8 Great Reasons to Eat Eggs

Eggs are an under-appreciated economical superfood. Here are 8 reasons to enjoy them as regulars in your diet.

  1. Eggs have the highest quality protein of all foods. In fact, eggs are used as the “reference standard” for evaluating a food’s protein quality.
  2. Eggs, particularly omega 3 fortified eggs, contain healthy fats.
  3. Eggs provide all the B vitamins.
  4. Eggs are the richest food source of choline, an amino acid vitally important for brain function.
  5. Eggs are an excellent source of iodine and selenium, two key minerals notably hard to find in foods.
  6. Eggs are one of only three foods that naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D.
  7. Eggs provide the most bioavailable source of the eye-protective compound lutein.
  8. Consuming eggs has been shown to boost HDL (good) cholesterol.

 

Contrary to what you may think, there is no credible evidence that consuming eggs at any level increases cardiovascular risk in healthy subjects. There is some evidence, albeit not conclusive, that eating more than 5 eggs a week in those who are diabetic may increase disease and mortality risk.

 

Eggs Make Salad Even Healthier

eggsIf you are looking for a quick and tasty way to get even more nutritional oomph from your salad veggies, simply add some sliced boiled eggs. That was the exciting conclusion from a new study that found adding cooked eggs to a mix of salad veggies significantly boosted the absorption of the vegetable’s carotenoids. Carotenoids are a revered class of potent plant antioxidants prized for protecting the health of our brains, hearts, skin and eyes. Relative to consuming the salad veggies without eggs, when the study subjects added one and a half or three cooked eggs to their salads, their blood carotenoid levels increased up to 2 to 5 fold, respectively. The reason? Eggs are home to healthy polyunsaturated fats that naturally enhance the absorption of other fat-soluble compounds including veggie’s life-preserving carotenoids.  (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015; DOI:10.3945/ajcn.115.111062)

Feed Your Microbiome Right!

fruit veggie basketMaintaining a healthy and abundant ecosystem of bacteria in your gut is paramount for all aspects of good health, particularly gastrointestinal, metabolic, immune, and brain health. And the surest way to get there is to consume plentiful amounts of fiber-rich, plant-based foods because these are the foods that feed them. Beneficial gut bacteria are especially fond of a unique group of plant fibers called prebiotics. Think of prebiotics as the very best foods for nourishing your all-important microbiome. Click here to see the foods that offer the richest supply of these special plant fibers.

 

Fiber Scores for Diabetes Protection

gold checkFiber’s credentials as a health hero just received yet another notable accolade– this time for cutting the risk of type 2 diabetes. In a study that followed the diets of over 29,000 Europeans for an average of 11 years, those consuming the most fiber were almost 20 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes vs. those consuming the least. In this study, fiber’s protective effects appeared to be largely related to superior weight control. Meaning, those consuming the most fiber were also more likely to have a lower BMI. Additionally, of the various food sources of fiber, cereal-based and vegetable-based fiber appeared to be the most protective. (Diabetologia, May 26, 2015)

Fiber is a true workhorse for fighting fat because it can do so through many different channels, including improving satiety and boosting metabolic function.

I simply cannot stress enough how vital this key nutrient is for weight control and maintenance of good metabolic function. For best results, strive to consume 30 or more grams a day. Unfortunately, the average daily intake is a paltry 12 grams!


Click here to see how to reap the most from this remarkable plant-based compound.

 

Did You Know?

did you knowNonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a new diet-related chronic disease, is now the most common disease in America-affecting 45 percent of all Latinos, 33 percent of all Caucasians, 24 percent of all African Americans, and 30-40 percent of obese kids.

 

Mushrooms for Boosting Immunity

If you are looking for a delicious way to kick up your immunity, enjoy more shitake mushrooms. That was the exciting conclusion from a clinical trial conducted to evaluate the effects this exotic, hearty mushroom has on immune function. For this study the researchers had 52 adults consume a daily four-ounce dose of shitake mushrooms for four weeks. Based on blood tests performed both before and after the experiment, the researchers noted enhanced functioning in special germ-fighting cells after the four weeks of daily mushroom consumption. As an additional bonus, the daily dose of mushrooms also lowered blood levels of potentially damaging inflammatory proteins. (Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2015; 1DOI:10.1080/07315724.2014.950391)

Mushrooms are an under-appreciated superfood. Click here to see even more reasons to make room for them in your diet.

3 Foods that Totally Break the ‘Color is Better for You’ Rule

  • cauliflower2Artichoke Hearts – Even right out of the can or jar, this drably colored veggie rivals berries with its supreme antioxidant power—providing 8 times more than oranges! They are also a great source of vitamin C and fiber, including a special form of fiber called inulin that nourishes the growth of the “good” bacteria in the gut.
  • White-fleshed peaches and nectarines – Like their yellow-fleshed cousins, these stone fruits are dripping with vitamins A and C, but where they really shine is on the antioxidant front. These fruits may be pale on the inside, but they provide six times more antioxidant oomph than the yellow varieties.
  • Cauliflower – This colorless veggie is a nutrition and anti-cancer powerhouse. Cauliflower is home to a big dose of fiber, vitamin C, and folate along with two families of plant compounds, glucosinolates and thiocyanates that are revered for their anti-cancer prowess.

 

“Do” Beats “Don’t” for Healthier Eating

thumbs up1It seems how we communicate can have a decisive influence on improving the eating habits of others. In a new report that analyzed 43 international studies involving either positive or negative nutrition directives, those that focused on “the benefits of eating healthy foods” proved to be significantly more effective than those touting “the harms of eating unhealthy foods.” Whether you are trying to get a child, a spouse, a friend, or an entire group of employees to come over to the wonderful world of healthy eating, you will have greater success simply by extolling the virtues of healthy foods.

As a physician whose full time job is largely devoted to improving the eating habits of others, I can whole-heartedly vouch for the effectiveness of this upbeat, positive approach. And of course, it is more fun too! (Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior’s Annual Conference, 2015)

5 Superstar Foods You Aren’t Eating

gold starMother Nature generously offers up a long list of foods that are steeped in nutritional excellence. Here are five woefully underappreciated superstars that I bet you are not taking advantage of. Consuming these nutritional gems can take the quality of your diet to a whole new level of WOW.
Click here to see them.


Fatty Foods, the Gut Microbiome, and Mental Illness

brain springsIn a first-of-its-kind lab study, scientists were able to show that consuming a high fat diet could disrupt normal brain function by altering the bacteria in the gut. There is growing evidence that the ecosystem of bacteria that reside in our guts, referred to as “the microbiome,” plays a pivotal role in mental health. The scientists that conducted this study were interested in finding out if the “bad” gut bacteria typically linked to obesity and consuming processed, fatty foods, could alter behavior even in the absence of obesity. To test this hypothesis, they transplanted the “bad” bacteria from mice fed a high fat, unhealthy diet to the guts of healthy mice previously fed a balanced, normal diet. Indeed, the healthy mice that received the “bad” bacteria subsequently displayed numerous adverse mental changes including more anxiety, repetitive behaviors, and impaired memory. Additionally, the scientist noted that the brains of the mice transplanted with the “bad” bacteria showed significant increases in inflammation. (FYI, excess inflammation in the brain seems to be the key culprit in most all brain-based illnesses.) (Biological Psychiatry 77; doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.02.019)

This study adds to a growing volume of science directly linking the health of our brains and how we behave to the bacteria in our guts.

Bottom line: Having a healthy microbiome may very well turn out to be the key to having a healthy brain and avoiding mental illness. Click here to see what it takes to have a healthy microbiome.