Sunny Side Up
By Liz Applegate Ph.D. From the April 2012 issue of Runner’s World
Got a dozen on hand? As a runner, you should. Routinely eating eggs affords you amazing health benefits. Here are five reasons to crack one open.
TO SLIM DOWN
In a study, dieters who had eggs for breakfast achieved a 60 percent greater weight loss compared with those who began their day with a calorie-equivalent bagel. Researchers theorize the quality protein in whole eggs (13 percent of the Daily Value) helps control appetite. What’s more, egg protein is easy for your body to absorb, which makes it a good muscle-repair food after a long run or tempo workout.
TO PROTECT (YES, PROTECT) YOUR HEART
Numerous studies have debunked the link between eggs and heart disease. In fact, research shows that eating several eggs a week results in cholesterol particles that are less likely to spell cardiac trouble. What’s more, a unique protein found in egg yolks blocks platelets (the cells responsible for blood clots) from clumping together inside blood vessels, thereby minimizing heart-attack risk.
TO FIGHT INFLAMMATION
Whole eggs are one of the best sources of the nutrient choline (one large egg has 30 percent of your daily value, mostly in the yolk). Besides playing a key role in brain health, choline helps keep the body’s circulatory system clear of compounds that would otherwise cause inflammation, which can lead to disorders ranging from muscle swelling after a hard workout to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
TO MAINTAIN BONE STRENGTH
Eggs are one of the few natural sources of bone-building vitamin D. One egg supplies 10 percent of the Daily Value. Brands like Eggland’s Best have double that amount.
TO KEEP YOUR VISION SHARP
Yolks contain the pigment lutein, which helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (a leading form of blindness). And while spinach and other greens contain higher amounts of lutein, eggs provide a more absorbable form.