It started off with – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, and now the world is going – “An egg yolk a day keeps the doctor away”. The whole stay fit, eat healthy movement propagated egg whites. But little do people know that it is the egg yolks that can steal the show, as they have a whole lot of healthy nutrients too! There is no denying that the egg yolks have a substantial amount of cholesterol. But our body needs cholesterol (dietary, good cholesterol) too. So lets take a look at what egg yolks have to offer, and how they are extremely beneficial to us.
The Nutrient Composition Of Egg Yolks:
We have branded cholesterol high foods so negatively, but in effect, they are the foods that are nutrient rich. Egg yolks being no different; contain 100 percent of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K. They also have carotenoids, zeaxanthin and lutein. They contain more than 90% of the iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and thiamin required by the body.
As for the cholesterol that the yolk contains, it is in no way harmful to the extent that it cannot be eaten. If the eggs were to hatch, that cholesterol would be required for the chic to emerge from the shell. All the animals, including us humans, need the cholesterol for living and being. Every cell of our body requires cholesterol. It is also the foundation of all sex hormones. The good news is that dietary cholesterol like egg yolks are responsible for the good HDL. So it is not such a bad thing after all!
The Protein Story:
You should know, that the yolk too contains protein. Just that it is smaller in size – therefore, the quantity of protein in the yolk is lower than that in the white. But the white is only full of protein and nothing else, and now you know the plethora of nutrients that the yolk contains. Well anyway, protein should only entail about 15% to 30% of our daily calorie intake. This said, it is futile to consume protein without fat. Consuming protein alone results in depletion of vitamin A. Now you must agree that our beloved Mother Nature has a plan behind all of her creations. She, most thoughtfully, has crafted a fat protection around all animal protein sources.
DHA & AA:
These are not random alphabets. DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid is a form of omega-3 that is utilizable by the body. AA or arachidonicacid is a form of omega-6 that is usable by the body. Egg yolks contain both these extremely essential fatty acids. When you decide to buy and eat omega-3 rich eggs, it keeps the n-3/n-6 in a good ratio in your food.
The Defaming Of Egg Whites:
It is funny how we accept new fads in the name of health without proper research and knowledge. There are always two schools of thought to any theory – one will always speak for the theory, and the other always against. But think about it – we are all different beings, and something may suit you, and something might not. It is all a matter of convenience at the end of the day. It is upon you to read up and decide which theory works best for you.
Surveys say that about 3% of the people in this world are allergic to egg whites. There are about 14 proteins in total, of which about 13 are anti-microbial. Which means, they deter microbes and viruses. That is a good and a bad thing. While it might definitely get rid of the bad ones, it also gets rid of the good ones that are required in our gut.
Trypsin is a protease enzyme that is required to digest protein. Ironically, the lysozyme present in egg whites binds itself with proteins like ovomucoid or ovoinhibitor and inhibits the production of trypsin. The egg whites also contain particles that pass through intestinal walls and intensify autoimmune problems.
Avidin is another so called anti-nutrient found in egg whites. They combine themselves with biotin, a vitamin B that is responsible for the synthesis of fatty acids and also blood sugar regulation. This combination inhibits the absorption of biotin.
While some might argue that cooking the white portion deactivates the anti-nutrients and the protease inhibitors, studies show that Avidin still retains about 30 percent of its activity when it is cooked. Cooking reduces trouble, but surely doesn’t eliminate it completely.
To wrap up, an egg as a whole is extremely healthy. While it is best not to dissect the yolk from the white and eat just one of them, you must take note of what is best for your system and eat it accordingly. Eggs are natural and healthy and a definite must in your diet. So bring on the eggs for breakfast cause like I said earlier, “an egg (yolk) a day keeps the doctor away!”…and who likes going to the doctor anyway?
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