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An egg-cellent source of vitamin D

David Crocker

Diet and Exercise

I’d like to introduce you to one on nature’s most nearly perfect foods…the egg. In fact, there’s so much information on this superfood, this will be one in a two part series.

Eggs are among the very best protein sources. In fact, the biological value of proteins is often evaluated by comparing them to eggs. Surprisingly, both egg whites and egg yolks contain the same amount of protein…3 grams. The main difference is in the calories. A single yolk provides 60 calories, while a single egg white lends just 15 calories.

Here are more amazing egg facts.

1. Eggs are one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D: Many folks “consume” vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. That being said, there are a few foods that actually contain vitamin D. These include eggs, cod liver oil, sardines, salmon and milk. However, to ensure you’re getting the most vitamin D from eggs, don’t bake them. Eggs bakes at 350 degrees maintain only 39 to 45 percent of their vitamin D, whereas fried or boiled eggs retained 82 to 88 percent.

2. Eggs and cholesterol: Years ago, American public health officials believed cholesterol found in eggs could raise blood cholesterol levels. Now clinical studies indicate the dietary cholesterol found in eggs has but a modest effect on blood cholesterol. While naturally high in cholesterol, eggs don’t seem to raise blood cholesterol levels the way other cholesterol containing foods do, such as trans fats and saturated fats. In fact, some studies indicate eggs may actually raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and for 70% of folks, there is no increase in total cholesterol. If you’re concerned, eat only the egg white, which contain no fat or cholesterol.

3. Great source of nutrients: When it comes to nutrients, eggs are hard to beat. They are rich sources of selenium, vitamins B2, B6 and B12, vitamin D, and minerals zinc, iron and copper. In fact, one of the few valuable nutrients eggs don’t contain is vitamin C. Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These “carotenoids” are disease fighting nutrients and may also reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.

4. Eggs provide choline: Eggs; more specifically eggs yolks are a rich source of choline and essential nutrient, meaning it required for normal bodily function and human health. Choline is neither a vitamin nor mineral, but rather a water-soluble compound. This nutrient supports numerous bodily functions including cell maintenance, DNA synthesis, metabolism, and nervous system functioning.

5. Eggs are versatile: They can be prepared over easy, sunny side up, shirred, hard boiled, soft boiled, poached or scrambled. In addition, eggs can be made into egg salad, or added to other food dishes. However, don’t eat eggs raw, because they contain avidin. Avidin is a protein found in eggs which binds biotin and prevents its absorption. Biotin, is one of the B complex vitamins, so important, it’s word origin, comes from the Greek word “biotos, which means “life” or “sustenance”. Biotin in necessary for skin, hair, eyes, liver, and nervous system health. It is also crucial during pregnancy, as its important for embryonic growth. When an egg is cooked, its proteins unravel, a process known as “denaturing”. That’s why turns from clear to white. This process breaks the bond of avidin to biotin, so the nutrient can be absorbed.

Also, to avoid risk from Salmonella (a type of bacterium that can be present both on the inside and outside of eggs), cook eggs thoroughly, and don’t hold eggs in the temperature range of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours. By the way, if you put eggs in your dog’s food for a shiny coat, cook them as well.

While eggs seem a common allergen, especially in infants, many children outgrow the allergy. Also, some vaccines are made using eggs, so folks allergic to chicken eggs should check with their doctor before taking the flu vaccine. Next week, we’ll continue the incredible egg fact’s list.

Question? Email David at dwcrocker77@gmail.com.