Perhaps you are concerned about the cholesterol content of the eggs. Or maybe you are told to avoid eggs during summers for the fear of them elevating body heat. New research, however, tells us to debunk these concerns.
Take a fresh look at the outstanding contribution of eggs to our health and understand the relation between egg consumption and heart health. Don’t hesitate to include these breakfast delights as a part of a heart healthy diet, even during summers.
Egg- ceptional Health Benefits
• Eggs are an economical and remarkable source of good quality protein. An egg provides approx 6 gms of proteins, 65-70 calories and 110mg of choline. Choline is a nutrient needed by our body for optimum brain function, muscle activity, memory mechanism and transfer of chemical messages between nerves. Since most of our modern diets tend to be choline deficient, dietary intake of choline through eggs may help to bridge the gap.
• Besides an array of B vitamins, iron, zinc and vitamin E, eggs contain carotenoids known as lutein and zeaxanthins. Lutein intake is associated with decreased risk towards age related eye disorders and cataracts and zeaxanthin aids as an anti inflammatory agent.
• Eggs are also packed with iodine, selenium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium; all of these minerals are integral to maintaining good health.
• Eggs are low calorie, nutrient dense and may also help in weight loss. The predominant anti oxidant amino acids present in eggs such as tryptophan and tyrosine work to enhance satiety and reduce cravings by modulating the release of ‘feel good’ compounds (serotonin, epinephrine and dopamine).
Eggs and Heart Health
We already know that egg yolks are high in cholesterol content – one medium egg may provide up to a massive 185mg of cholesterol. So, should we be worried? No.
If you are a healthy individual with a moderately active lifestyle and a balanced diet routine, eating an egg a day is considered safe. Repeated research studies indicate that the dietary intake of cholesterol have much lesser impact on the risk towards heart diseases than the content of saturated and trans fatty acids in a diet. The best way to improve the heart health whilst enjoying the goodness of eggs would be to limit intake of fatty meals and be active.
For people with family history of cardiovascular problems or those who have diabetes, consuming egg whites and restricting to two to three egg yolks per week would be best. In nutshell, eggs are abundant in health promoting nutrients and must not be denied a much deserved place in your diet, just because of their high cholesterol content. Fats from healthy sources such as eggs, nuts, seeds and beans are vital for our cellular activity and metabolic processes. It is the poor fat choices; as in fried foods, cakes, cookies, wafers, sausages, fast foods, red meats and namkeens that are detrimental to our heart and health.
Yet another misnomer which surrounds eating eggs is about it being a heat inducing food. The generation of body heat and maintenance of constant body temperature is a complex phenomenon involving a multitude of chemical reactions and brain functions. The process of digesting eggs (or any food for that matter) produces heat as a byproduct, which is handled efficiently by the ‘thermostat center’ in our brain through various heat loss mechanisms. Simply remember to include seasonal foods such as melons, tomatoes and cucumbers in diet and keep the body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.