I start each day with the same breakfast: one egg with one egg white, over easy and a slice of double fiber toast with “I cannot believe it’s not butter!” spray. I used to only eat the egg whites, to save calories, but I found that I was hungry again within hours when I didn’t include a healthy fat in my morning meal. I decided I would have just one egg with one egg white, for added protein, and it has made a huge difference in my satiety. So, I was extremely happy to discover that Dr. Jonny Bowden agrees with me and thinks that the egg yolk is a nutritional powerhouse that should not be ignored. He even says “Do me a favor. Stop with the egg whites already. Listen carefully: The egg yolk is good for you! It’s part of the package.”
The egg yolks are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that help your eyes, brain and heart. The yolk is also loaded with choline, which is essential for cardiovascular, brain and cell membrane health. The yolk also an essential part of a phospholipid called phosphatidylcholine, which helps prevent the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the liver.
Yes, you read that right, egg yolks can actually help prevent cholesterol build up, not create it. I know that this is contrary to popular belief that one should avoid egg yolks because they raise cholesterol. Studies by the Harvard Medical School have even shown that the cholesterol in eggs do not raise ones’ blood cholesterol levels.
Eggs are the perfect food, packed full of nutrients, protein and vitamins in a delicate shell. They are one of the best sources of protein on the planet, containing all nine essential amino acids. This is particularly important to me because I’m trying to build my lean muscle mass and maximize my strength training. Protein is a key component in building lean muscle. I know that a lot of people tout whey protein as a key protein source when trying to build muscle, and I love whey protein too, but on the Protein Efficiency Rating Scale, eggs consistently score highest in the quality of their protein, beating out milk, beef, whey and soy!
The phosphatidylcholine in eggs is also a key nutrient in promoting liver health. Phosphatidylcholine also protects the liver from a wide range of toxic influences. Eggs are truly a brain food, helping prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
You can also call eggs an “eye food” because they have lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two “superstar” nutrients, essential for eye health. Those two nutrients are the most effective supplements for eye health, according to Dr. Michael Geiger, a New York optometrist.
Another interesting fact that I’ve heard quite a bit in my research is that fat in foods really helps “carry” the nutrients through our body and makes them more “bioavailable,” which just means that are bodies can extract what it needs from the nutrients and put them to use. This is particularly relevant with eggs because the egg yolk has fat, which helps make the lutein more bioavailable than let’s say, spinach, which actually has more luetin, but is less bioavailable because of the lack of fat. Does that make sense? As a side note, this is why it is important to drizzle dressing with a bit of fat, and not completely fat-free dressing, on your salad. The fat in the dressing helps make the nutrients more bioavailable. So, cut yourself some slack with the “fat-free” dressing.
So, back to eggs….they can also help protect against breast cancer. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention found that women who ate six eggs a week vs. two eggs per week, lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%. Wow.
Eggs also have more than fifteen vitamins and minerals; one egg has 18% of the Daily Value (DV) for riboflavin, 14% DV for vitamin B12, 29% DV selenium.
All of these health benefits and still one more bonus; eggs promote healthy nails and make your hair grow faster. How can you lose with this super food?
So, Dr. Bowden thinks that eggs are better for you the less they are exposed to oxygen, therefore he prefers to eat them raw (Bleah!!) or poached. Personally, I like my eggs cooked over-easy, though I don’t mind a hard-boiled egg once in a while. How do you like your eggs? Do you eat the yolk?