Thursday, October 14, 2010

Egg : Mother Nature's Most Perfect Gift

Let me tell you a little story…
It all starts back in the early 70’s when leisure suits and wood paneling were in fashion… it’s also when the whole connection between cholesterol and heart health all began.
Sometime around 1972, the American Heart Association issued a report that stated that you should limit the amount of eggs you eat so you can reduce cholesterol intake.
All of a sudden…practically overnight… the poor little egg got a bad rap and became labeled the “forbidden food” of our time.
As a result, for years we were told by so-called “health experts” that we should eat no more than three per week or any at all!
But studies now show that this theory is seriously flawed.  
For example, the Framingham Heart Study found that egg consumption was unrelated to blood cholesterol levels or heart conditions and that includes the yolks.
In another 14-year study… 117,000 nurses and health professionals found that there was no difference in the risk for coronary heart problems between those who ate less than one egg per week and those who ate more than one egg per day.
Once you set aside the “Egg Myth”… you’ll see just how healthy and nutritious they really are.
Eggs are a great source of protein, providing 5.5 grams of protein per egg and only about 70 calories. They are also the most complete source of protein…that means they have all the nine essential amino acids that your body needs… and amino acids are the “building blocks” of muscle and other tissues in the body!  Eggs are also chock-full of vitamins, such as: A, B, C, D, E and K; as well as minerals (iron, zinc, selenium), as well as antioxidants lutein and  zeaxanthin.  And just look what these little guys do…
Protects Eyesight: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent age-related eye problems.
Even better… research shows that the lutein from eggs is more easily absorbable by your body than lutein from other food sources.
Regulates the Brain and Nervous System: Egg yolks are the richest source of choline, a member of the vitamin B family, you can get.
It supports your brain and nervous system function by maintaining the structure of brain cells, and is a key component of the neuro -transmitter acetylcholine that helps relay messages from the brain and through nerves to the muscles.
Promotes healthy pregnancy: Choline is also an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development. Two eggs provide about 250 milligrams of choline, or about half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Protects Heart Health: Since choline is one of the B vitamins (including B-12), it works as a powerful antioxidant, converting homocysteine…. a substance that can cause damage to your blood vessels… into harmless molecules.

What’s more… eggs are a good source of omega-3s. And omega 3’s live up to their hype, as multiple studies show that omega-3s lower your risk of developing heart problems.
Promotes weight Loss: The high-quality protein in eggs helps keep you feeling fuller longer.  In fact, during research people reported feeling less hungry and reduced their caloric intake after eating eggs.
Builds muscle strength: Research shows that high-quality protein like eggs can help active adults build muscle strength and help prevent muscle loss…and other studies show that choline found in eggs may even help prevent muscle damage.
Strengthens Bones: Ordinarily vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to sunlight. But eggs are one of the few foods that offer vitamin D radiation free.   Vitamin D’s main job is to strengthen your bones by raising calcium absorption.
But it does a lot more than that...
It also helps boost your immune system, regulate your blood pressure, and regulate cell growth.  
So don’t be afraid to crack open some incredible edibles!  
But there are just a few things you need to consider…
Not all eggs are the same.
You might want to try organic, free-range eggs.  Yes… they are a little more expensive…but these eggs that come from cage free chickens tend to produce eggs that are higher in protein and vitamins.
And with organic you can rest assured that harmful hormones don’t end up in your morning omelet.  
Here are also some tips for maintaining the freshness of your eggs.  
·        Store them in the refrigerator where they can stay up to a month.  
·        Don’t wash them because it can remove the protective coating on them.
·        Keep them in the original carton or a covered container so they don’t absorb the odors in your fridge or lose any of their moisture.  
·        I know many people like to store them on the fridge door, but that’s not a good idea. Each time the door is opened and closed the eggs are exposed to too much heat. Keep them on the shelves in a covered container.  
·        Store them with their pointed edge facing downward to prevent the air chamber and the yolk from shifting.
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