In the past, eggs have gotten a bad rap for being too high in cholesterol. People started eating egg whites, making chemical-laden egg beater omlettes or avoiding them all together. However, eggs can be one of the healthiest foods you feed yourself and your family.
The Importance of Cholesterol
Cholesterol plays a vital role in the development of hormones. It is also necessary for proper brain health. The majority of the brain is comprised of fat and cholesterol. When cholesterol is severely restricted, memory and cognition can be compromised. Cholesterol also lubricates cells, allowing communication among them to be more efficient.
Eggs contain all essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building block of protein in our bodies. In children, these amino acids are essential for proper growth and development. In adults, proper amino acid intake is essential to neurotransmitter balance. For example, if one is not getting enough amino acids through food, they are unable to make Serotonin, our body’s feel good chemical. Depression is not a Paxil deficiency but rather an amino acid deficiency.
Here are some tips and recipes for enjoying the incredible edible:
1. Buy free range, organic eggs. Organic eggs are higher in vital nutrients as compared to non-organic eggs. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, D, B12, Niacin, and Folate.
They are also rich in the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, reducing your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
In addition, they are a good source of choline, a nutrient that allows for proper communication between nerve cells and regular cells in your body. Recent research has found choline to be associated with many positive outcomes for both mama and baby including reduced risks of birth defects and improved memory.
And yes there is more...organic eggs have significant higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids, which will promote optimal brain health.
Not only are organic eggs healthier, but they are so much prettier! The yolk is so much brighter, almost an orange color. Crack open a non-organic egg and an organic egg side by side. You'll be surprised at how much brighter yellow the yolk is in the organic egg. It's visibly healthier for you!
2. Avoid egg whites in children under the age of 12 months. Egg yolks are an ideal brain food for your baby. The whites, however, can be highly allergenic. Whites are high in protein, and your baby can develop an allergy to this protein if its introduced too early.
3. Eggs with a runny yolk is one of the best ways to eat them. When the yolk is runny, the cholesterol has not been exposed to high heat and is therefore unoxidized. Oxidized cholesterol can create free radicals in the body and can be a risk factor for heart disease. That being said, if you are going to eat eggs cooked at higher heat (like hard-boiled), that's okay on a irregular basis. Just don't eat them everyday. Hard boiled eggs are a good on-the-go protein-packed snack. Better than a candy bar or a bag of chips!
Easy Pesto and Goat Cheese Frittata
1 cup vegetables of your choice (I like to use spinach or kale, mushrooms and steamed broccoli)
2 tbsps unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsps pesto
1 cup goat cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Pour in a greased pie pan. Bake for 35-45 mins.