Industry News

From head to toe with eggs

The below article was issued for the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) by Protactic Strategic Communications

From heart health to muscle building, eggs are a nutrient-rich food that should form part of a healthy diet for a healthy body.

Brain

With advanced medical care, we are living longer than ever before. By 2030, one in five Americans will be older than 65 years. With increasing age comes an expected increase in the number of people with cognitive troubles. Cognition refers to various functions of the brain, such as memory, thinking, learning, attention, and perception. This makes good cognitive function crucial for day-to-day life, governing our thoughts and actions.

Eggs contain choline and lutein, two nutrients known to be good for cognition and brain health.  Lutein is important during adulthood to help ward off age-related cognitive decline, and there are also studies to support that choline can help children do better at school.

Eggs are a good food choice to help meet our choline needs. Two eggs contain about 250mg of choline, about half the recommended amount needed for the average adult.  As for lutein, one egg yolk offers about 0.2 milligrams, with the lutein in eggs twice as better absorbed by the body than other sources of lutein, like spinach and kale.

Eyes

At the centre of the retina, the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye, are high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients have been shown to lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older people. Lutein and zeaxanthin are mostly found in egg yolks.

Heart

It is a misconception that eggs are bad for the heart. In fact, the opposite may in fact be true. Recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, when analysing data on over 37 000 participants in the large National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers concluded that there is no link between eating eggs daily and the risk of dying from heart disease.  The 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended eating eggs as part of a healthy diet, as does the South African food-based dietary guideline.

Muscle

When combined with resistance (weight) training, protein provides the building blocks for muscle building, as well as help with the repair that is necessary from muscle damage that results from training.

Researchers in Canada found that eating whole eggs immediately after resistance exercise resulted in better muscle building than if just the egg white was eaten. Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein with one large egg containing 7g of protein. A possible explanation for this is that the whole egg has considerably more nutrients, and it is the protein along with the nutrients that play a role. The egg yolk also contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and half of the protein of the whole egg. If you avoid eating the egg yolk, you are missing out on vitamin D and iron, too, all the more reason to eat the whole egg and avoid tossing the yolk.

 References

  1. Schonfeldt, H.C. et al., 2013.  Fish, chicken, lean meat and eggs can be eaten daily: a food-based dietary guideline for South Africa. SAJCN. 26(S), S66-S76.
  2. van Vliet, S. et al., 2017. Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of postexercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 106:1401–12.
  3. Wallace, T.C., 2018. A Comprehensive Review of Eggs, Choline, and Lutein on Cognition Across the Life-span. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 37(4): 269-285. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2017.1423248
  4. Xia, P.F., 2020. Dietary Intakes of Eggs and Cholesterol in Relation to All-Cause and Heart Disease Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of the American Heart Association. 9:e015743. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.119.015743.

 

Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash

In appreciation of the egg…

The below article was issued for the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) by Protactic Strategic Communications

There’s something to celebrate! Friday 9 October 2020 is World Egg Day, a welcome souffle moment to appreciate the sheer nutritional, environmental and all-day, every-meal culinary perfection that is the egg.

The SA Department of Health’s food-based dietary guidelines state that eggs can be eaten every day! This means that not only can eggs help fight malnutrition, they increase the nutrient and protein plate profile of the average hard-working, time-strapped South African making family meals on a budget.

Another reason to eat more eggs in this worrying age of worldwide climate change is that they are easy on the environment. They are a wonderfully sustainable food, that has a low environmental impact, and requires very little water to produce. In fact, the overall footprint of farming eggs has been significantly reduced in the past 50 years!

Even if all you do is hard-boil them, always-tasty eggs provide high quality complete protein (they contain all nine of the amino acids that make up protein), along with an array of necessary daily nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which contribute to protecting your eye health.

Another important antioxidant in the egg arsenal is choline. According to the South African Poultry Association’s dietitian, this is an often under-consumed yet critical nutrient for neurocognitive development, meaning it could help maintain brain health at every age and stage of life, but is especially critical during pregnancy. Two eggs contain about 250mg of choline, or roughly half the recommended daily choline needs in pregnancy, so eggs are an important food for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It also helps that eggs are quick to cook and easy to eat during this busy time!

Other nutrients you get with your eggs include vitamin A, which helps with vision, B vitamins from vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B12 (cobalamin) to vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), all of which help the body change the food you eat into energy, phosphorus for strong bones and teeth, immune-supporting selenium, and a natural source of vitamin D for strong bones, teeth, and immune function.

Research suggests that if you are low in vitamin D you increase your risk of autoimmune diseases, heart disease and cancers. And new research also tells us that vitamin D may reduce the risk of COVID-19 and flu infections, which is especially good news in 2020! Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, with almost one-third of our daily needs in one large egg.

Most of the vitamin D is found in the egg yolk, along with about half the protein in an egg, so be sure to always eat the whole egg – forget those egg-white omelettes please!

How are you going to celebrate your love for eggs on World Egg Day? Bake a gorgeous cake, make a morish custard or a filling family-friendly quiche? We’re partial to a good egg salad in a jar (recipe below), great for prepping ahead and taking with you for a fabulous lunch wherever you have to be.

Creamy, egg salad jar

Makes 2 mason jars

Preparation time 20 minutes

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 150ml mayonnaise
  • 60ml (¼ cup) sour cream
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground paprika
  • 1 large potato, boiled and cut into small cubes

Ingredients for the salad

  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 10 Rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 4 large eggs, hard boiled
  • Sesame seeds, toasted to serve

Method

  1. To make the dressing mix all the ingredients well, except for the potatoes, and then gently mix in the potatoes.
  2. Divide the potato mixture between two mason jars and start layering the jars with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.