Originally published February 24 2011
Eggs - Consume this natural protein source (Opinion)
by Shona Botes
(NaturalNews) The past 20 years have unfortunately seen eggs getting a bad rap for contributing to high cholesterol levels in people. But after scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health decided to do extensive research and follow the diet of 117 000 nurses over an eight to 14 year period, they discovered that there was actually no difference in heart disease risk in those who consumed more than one egg a week.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are also low in calories, with an average size egg providing only 70 to 80 calories. They also contain choline, which is an important nutrient for healthy brain functioning, and it also helps to reduce inflammation and regulate the cardiovascular system. Two large eggs can provide up to 252 mg of choline, provided that the yolk is eaten, as this is where it is found.
Studies have shown that eating whole eggs may also help to lower the risk for heart attacks and strokes, as the type of protein found in eggs help to prolong the time it takes for fibrinogen (a protein present in our blood) to be converted to fibrin.
Eggs may in fact contain more lutein than most green vegetables. This is a carotenoid which is thought to assist with the prevention of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. The form of lutein in eggs is more easily absorbed by our bodies than that found in green vegetables as well. Zeaxanthin is also found in eggs, which can also assist with the prevention of macular degeneration.
These eggceptional wonder foods are also high in B-vitamins, iron and folate/folic acid. Folate is an especially important nutrient for pregnant women, as it helps with the formation of red blood cells and also plays a part in the formation of genetic material in all parts of the body. They are also good for hair and nails, as they contain sulphur and vitamin B12.
Eggs are one of the few foods which contain a natural form of vitamin D. They may also assist in the prevention of breast cancer. One study showed that women who consumed an average of six eggs a week were able to lower their risk of contracting breast cancer by around 44%.
Having eggs for breakfast may also be able to contribute to healthy weight loss, as they tend to make one feel full for longer.
Eggs should always be bought from truly organic or free-range sources, as these have far higher nutritional value than normal store-bought eggs. These eggs contain far more omega-3, which helps to increase our HDL (good) cholesterol levels while decreasing our LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Omega-3 is also good for helping to reduce high blood pressure. Eggs containing canola of any sort should always be avoided.
Once home, your eggs should be refrigerated to help retain their freshness. Do not store them in the door, as they will be exposed to heat each time the refrigerator is opened. Store them with the pointed end downwards. Keep them in their original container to prevent them from absorbing any other food odours or moisture.
This said, this natural food source is an eggcellent and affordable way to provide many of the proteins, vitamins and minerals that your family needs.
About the authorShona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here
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