Nutrients In Eggs

Eggs are a nutrient goldmine!

One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, all for 70 calories.

While egg whites contain some of the eggs’ high-quality protein, riboflavin and selenium, the majority of an egg’s nutrient package is found in the yolk. Nutrients such as:

  • Vitamin D, critical for bone health and immune function. Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D.
  • Choline, essential for normal functioning of all cells, but particularly important during pregnancy to support healthy brain development of the fetus.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that develops with age.

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Nutrient Spotlight: Vitamin E

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As American Heart Month winds down, it’s a great time to remind patients and clients of the precautionary measures that can be taken year-round to prevent heart disease and improve one’s overall health. Beyond cutting back on sodium and unhealthy fats, a heart-healthy diet is also about incorporating foods that are rich in nutrients, offering a variety of health benefits.

Today’s post focuses on Vitamin E, a nutrient with beneficial antioxidant properties that may be important to heart health (1). In addition to being associated with lower rates of heart disease, Vitamin E is also involved in immune function and has been linked with prevention of some cancers, reduction of age-related eye disorders (i.e. macular degeneration, cataracts) and slowing cognitive decline/dementia (2).

Evidence that vitamin E could help prevent or delay coronary heart disease (CHD) comes from several sources – in vitro studies have found that the nutrient inhibits oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, a crucial initiating step for atherosclerosis (3). Vitamin E might also help prevent the formation of blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or venous thromboembolism (3).

Recently, concerns have been raised regarding the safety of Vitamin E supplementation, particularly in high doses (4). The best way to get all the health benefits of vitamin E is to include natural foods sources of Vitamin E in the diet. The adult RDA for Vitamin E is 15mg – which can easily be achieved through diet alone (2). The top sources of Vitamin E include nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables and whole grains. Eggs also contain Vitamin E (0.5mg per large egg) in addition to 13 other essential vitamins and minerals.

The easy recipe below is a good example of a vitamin E-rich salad combining leafy greens, tomatoes and eggs to deliver a heart-healthy, nutrient-rich meal.

Mixed Greens Salad with Eggs (pictured above)  

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package (7 to 9 ounces) baby lettuce mix
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 Hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges
  • ½ cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  • Divide lettuce evenly among 4 serving plates
  • Top each with 1 sliced tomato and 4 egg wedges
  • Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese

Nutrition Information

Calories: 141, Total Fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1g, Monounsaturated fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 194mg, Sodium: 157mg, Carbohydrates: 6g, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Protein: 12g, Vitamin A: 877.7IU, Vitamin D: 43.5IU, Folate: 31.3mcg, Calcium: 132.5mg, Iron: 1mg, Choline: 116.8mg

References:

(1)    Verhagen H, Buijsse B, Jansen E, Bueno-de-Mesquita B. The state of antioxidant affairs. Nutr Today 2006;41:244-50.
(2)    Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin E. Retrieved from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
(3)    National Academy Press. Dietary Reference Intakes: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids.Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=9810.
(4)    Mayo Clinic. Vitamin E. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-e/NS_patient-vitamine

Getting to the Heart of Healthy Fats

 

saladAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, with one out of every three deaths resulting from heart disease or stroke (1). As American Heart Health Month kicks off this week, now is the perfect time to speak with your clients about the ways they can make heart-healthy choices every day, particularly with regard to dietary fat.

The American Heart Association recommends that 25-35%of a person’s daily calories come from fats, with less than 7%of calories coming from saturated fat and less than 1%from trans-fat (2). Most dietary fat consumed should be monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fats, as they help maintain healthy blood lipid levels. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as avocados, olive oil and peanut butter and have been shown to provide additional benefits, such as improving insulin levels and blood sugar control (3).

Eggs can also be a great source of these healthier fats, with 1.8g of monounsaturated fat and 1.0g of polyunsaturated fat in each large egg. It’s also important to pair eggs with other good-for-you foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. To build a nutritious plate, vegetables can be added to easy egg dishes, like casseroles, quiche, or on salads.

For more information to help your clients build simple, nutritious meals –check out the education resources and recipes based on MyPlate, which are available for download on the ENC website.   In addition, our friends at the Mediterranean Foods Alliance recently released Fresh Fridays Begin with Breakfast in their Fresh Fridays e-newsletter and featured the Italian Vegetable Custard.

Here is an easy recipe combining avocados and eggs, along with veggies to deliver a tasty meal that’s rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Tomato & Avocado Egg Salad (pictured above)

Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 avocadoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley OR cilantro
  • Spinach OR lettuce leaves
  • Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp.  sour cream
    • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce

Directions:

  • Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Reserve and refrigerate 6 center slices from eggs for garnish. Chop remaining eggs.
  • Combine chopped eggs, avocados, tomato, onion and parsley in a large bowl; toss gently to mix. Add dressing; stir gently until ingredients are evenly coated with dressing.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Serve on spinach leaves, garnished with egg slices.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 218, Total Fat: 17g, Saturated fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated fat: 3g, Monounsaturated fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 189mg, Sodium: 316mg, Carbohydrates: 10g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 8g, Vitamin A: 867.9IU, Vitamin D: 41.8IU, Folate: 89.6mcg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 1.5mg, Choline: 139.8mg, Vitamin C: 16.2mg.

References:

  1. Heart Disease Facts In Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
  2. Fats and Oils: AHA Recommendation. In American Heart Association. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Fats-and-Oils-AHA-Recommendation_UCM_316375_Article.jsp
  3. Mayo Clinic. Dietary fats: Know which types to choose. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/NU00262

 

 

Fun Fact Friday: Give Your Oatmeal an Egg Protein Boost

In a recent post, we talked about the benefits of eating breakfast, including improved cognitive function, better school performance and improved markers for overall health. We also highlighted research on the added benefits of including high-quality egg protein at breakfast, such as heightened satiety throughout the day.

However, on hectic mornings, convenience often trumps healthy eating. When thinking of quick breakfast ideas, carbohydrate-based options—often high in sugars—typically come to mind. While eggs are sometimes thought of as a special weekend breakfast that takes more time to cook, that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. You can find fast and easy egg recipes that take as little as 3 minutes to prepare at IncredibleEgg.org. Hard boiling eggs on Sunday for easy grab-and-go weekday breakfasts or snacks is another great strategy.

Another creative way to boost the protein of your breakfast in a hurry is to add an egg to your oatmeal during preparation, as shown below. The addition of an egg gives the oatmeal a creamy consistency, and you can even prepare it in a mug to eat on-the-go!

APPLE-CINNAMON OATMEAL WITH AN EGG BOOST

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1-1/2 to 2 minutes
Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients
1 Egg
1/3 cup milk
1 pkg. (1.23 oz) apples & cinnamon instant oatmeal
¼ cup vanilla yogurt

Directions

1. BEAT egg and milk in 2-cup microwave-safe bowl until blended. STIR IN oatmeal.

2. MICROWAVE on HIGH until liquid is absorbed and egg is set, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes; stir. TOP with yogurt.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

Calories: 292, Total fat: 9g, Saturated fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated fat: 2g, Monounsaturated fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 196mg, Sodium: 317mg, Carbohydrates: 40g, Dietary fiber: 3g, Protein: 15g, Vitamin A: 1,551.8IU, Vitamin D: 81.1IU, Folate: 122.5mcg, Calcium: 339.3mg, Iron: 4.9mg, Choline: 148.1mg

“What’s for Dinner?” Wednesday: Phosphorus-Rich Egg & Pasta Skillet

In today’s post, we’re taking a closer look at the nutrient phosphorus, the second most prevalent mineral in the body (to calcium). Phosphorus is essential for healthy bones, teeth and cell membranes. It’s also important for nutrient metabolism, muscle growth and energy production. Adults need 700 mg of phosphorus per day, while kids 9 to 18 years old need 1,250 mg of phosphorus each day to support growing bones.

Eggs are a good source of phosphorus, with one large egg providing 10% of the Daily Value for phosphorus. Plentiful in the US food supply, other dietary sources of phosphorus include meat, poultry, fish and dairy products.

Maintaining the balance between calcium and phosphorus in the body is vital to health. Individuals with severe kidney disease can experience dangerously elevated phosphorus levels that require medications and/or dietary restriction. Conversely, those with diabetes, alcoholism or absorptive issues can have low phosphorus levels resulting in symptoms such as bone pain or a loss of appetite.

In addition to providing more than 50% of the daily phosphorus requirement for adults, this week’s recipe combines two ingredients that many Americans don’t think of eating together—eggs and pasta. However, this five-ingredient Creamy Pasta & Egg Skillet recipe is so quick and nutritious it might just make eggs and pasta a new go-to for weeknight meals!

CREAMY PASTA & EGG SKILLET:

 

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 to 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 pkg. (7 oz.) small shell pasta, cooked, drained (To boost fiber content use whole grain pasta)

2 cups cottage cheese

1 tsp. dried marjoram leaves

2 cups frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot vegetable blend (9 oz.), defrosted

4 EGGS

Directions:

COAT large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. COMBINE pasta, cottage cheese and marjoram in skillet; toss to coat evenly. ADD vegetables; toss to mix. COOK over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is heated through and begins to sizzle, 5 to 10 minutes. PRESS 4 indentations

(about 2-inch diameter) into mixture with back of spoon. BREAK AND SLIP an egg into each indentation. COOK, covered, over medium heat until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, 5 to 7 minutes.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories: 372, Total fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1g, Monounsaturated fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 197mg, Sodium: 469mg, Carbohydrates: 45g, Dietary fiber: 3g, Protein: 28g, Vitamin A: 1,490.7IU, Vitamin D: 41.0IU, Folate: 152.8mcg, Calcium: 159.2mg, Iron: 3.1mg, Choline: 151.5mg, Vitamin C: 15.8mg, Vitamin E: 0.8IU, Trans fat: 0g, Sugars: 7g, Potassium: 277.0mg, Magnesium: 39.6mg, Selenium: 40.7mcg, Phosphorus: 377.4mg

References:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002424.htm

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/phosphorus-000319.htm#ixzz271fNtCO4