Posted 2 years ago
EGGS ARE A POWERHOUSE… HERE’S WHY!
It Easter month so let’s talk EGGS! They are a dietary mainstay, not only for breakfast but can stand in for a quick lunch or dinner. The amazing health benefits of eggs include their ability to balance nutrient intake in the body, lower “bad” cholesterol levels, increase cognitive function, protect the heart, prevent eye disease and provide high quality protein.
Eggs had a bad rap for decades thanks to its high cholesterol content making us go for the whites only or egg substitutes. In 2000, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its dietary guidelines and gave healthy adults the green light to enjoy eggs once again. The AHA’s guidelines now allow an egg a day for healthy adults while still advising a total daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg.
Eggs are loaded with a range of essential vitamins and minerals. One large hard-boiled egg provides about 80 calories, 7 gm protein, 5 gm fat and 186 mg cholesterol They also contain useful amounts of vitamins A, E, B5, B12, as well as iron, iodine and phosphorus – all vital nutrients in supporting your healthy, balanced diet.
- Packed with Protein- Protein is the building blocks of life, essential for the strength and repair of muscle and tissue – with one single egg containing about 7 grams of protein.
- Eggs Improve Levels of “Good” Cholesterol-Eggs help increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels – or “good” cholesterol, which is why they have been found to have little to no effect on heart disease risk. It’s low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – or “bad” cholesterol – that can put heart health at risk, making meals high in saturated fats and trans-fats such as deep-fried takeout, donuts and other pre- packaged, processed foods the culprits when it comes to increased risk levels of LDL cholesterol.
- Eggs Provide a Great Source of Vitamin D- Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, making it essential for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It also aids in promoting healthy muscle function and immune system maintenance.
- Eggs are Filling and Can Help with Weight Management-The high satiety levels of eggs leads to greater feelings of satisfaction, less hunger and a lower desire to eat later in the day, meaning you’ll be less inclined to reach for that mid-afternoon snack.
Studies have found that eating eggs can make you feel full for longer by:
- Increasing levels of a hormone that helps you feel satisfied after eating
- Keeping energy levels higher
- Boosting metabolic activity
- Delaying the rate at which food leaves the stomach
Eggs are also packed full of high-quality protein, making them ideal as part of many different dietary patterns that can assist people in managing their weight and blood sugar control.
- Great Dietary Sources of Choline- Choline is an important nutrient that is made in the liver, however, as most people don’t produce enough choline to meet daily requirements, it also needs to be consumed through the food you eat. Similar to the function of B vitamins, choline is essential for normal cell functioning, playing an influential role in brain and spinal cord development during pregnancy, cognitive development in infants and also helping to reduce cognitive decline in the elderly. Eggs are a rich source of choline providing more than double the amount of choline per 100g than any other commonly eaten food.
- Good Source of Omega-3s-Omega-3s are special types of polyunsaturated fatty acids and are a family of “essential fats” that play an important role in the way your cell membranes work; from heart and brain health through to protecting your eyes. Since your body produces a limited amount of Omega-3s on its own, it’s beneficial to actively consume them through various food sources.
- Eye Support-Eggs contain a range of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E and selenium which all act as important antioxidants in supporting eye health, retina function and helping counteract degenerative vision as you age. Eggs are also rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which play a protective role in reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Studies show that these antioxidants are also better absorbed by the body from eggs than from alternate plant sources.
- Eggs can Help Support Mental Health-A balanced diet can go a long way towards supporting stress reduction and better mental health practices – both reducing the impact of symptoms and optimizing greater performance. The combination of vitamin B2, B12, choline, iron and tryptophan in eggs are all associated with helping reduce the risk of anxiety, symptoms of depression and naturally aiding sleep.
Not all eggs are created equally. “Designer” eggs may come from chickens that are allowed to roam freely (free range) or whose feed is supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids. Hens given feed that is free of animal products produce vegetarian eggs, while those given all-organic feed produce organic eggs.
Some chicken feed is enriched with canola oil, bran, kelp, flaxseed, marine algae, fish oil, or vitamin E to increase the eggs’ healthy omega-3 fatty acid content. Certain types of feed are designed to reduce the saturated and total fat content of the egg yolk. Marigold extract has been used to increase the lutein content of eggs.
Beyond nutrition, other specialty eggs use a pasteurization process that heats the egg just enough to kill bacteria without affecting the texture of the raw product.
Keep in mind that, with designer eggs, you generally get designer prices. But whether you prefer designer or generic eggs, manage your egg intake over the course of a week. On days when you enjoy eggs for breakfast, it’s wise to limit foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat for the rest of the day.
The full health benefits of eggs can only be realized if you store them properly; in the refrigerator and cook them thoroughly to kill any potential bacteria. DO NOT CONSUME RAW!
Spicy Avocado Egg Bake
Firm ripe avocados, halved and pitted
|Firm ripe avocados, halved and pitted||2|
|each salt and pepper||1/4 tsp|
|sriracha hot sauce||1 tbsp|
|finely chopped fresh cilantro||1 tbsp|
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Scoop out some of the pulp from avocado halves, leaving a hole big enough to fit an egg (reserve pulp for another use).
Place avocado halves in prepared pan to fit snugly in single layer. Fold foil around avocado halves to prevent tipping.
Crack egg into each avocado half; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until whites are set and eggs are cooked to desired doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Drizzle each egg with hot sauce and sprinkle cilantro over top.
Sun Dried Tomato and Kale Frittata
|medium red onion, diced||1/2|
|roughly chopped kale||2 packed cups|
|Olive oil||1/2 tbsp|
|Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped||1/4 cup|
|2% Milk||1/4 cup|
|Reduced-fat Feta crumbles||1/4 cup|
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the diced onions and kale. Season with salt and pepper, then allow to cook until kale reduces in volume and onions become translucent (about 5 minutes).
In the meantime, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the milk. Gently whisk until combined.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the kale mixture and stir to combine. Spread evenly in the skillet, then pour the prepared egg mixture over the top. Gently shake the skillet to evenly distribute the egg mixture. Top with additional sun-dried tomatoes (optional) and cheese. Do not stir.
Allow to cook on the stovetop for 2-3 minutes or until edges are set. Transfer the skillet to the middle rack of your preheated oven and allow to cook 12-15 minutes more or until the center is set and edges begin to pull away from the sides of the skillet.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing into six even wedges and serving. If storing leftovers, allow to cool before sealing and chilling in the refrigerator.
Zoodle Egg Bowl
|whole wheat spaghetti||1 1/2 cups|
|extra virgin olive oil||2 tbsp|
|medium garlic cloves, minced||2|
|red chili flakes||1/2 tsp|
|medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles||4|
|each salt and pepper||1/4 tsp|
|cherry tomatoes, cut in half||2 cups|
|packed baby spinach||2 cups|
|lemon zest||1 tsp|
|lemon juice||1 tbsp|
|basil leaves, thinly sliced||1/4 cup|
Use a spiralizer or spiral vegetable slicer on a setting such as curl to create a shape that resembles long and thin noodles. Blot zucchini noodles with a paper towel if moist and watery before proceeding with recipe.
Cooking eggs to a soft poach allows the yolk to remain runny, which creates a creamy sauce when cut into over the zucchini noodles.
Always use very fresh eggs for poaching. They hold their shape better and form fewer wispy threads or “angel wings” in the water.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add spaghetti and cook per package directions.
While pasta is cooking,heat olive oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute, stirring continually. Add zucchini noodles, salt and pepper and cook, tossing gently, for 1 to 2 minutes or until zucchini has softened. Stir tomatoes, spinach, lemon zest and juice gently into zucchini mixture until well combined. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and tomatoes are warmed through.
When pasta is done, drain and add to skillet mixture. Remove from heat.
Heat2 to 3 inches of water in a large saucepan to boiling. Adjust heat to keep liquid simmering
Break eggs, 1 at a time, into a cup. Holding dish close to surface, slip egg into water.
Cook eggs until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not stir. Lift eggs from water with slotted spoon. Drain in spoon or on paper towels. Trim any rough edges if desired.
Divide zucchini and pasta mixture among four dinner plates or bowls, top each with 1 poached egg and garnish with basil. Serve