As Easter Sunday approaches, many of us will be looking forward to a well-deserved break that includes indulging in the variety of sweet treats and chocolate eggs that is widely associated with Easter holidays. The relationship between Easter and eggs is evident, so why not delve into the health benefits of the not so sweet counterpart of chocolate eggs.
Nutritional Information (1 large raw chicken egg)
81 calories – 8 g protein, 5.5 g of (healthy) fats, trace carbohydrates
Health Benefits of Eggs
Eggs provide a high-quality protein source and numerous essential nutrients.
They contain a balanced supply of the 9 essential amino acids, so eggs have a protein quality of approximately 91% when cooked.
Rich nutrients include Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, selenium and choline which are needed for a balanced, heathy diet.
Eggs contain a relatively small number of calories compared to the nutrient density.
Eggs provide an increased satiety or feeling of fullness and can be used for improved weight management.
The versatility and affordability of eggs means that they can be cooked in a variety of ways (fried, scrambled, poached, boiled, omelette) and are widely available so they are a useful food to improve diet quality.
One large egg contains approximately 70 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the flexibility of cell walls which reduces plasma cholesterol levels and in turn, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Egg proteins (and trace carbohydrates) are evenly distributed across the egg white and egg yolk, whereas lipids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are mostly concentrated in the egg yolk.
The egg yolk also contains roughly 200 mg of cholesterol (RDA is 300 mg), resulting in a harmful connotation that the yolk is bad for you. However, cholesterol actually plays an important part in many bodily functions. Also, recent research concluded egg yolks do not have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. Therefore, eating up to three whole eggs a day has no adverse effects on health.
The take home message is that eggs are an inexpensive, nutrient-rich, high-quality protein source with a small number of associated calories. They can be prepared in a variety of methods that can ensure weight management and improve dietary intake.
Vegetarian Omelette Recipe
½ red pepper
¼ red onion
Handful of spinach
1 tsp butter
Any other personal favourite vegetables
1.First, prepare vegetables. Cut the onion, pepper, tomato, and spinach.
2.In a separate bowl, break the eggs and whisk together.
3.Heat a teaspoon of butter in a frying pan, over a medium-low heat.
4.Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan and leave for 30 seconds to a minute.
5.Pull back the edges with a spatula.
6.Whilst the centre is still somewhat runny, add the vegetables and top with cheese.
7.After another 2 minutes, pull back the edges to see if the bottom is golden-brown.
8.If so, either flip the omelette and cook for another minute, or place the frying pan under the grill to cook the top of the omelette.
9.Feel free to add unsmoked bacon when you add the vegetables if you want to add some meat.