3 Reasons to Welcome Eggs Back into Your Diet

veggies_w_eggsAfter years of getting a bad rap, it seems eggs are finally getting some of the positive press they deserve. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, along with beneficial amino acids, B vitamins, and healthy fats. But if that’s not enough, three recent studies may inspire you to add an omelet or two to your weekly menu—or to top that healthy salad with a little hard-boiled goodness.

  1. Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
    Researchers in Finland recently found that eating eggs was associated with a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, possibly because eggs contain beneficial nutrients that play a role in healthy glucose metabolism. In a study involving more than 2,300 middle-aged men, those who ate approximately four eggs weekly had a 37% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate only one egg a week.
  2. Healthy Weight Management
    An Australian study recently recruited 140 overweight men and women to study the effects of eggs on healthy weight management. Participants were divided into two groups—those who ate fewer than two eggs per week and those who ate two eggs a day, six days a week. Both groups were encouraged to eat similar amounts of protein, but those in the high egg consumption group said they weren’t as hungry overall and reported feeling more satisfied after meals.
  3. Better Absorption of Key Nutrients
    A new Purdue University study determined that adding eggs to your salad may increase the absorption of the beneficial nutrients found in raw veggies. More than a dozen participants were asked to eat three different versions of a mixed-veggie salad: one with no eggs, one with one and a half eggs, and one with three eggs (each containing an even mixture of yolk and egg white). When eggs were added, researchers saw a notable improvement in the absorption of nutrients called carotenoids. Carotenoids—including beta-carotene and lycopene—are antioxidants and linked to better health and reduced inflammation.

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Study Links Gut Bacteria to How Toddlers Behave, Especially Boys

toddler_holding_doorWhat do those terrible twos have to do with gut bacteria? More than parents may think, say researchers from Ohio State University. They recently analyzed stool samples from more than 75 children ages 18 to 27 months and compared them to parent-answered questionnaires about emotional reaction. What they found was that variations in bacterial diversity were strongly linked to differences in behavior and temperament—most notably among boys.

Toddlers whose gut microbes were more diverse were more likely to be curious, social, and happy, while fewer types and numbers of bacteria was associated with signs of stress and fearful behavior, according to findings published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. This may have something to do with the relationship between gut flora and stress hormones, say researchers, which can affect both physical and mental health.

“There is substantial evidence that intestinal bacteria interact with stress hormones—the same hormones that have been implicated in chronic illnesses like obesity and asthma,” said study author Lisa Christian. “A toddler’s temperament gives us a good idea of how they react to stress. This information combined with an analysis of their gut microbiome could ultimately help us identify opportunities to prevent chronic health issues earlier.”

Interestingly, the connection between gut bacteria and temperament remained despite factors such as diet, breastfeeding, or how the child was delivered (either vaginally or by C-section)—and that connection was found to be more consistent among males than females. Researchers plan to continue studying the link between gut bacteria and behavior, but their findings are in line with previous studies showing a strong gut-brain connection.

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