Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Eggs: Crack Your Way to Better Health

We so often speak of superfoods like blueberries, chia seeds, acai berries and kale, but there are a whack of less popularized superheroes of the food world that deserve more attention more often. One such 'below the radar' superfood is the good old egg.

Eggs have had a tumultuous relationship with the media and health and wellness world throughout history. One decade they're good for you, one decade they should be avoided like the plague. So what's the real deal? The truth is, if you want to do wonders for your health, you should get cracking...now.

Eggs truly are the most perfect food we can eat. Not only do they have every single amino acid required to maintain our health, keep our muscles strong, and our frames lean, they are also jam-packed with vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats. One large egg contains approximately 70 calories, 6 grams of high-quality, easily absorbable protein and 5 grams of total fat. Most of that fat is made up of the healthy, unsaturated type.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, eggs are a great source of zinc, vitamin A, and B-vitamins including folate, riboflavin and B6. In addition, eggs contain the antioxidant lutein, which may protect against the progress of early heart disease and helps keep your vision sharp. They also contain choline, which has been linked to improvements in memory. To cap things, eggs contain vitamin D which is essential for bone health in as well as the prevention of so many chronic diseases.

You can cook eggs so many ways that they really never get boring; hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, sunny side up, in an omelet, frittata or strata...the possibilities are endless! To cap things, they're so affordable for how much you get that there's no excuse not to have eggs in the house.

One reason why some people skimp on eggs is because the yolks contain cholesterol and saturated fat. In truth, your body actually makes 80% of the cholesterol in your body, while the remaining 20% is supplied through your diet. In addition, throughout the years, we have found that early studies that linked eggs to high cholesterol levels had confounding factors that skewed the results toward a more negative picture. In fact, a healthy person can eat one egg each day, for a total of 7 eggs a week with no effect on raising their blood cholesterol levels. People with health conditions such as high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes should stick to around 2 whole eggs per week, but as many whites as they like.

The good news is that for everyone, egg whites are completely fine! Eat as many as you like! They are made up of pure, healthy protein, which is so essential to our health.The only downside is that egg whites alone lack all of the other good elements that whole eggs possess, as they are found in the yolks. Not to worry, a healthy, balanced diet should make up for that easily!

So what are you waiting for? Get cracking!

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