All good things come in small packages! This is certainly true of eggs, which are full of protein and other minerals. A breakfast without an egg is simply not worthwhile, say many seasoned foodies. In fact, this beneficial ingredient helps us to curb our cravings for sugary eats considerably. All that we know about this simple nutritious food is not enough though. There are many hitherto unknown facts that have come to light recently. Here are a few of them…
The protein within an egg is never wasted. Your body gets to use every bit of it as it is broken down into amino acids and absorbed. Other muscle building foods, including the over-hyped protein powders, are needed in excess quantities to match the humble egg, when it comes to protein utilization.
Well, this one is no exaggeration. The egg yolk contains the vitamin, choline, which in turn, breaks down into bethane, a substance used during methylation. Neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norephinephrin are released during the process, which are termed collectively as, “happiness hormones.”
Rich Yellow Yolk
The vibrant yellow color of an egg yolk does not automatically mean more heath for you. The intensity of color actually varies according to the chicken feed. Fowls, fed on a variety of grains and carotenoid rich grasses produce a deep yellow hued yolks but that has no bearing on the quality of the egg.
Choosing an egg by the opacity of its white part is not too wise either! In fact, the color gets clearer with age, and the fresh ones have a milky, translucent white. Again, it does not affect the nutrition quotient directly. So, you are free to eat both the clear as well as the opaque ones.
Age Of Chicken
It is best to count the number of years on your chicken before they lay eggs! It has been observed that the very old (97 weeks) and very young chickens (28 weeks), produce eggs that are low in solids.
Brown Or White
The age old debate of brown or white has no relation to the egg’s nutritive value either. The shell color depicts the breed of the chicken but again that has nothing to do with the protein content of the egg.
Long Shelf Life
The eggs can actually be stored and eaten for three to five weeks even after the lapse of their ‘sell by date.’
So make sure to include eggs for breakfast. Putting them in one basket is your prerogative!
“Going vegan,” or cutting out all animal products (including meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs) from the diet, has become an increasingly popular choice over the past several decades for both health and ethical reasons. If done right, a vegan diet can be nutritious, delicious and healthy – it can significantly lower cholesterol, reduce diabetes and obesity risk, and even reduce the risk of death from a heart attack by about 25%.
But people going vegan need to avoid common pitfalls that can lead to unhealthy food choices and nutrient deficiencies. Make sure you go vegan the safe way with these important dos and don’ts.
Get a boost of vitamin B12
Animal products are usually our main dietary source of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that our bodies need to keep our nerve and blood cells healthy. Vegans are at increased risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can cause anemia and neurological problems including uneven gait, numbness or tingling in the extremities, mood problems, dementia and decreased concentration. To maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels, vegans should take a 25 microgram vitamin-B12 supplement once a day. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement.
Start off slowly
Going vegan suddenly can be a big adjustment for your body. Try starting your transition by being a part-time vegan – eat vegan until 6 PM and then finish your day off with moderate servings of fish, eggs and dairy. Continue this pattern for about a month before you cut out all animal products.
Rely on packaged vegan foods.
Many pre-packaged vegan foods are loaded with artificial ingredients and sodium, and many are high in calories. If you check out the packaging, you may be surprised to find that many veggie burgers have more calories than a beef patty and might also have extra chemicals to make up for taste and color. Limit packaged vegan foods to no more than once a week.
Animal-based foods tend to be high in protein, so you should be sure to replace them with high-protein vegan alternatives. Beans, soymilk, quinoa, tofu, peanut butter and oatmeal are all good sources of protein. Check out these surprising sources of protein for some more ideas (but note that not all of them are vegan-friendly).
Just eat raw food.
Some vegans gravitate toward eating raw foods. In many cases, cooked vegetables, beans and grains may be easier for our bodies to digest and can provide us with more nutrients. Don’t limit yourself to only raw or only cooked foods – mix it up for a healthy balance.
5 Surprising Sources of Protein
AVOCADO From antioxidants to mono-unsaturated fats, avocados are loaded with good-for-you nutrients including protein.
GRUYERE CHEESE One ounce of this popular hard cheese contains eight grams of protein – more than an egg! Pair this sweet, nutty cheese with fruit or crackers for a protein-rich snack.
CHICKPEAS A half-cup of this versatile snack contains more than seven grams of protein. Add chickpeas to a salad, purée them with tahini, garlic, vinegar and some oil to make hummus or roast them for an on-the-go protein boost.
HEMP SEEDS This superfood is loaded with protein and essential amino acids. One ounce of hemp seeds contains six grams of protein – about as much as an egg! It can be added to almost any meal with ease, just sprinkle it over cereals, salads or rice dishes.
GREEN PEAS Did you know a serving of green peas contains as much protein as single serving of peanut butter? A single cup of peas contains eight grams of protein as well as nearly 100% of your daily vitamin C needs and plenty of satiating fiber.
5 things to do before you lift
HAVE A DRINK Muscles are around 75 per cent water, and being even slightly dehydrated can lead to a ten per cent drop in contractile strength.
LOAD UP THE IPOD Listening to music while training makes you focus on the session so that you work out harder for less perceived effort.
CHECK YOUR WATCH Do your workouts in the afternoon. Studies have identified that body temperature naturally peaks then, meaning muscles are warmer and more flexible and strength is at its peak.
HAVE A TARGET Numerous studies have shown that goal-setting leads to performance enhancement, so plan a training programme that allows you to increase the weight you lift over time, rather than hitting the machines haphazardly.
BRACE YOUR CORE Your core stabilises your body while lifting but is also involved in transferring power from your legs to your upper body when performing moves based on the chest, shoulders and back.
Tofu and Vegetable Pasta
• 1 oz cheese, low-fat
• 1 oz tofu, extra firm
• 1 cup pasta, uncooked
• 1 Tbl tomato sauce
• 1 cup broccoli
• ¼ cup squash, yellow
• 1 cup cauliflower
• ½ cup eggplant
• ½ medium tomato
• 1 tsp oil, high oleic safflower
Spices / Flavoring
• ½ tsp Italian seasoning
• ¼ tsp black pepper
Grate cheese and set aside.
Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain water from pasta and set aside.
Chop tofu and vegetables and stir fry with tomato sauce
and seasonings over medium heat.
Serve over pasta and sprinkle grated cheese on top. Enjoy!
Per serving: 349 calories, 23g protein,
9g total fat, 44g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes