamin D, a nutrient needed by the body to combat many diseases. Research now shows Vitamin D plays a role in preventing fractures, aging, heart disease, diabetes, and other maladies. Vitamin D is made naturally in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, but also is contained in foods such as eggs. The vitamin, which actually is a hormone, regulates hundreds of genes. Some genes involve the immune system and the body’s defenses against viruses.
One recent study showed women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%. Another study, reported by Wellsphere (stanford.wellsphere.com) showed that choline, found in eggs, when consumed by pregnant women, may help prevent or reduce breast cancer in daughters.
Eating eggs also can contribute to improved health of hair and nails. Eggs have a high sulphur content and many vitamins and minerals that are needed for healthy hair and nails. Those deficient in sulphur or B12 may find their hair grows faster when they make eggs a regular part of their diet.
Cooksrecipes.com cited a number of studies that have shown eggs to contribute to a healthy diet and provide a number of benefits. The recent studies, from 2006 and 2008 articles in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the European Journal of Nutrition, the Nutrition Bulletin of the British Nutrition Foundation, the International Journal of Obesity, the Journal of Gerontology, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, refute prior claims that eating eggs is unhealthy. The studies showed:
Older adults who eat the most high-quality protein lose less lean muscle than those who do not. One source of high-quality animal protein is eggs.
Choline and betaine, found in eggs, salmon, broccoli, and cauliflower, may help reduce risk of inflammation in cardiovascular diseases, bone loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
Eggs should not be excluded from dietary advice for weight loss. Two eggs per day did not have a negative effect on blood cholesterol.
Dietary cholesterol intake may be associated with increases in lean mass after strength training.
There are exceptions to the recommendations to eat eggs regularly. Those who have a medical condition or allergy that may be affected by consuming eggs should consult a doctor before making eggs a part of their diet. But for most individuals, eating eggs will not only provide a great tasting meal, but will give health a boost. Give eggs a try with the following recipes.
Cooksrecipes.com offered the following recipe in its category for egg recipes:
Breakfast Burritos (2 servings)
2 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar or Swiss cheese
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons salsa
Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Place tortillas on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and tortillas just begin to brown. Meanwhile, beat eggs with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Melt butter in a medium skillet. Add eggs and scramble. Just before mixture is set, stir in salsa. Divide eggs between tortillas. Add green onions and salsa. Roll up and serve immediately.
Another quick egg breakfast recipe is offered by eggs.ca.com, a site that also is a source of egg history and other egg-related information:
Ratatouille and Scrambled Eggs (4 servings)
1 large potato, peeled, diced and cooked (about 1 cup/250 mL)
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup/250 mL)
4 small zucchini, diced (about 4 cups/1 L)
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup/125 mL)
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 cup skim milk
Spray a large non-stick skillet generously with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add potato, onion and zucchini and saut until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in diced tomato, oregano, salt and pepper; keep warm.
Whisk eggs with milk in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Spray a 10-inch (25 cm) non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in egg mixture and reduce heat to medium-low. As mixture begins to set, gently move spatula across bottom and sides of skillet to form large, soft curds. Cook until eggs are set but still moist.
Divide scrambled eggs between 4 warm plates. Top each plate with an equal amount of ratatouille.
1. 6 Reasons Why Eggs Are The Healthiest Food on The Planet
2. South Beach Diet Phase 2: Benefits, Tips, and Reviews
3. Are Eggs Really Nature's Perfect Food? – Huffington Post