Eggs for Your Brain, Heart and Health

As Mother’s Day approaches, I want to remember my Mom with a recipe that is perfect for Mother’s Day brunch and review some reassuring research about eggs, “Nature’s perfect protein”. 

First, the much-maligned egg has been vindicated (once again), this time by an Australian study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This year-long study looked at the effect of eating 12 eggs per week versus just 2 eggs per week on a group of people with pre-diabetes or type-2 diabetes. 

The lead researcher, Dr. Nick Fuller, said "While eggs themselves are high in dietary cholesterol -- and people with type 2 diabetes tend to have higher levels of the 'bad' low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol -- this study supports existing research that shows consumption of eggs has little effect on the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the people eating them."

This is fantastic news because eggs offer a complete protein that is low in calories (just 78 calories/egg) and rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Egg yolks concentrate “carotenoids”, the bright red, yellow and orange pigments from plants. The yellow color of the yolk is due to lutein and zeaxanthin, which migrates to the retina to protect against macular degeneration and damage by UV rays. 

Eggs also contain choline, a B vitamin that builds healthy cell membranes and acetylcholine, the “learning” neurotransmitter. Choline is now being used to improve cognitive health, and support healthy liver and cardiac function. 

Free-range eggs, hatched from chickens that roam grassy fields have a much higher concentration of these beneficial compounds than the poor factory-farmed chickens that live in cages and indoor warehouses where they’re fed pellets, not grass and worms!

As you may know, I’m a big fan of protein-powered breakfasts and have created a set of recipes that you can find here

Looking back, I realize that my sweet Mom was really my “first patient”. Like many housewives of the 1950s and ‘60’s, she loved the new convenience foods, from Campbell’s soup to Wonder bread and Ding Dongs. Naturally, this diet began to take its toll and she struggled with her weight, high blood pressure and migraine headaches. 

By the time I was in high school, I was charged with reading everything I could about how to eat to get healthy, lose weight, lower blood pressure and ease her terrible headaches. I can see now that it was her health challenges that led me to earn a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and go on to naturopathic medical school to study nutrition and natural medicine. Though she passed away 7 years ago, I thank my Mom for her love and support and giving me the opportunity to help her and others use food as medicine to prevent and reverse disease. 

So instead of indulging your Mom in syrup-drenched French toast or pancakes this weekend, I hope you’ll make this delicious frittata. It’s loaded with Italian veggies, eggs and fresh cheeses, and then baked in a skillet until golden brown. Be sure to prep enough that you have breakfast handled for the next few mornings! 

My mission is to feed you healthy recipes and tasty bites of power-packed information. Let me know if you enjoy this recipe and post by liking or commenting below. A santé! (To health)!  

For more information or to schedule an appointment with me, check out my work at the Marin Natural Medicine Clinic.


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