I’m a nutritionist – here’s why eggs are my top 'superfood' and how they help beat disease | The Sun10/16/2022
WITH everything going up in price, you can always count on the humble egg to supply a load of nutrients at an affordable price.
Rob Hobson, Head of Nutrition at Healthspan, describes eggs as “one of the most nutritious foods you can include in your diet”.
“They are relatively cheap and incredibly versatile, making them a perfect all-rounder whether you eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
“What makes eggs unique is their nutrition profile.”
It’s no yolk, as amazingly, a serving of two eggs provides a source of nearly every essential vitamin and mineral, except vitamin C and B3.
With a box of Tesco eggs setting you back just over a quid, is it time you started reaping the benefits of eggs?
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A source of protein
The infamous ‘P’ word you’ve no doubt read about before, is important for a multitude of things from maintaining and gaining muscle, through to growth and development and generally supporting all our cells.
“Eggs are a source of protein and one of particular value to vegetarians,” says Rob, adding that protein is very filling and can help aid weight loss.
In fact, Rob explains there’s even research to show how eating eggs for breakfast could help limit your calorie intake throughout the day by more than 400 calories.
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“Protein is also popular with people engaged in many exercises as it helps build and maintain muscle mass,” he says.
Need a post-workout snack? Why not try a hard boiled egg? Or whip up an egg sandwich before your workout to tuck into afterwards.
“High protein snacks are also a good option for people who sustain long periods between meals as they have little impact on blood sugar levels, unlike sugary possibilities, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels leading to energy slumps, hunger pangs and cravings for more sugar,” reveals Rob.
Potential disease prevention
It’s the vitamin D in eggs that could help protect the body against certain illnesses.
Just two eggs contain 29 per cent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D.
However, with the sun being our primary source of vitamin D, do keep in mind that government guidelines recommend everyone take a vitamin D supplement between October and March, when the sun is weaker.
“As well as ensuring good bone health, studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with a host of medical conditions, including certain cancers, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis.
“Eggs are also a rich source of the antioxidant choline, which may help to protect against memory loss,” says Rob.
Added to this, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both found in eggs, could protect against age-related macular degeneration, a big contributor to blindness.
Boost your immune system
Swerving a cold is high on our agenda when the colder months kick in and adding eggs to your diet could offer some support.
“Many nutrients in eggs support the immune system, including vitamins A, D, and E and the minerals zinc, selenium, and iron.
“They all play a role in the proper functioning of the immune system.
“Vitamin E, iron, zinc, and selenium are required to produce antibodies that fight infections in the body,” explains Rob.
What about the cholesterol headlines?
Eggs have received a fair bit of slack in the past for supposedly contributing to high cholesterol levels.
Rob says that this led to advice recommending people limit their diet consumption.
However, he explains there is in fact little evidence to link egg consumption to cardiovascular risk.
“We now know that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood.
“Studies show that in some instances, dietary cholesterol from eggs may increase the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol, which could help to protect against cardiovascular disease.”
He adds: “The only people who need to watch their egg intake are those with the genetic disorder, familial hypercholesterolaemia, or a gene variant called ApoE4, which causes high cholesterol levels in the blood.”
How to enjoy your eggs…
There’s plenty of egg-cellent ways to enjoy your eggs.
In fact, eggs are super versatile and can be incorporated into many different dishes as well as eaten alone.
Why not try scrambled eggs with chopped mushrooms and tomatoes on toast?
Or try baked eggs in tomato sauce.
Egg fried rice is also a great dinner option, made with frozen vegetables, coriander and soy sauce.
Rob recommends a frittata too, made with fresh or frozen vegetables and cubed feta cheese.
“Boiling, scrambling, poaching; it doesn’t matter how they come, the nutrient goodness of eggs stays the same.
“The bigger the egg, the mightier the nutrients are,” says Rob.
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“Eggs are healthy, economical, and versatile foods that can be used to create many different types of dishes.
“Including them in your diet may even help to protect against disease and keep you trim, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t make them part of your healthy balanced diet.”
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