Filed under: Nutrition
So as of today I have decided to have a sort of Monday theme. I want to introduce a specific food or food group every Monday and basically explain why it is so awesome for you.
Most people have a general idea of which foods and good for them and which foods are not, but they don’t always really know why. They may know it is high in protein and low in sugar for example, but they probably don’t know specific antioxidant compounds that food may contain, and exactly what they do. That’s where I come in. Now this obviously gives me a lot of options and foods to cover, so if there are specific requests, please shoot me an email or just make a comment on this blog and I will do my best to comply. Hope you enjoy.
Today we talk: Eggs
Eggs are one of my all time favorite foods, are often completely misunderstood, and have a special place in my heart. In their entirety (meaning the whole egg) they are one of nature’s most perfect foods.
They are one of the world’s greatest sources of highest quality protein. Eggs contain a boatload of vitamins, minerals and some very important antioxidants. They are also a great source of choline, which is sometimes lumped into the vitamin B-complex, though it’s not really a vitamin, either way it is an essential nutrient for cardiovascular and brain function. The interesting thing about choline is that it is an essential part of the phospholipid phosphatidylcholine. Without phosphatidylcholine fat and cholesterol accumulate in the liver. Hmmm. The ADA has always told us to avoid eggs because of the cholesterol content, yet eggs contain a compound that actually helps prevent the body from accumulating cholesterol. Interesting. Choline also helps to form betaine, which helps to lower the inflammatory homocysteine, a big risk factor for heart disease. More interesting. Choline is also need for a major neurotransmitter in the body, called acetylcholine, weird right. Acetylcholine is critical for memory and thought and may even be protective against some forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
The major antioxidants in eggs are lutein and zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants are known to be powerful protectors of the eyes, helping to filter harmful wavelengths. The amazing thing about lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs is that the bioavailability is significantly higher than from supplements.
As you can see so far, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, but we aren’t done yet. Eggs are also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B12 (for you vegetarians out there), and selenium among others.
One quick note about eggs is the oxidation of the cholesterol content. When a yolk is broken and the cholesterol is exposed to air it becomes oxidized, and oxidized cholesterol is a little worrisome. Now this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat scrambled eggs or an omelet, it is just something to keep in mind. Total time exposure is important, so maybe hold off on those buffet tables of eggs, but making some fresh scrambled eggs on your own won’t be a problem at all. Hope you enjoyed my little rant.
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