By Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, for YouBeauty.com
Eggs are beautiful. They are a picture-perfect example of what nature is able to accomplish. They help make us more beautiful by helping both the inside of our body, like our hearts, as well as the outside of our body, like our hair.
While eggs have gotten a bad reputation for a long time due to cholesterol fears, evidence in the British Medical Journal showed that moderate egg consumption may not have any effect on heart disease or stroke.
Here are five reasons why eggs fit well into a beautiful diet:
Eggs can help make beautiful babies. They’re a must for pregnant women. Why? Because eggs are full of choline, a B vitamin that growing babies need for essential development of the brain. Choline supplementation has also been linked to a lower risk of mental disorders in babies, as well as well as a reduced risk for both Down syndrome and dementia.
Eggs can help curb your evening snack cravings. Eating a high-protein breakfast helps ward off cravings later in the day, according to a 2013 study. The high quality protein in eggs helped create greater satiety in individuals, which lasted all day long. So if you’re trying to lose a few pounds and just can’t shake your cravings for chips or sweets after 7 p.m., eggs may be something you’ll want to consider earlier in the day.
Eggs may improve your reflexes. A 2014 study found that tyrosine, an amino acid found in eggs, helped individuals with making quick, knee-jerk responses more than a placebo. Researchers noted that the tyrosine effect may actually help in situations such as driving where an instant decision can mean the difference between an accident and just a normal day on the road.
Eggs may help to reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants in eggs may actually help to reduce the risk of both cancer and heart disease, two of the major killers in the United States, according to a 2011 study. Even though cooking eggs reduces the amount of antioxidants by half, that still leaves eggs with the same amount of antioxidants found in apples, according to researchers.
Eggs may help to lower blood pressure. The protein in eggs could help reduce blood pressure by acting in the body the same way an ACE (angiotensin-converting-enzyme) inhibitor, a type of hypertension medication, would, according to a 2009 study. With a reduced risk of high blood pressure comes a reduced risk for heart disease as well — an added benefit!
Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit egg consumption to breakfast. Make hard-boiled eggs ahead of time and keep them on hand for snacks — eggs are a great fuel source before a run. Or have them for lunch instead, using egg whites and turmeric-rich yellow mustard to make healthy deviled eggs, or even dinner, mixing together egg whites, spinach, onions and broccoli to create an amazing frittata.
Just be sure to watch your overall daily animal protein intake. A March 2014 study showed that protein from animals increased mortality in adults under the age of 65. That doesn’t mean you should never have animal protein sources like eggs; it just means that your eggs should come along with a well-rounded diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and protein sources from plants as well.
Eggs are a delicious way to get a battery of B-vitamins, nutrients and protein. And though there is some controversy over their effect on heart health, most experts agree that a diet that includes eggs is a healthy one. One study even found that a breakfast of eggs, when compared to cereal or no breakfast at all, helped people reduce cravings for sugary and fatty foods later in the day. But given how ubiquitous this food truly is, it’s surprising how much we don’t know. So we’ve compiled a list of some little known facts about chicken eggs.
Egg Yolks Help Brain Development
Egg yolks are one of the richest dietary sources of the B-complex vitamin choline, which is associated with better neurological function and reduced inflammation. Additionally, there’s evidence that dietary choline helps with fetal brain development when pregnant women eat it. But a diet rich in choline is also associated with, well, happiness. As Drew Ramsey, a psychiatrist who specializes in diet told HuffPost Healthy Living earlier this year, choline breaks down into bethane, which is used during the methylation cycle, which in turn helps produce «happiness» hormones (and neurotransmitters) like serotonin, dopamine and norephinephrine.
Chicken Age Matters
When it comes to some measures of quality, the chicken comes before the egg. A study in Poultry Science (where else?) found that young chickens, age 28 weeks, and old chickens, 97 weeks, were more likely to produce eggs with low solids contents than were middle-aged chickens. «It may be more beneficial for egg producers and processors to use young and old birds for table egg production and birds of intermediate age for liquid egg production,» wrote the researchers.
What Egg Yolk Color Really Means
The deep yellow or pale hue of your egg yolk doesn’t measure healthfulness directly, according to the American Egg Association. Instead, it’s indicative of a chicken’s feed. Chickens that are fed grains and grasses full of carotenoids (like lutein and zeaxanthin) have more vibrantly yellow yolks, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a more nutritious yolk.
It could measure chicken health, however: As Dr. Hilary Shallo Thesmar of the Egg Nutrition Center told Chow, free range chickens have access to a greater diversity of foods, which in turn makes them more likely to have deeper yellow yolks.
Cloudy Vs. Clear Egg Whites
What makes for a cloudy or clear egg white? It’s the age of the egg. Older eggs have clear whites, while fresh eggs can have a milky, opaque look.
Eggs Are Good To Eat For More Than 3 Months
Eggs are typically packed within a week of laying, though USDA regulations allow them to be up to 30 days from the coop. The sell-by date has to be within a month of the pack date, making the total shelf-life of eggs about two months. But, according to the USDA, eggs may still be good from three to five weeks after the sell-by date passes,