EGGS, WHICH SEEM TO HAVE an off-again, on-again romance in the world of health (some saying they contribute to high cholesterol levels, others saying they’re beneficial and perfectly fine to enjoy), have recently been touted as having incredible health benefits. One key to enjoying their benefits, according to a study conducted by Purdue University researchers, is adding them to salads containing raw vegetables. The university experts maintain that doing so bolsters health immensely; quite simply, adding cooked, whole eggs to salads improves absorption of carotenoids, fat-soluble nutrients which play a role in lessening oxidative stress and inflammation.
Carotenoids and Breast Cancer prevention
While it’s no secret that this kind of stress and inflammation contributes to a host of health conditions, it’s clear that one area of concern which constantly rears its health-robbing head is cancer. But according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, carotenoids, which are typically found in colourful fruits and vegetables, have been linked to cancer prevention ─ breast cancer in particular.
Egg-ify those salads to up carotenoid absorption
However, the Purdue University researchers noted that, while some people enjoy vegetables in their salads, it’s often not a sufficient amount. Therefore, they’re not obtaining many carotenoids. They also suggest that people have a tendency to further cut their health short; not only are they not adding enough vegetables to salads, but they’re using excessive amounts of high-calorie salad dressing or low-fat ones that deprive them of necessary, healthy fats.
Their study found that eggs can help address this issue; when assessing several variations of salad toppings, they determined that the absorption of carotenoids was three to eight-fold higher when a salad included three scrambled eggs as opposed to none at all.
Scrambled eggs were used in the study to ensure that participants consumed both egg whites and egg yolks; they say that other egg types (for example, hard-boiled) would likely yield comparable results.
“Most people do not eat enough vegetables in their diets,” said Jung Eun Kim, a postdoctoral researcher in Purdue’s Department of Nutrition Science, “and at the same time, people are consuming salad dressings that have less fat or are fat-free. Our research findings support that people obtained more of the health-promoting carotenoids from raw vegetables when cooked whole eggs were also consumed.
Eggs, a nutrient-rich food containing essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins, may be used to increase the nutritive value of vegetables, which are under consumed by the majority of people living in the United States.”
Study: Eggs make healthy salads even healthier
The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It outlines how people in the study either ate salads with no eggs or ate ones with varying amounts of eggs. Then, as the study states, “Total and individual carotenoid contents, including lutein, zeaxanthin , [alpha]-carotene, [beta]-carotene, and lycopene in TRL were analyzed, and composite areas under the curve (AUCs) were calculated” by examining blood levels.
The researchers concluded that adding eggs is a healthy way to boost carotenoid intake and overall health. “These findings support that co-consuming cooked whole eggs is an effective way to enhance carotenoid absorption from other carotenoid-rich foods such as a raw mixed-vegetable salad,” the journal’s information notes.
Eggs are considered a healthy option by many people, in or out of salads. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods website, eggs possess the entire range of B vitamins, from B1 and B3 to choline and folic acid. Additionally, the site maintains that they’ve been shown to increase HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind) and improve overall functioning, and that eating one to six of them weekly — contrary to what many people think — doesn’t contribute to heart attack or stroke.
Story from NaturalNews.com