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Happy (almost) Easter! The Health Benefits of Egg Yolks

Posted Apr 02 2012 6:53pm

As a vegetarian, one of the most common complaints I hear from concerned friends and family is that it is impossible to get enough protein by following a vegetarian diet. Their concerns are valid, most of them know that I live a pretty active lifestyle and consider daily physical activity as one of my top priorities. In order to grow and repair the muscles that I use on a regular basis, I need to make sure protein is part of my diet. Despite the concerns of my worried family members, getting an adequate amount of protein on a vegetarian diet is not very difficult, and in fact, americans following a typical western diet consume almost double the recommended amount of protein every day ( Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ). Thanks to healthy protein sources like tofu, lentils beans, and eggs protein is not a concern for me.

Could this be the most wonderful time of the year to be a vegetarian? Provided you consume eggs, Easter is one of the easiest holidays for vegetarians to navigate. I know I can’t wait to indulge in eggs of every color this Easter, and I hope you do too!

One of the most common misconceptions of eggs is that the yolk is a cholesterol bomb that is only consumed by diner go-ers and people not concerned about their health. Although egg yolk consumption does raise cholesterol levels, it does not put it’s consumers at risk for coronary heart disease, and moderate consumption by those with healthy cholesterol levels is actually beneficial to overall health ( University of Connecticut Study, 2006 )

The following is why you should consider ditching the egg-white-only omelets and start embracing the incredible, edible little guys for all their wholesome goodness!

  • Egg yolks serve the functional purpose of feeding a growing embryo, so therefore have more nutrients! Vitamins B6, folate (a B vitamin), B-12, A, D, E and K are all contained in the little yellow yolk! Of those, vitamins A, D, E and K are found only in egg yolks and not in the egg whites. In addition, vitamin D is found only in a handful of food sources, and egg yolks is one of them!
  • Egg yolks contain choline which is known to fight off cardiovascular disease and may reduce the risk of breast cancer! Choline also increases brain function and is being studied to play a role in prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. ( Egg Nutrition Center )
  • They also contain leutin which preserves the eye against tissue loss and cataracts!
  • Most of an egg’s calcium comes from the yolk as well as most of it’s iron. Women often struggle to get enough of both of these nutrients and consuming the yolk is an easy way to boost consumption.
The following is a video on how to hard boil an egg. Dip them in some dye, color on them with marker (or my personal favorite, glitter puff-paint) or leave them as-is and enjoy year-round!

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