In a struggling economy, folks are looking for inexpensive food sources to maintain their health and fitness, and eggs are both a low-cost and a low-calorie solution, at a mere 75 calories each. Although eggs have received some negative press in the recent past regarding their health benefits, new studies have shown that they are much healthier than originally thought. Eggs are a rich source of protein, minerals and vitamins, and in moderation, are an important part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. In fact, the high quality protein that an egg provides helps to maintain a healthy weight, because when eaten, you feel fuller for a longer period of time. A single egg provides 5.5 grams of quality protein, which is 11.1% of the daily recommended amount for an adult.
One egg contains 13 essential nutrients and anti-oxidants in varying amounts. Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help assist in maintaining eye health with the prevention of both cataracts and macular degeneration. Also, eggs are an excellent source of choline, which aids in the regulation of the heart, brain and nervous system. Choline also contains anti-inflammatory properties which can have positive effects on a wide range of conditions such as type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Eggs are one of the few foods that contain naturally occurring Vitamin D, which helps to form and maintain strong bones. They are a nutrient-dense source of nutrition for folks of all ages. In fact, eaten moderately, eggs may just be one of nature’s perfect foods.
New research has shown that consumption of one egg per day does not have a negative impact on blood cholesterol. In fact, it has been found that it is saturated and trans fats, rather than dietary cholesterol that impacts blood cholesterol levels in humans. One large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol, and according to the Mayo clinic, the recommended daily intake for dietary cholesterol for a healthy person is 300 mg. Egg yolks contain healthy mono saturated and polyunsaturated fats and nearly half of the protein found in the egg. However, if you are not fond of the yolks, remember that egg whites have no cholesterol at all! So if you prefer a non-cholesterol option, just substitute two egg whites for every egg in recipes. Check out these cost-effective, delicious and easy egg recipes below to fill your egg-a-day quota!
This is a great recipe that can be served for breakfast or for lunch!
Super Healthy Egg Sandwich – Serves Four
Four whole wheat English muffins, sliced
1 T olive oil
Eight slices roast turkey lunch meat
Four T fat-free cream cheese
1 large tomato cut into eight slices
Fry eggs in olive oil, over easy in a large non stick pan. Toast English muffins and spread one T of cream cheese on one side of each muffin. Fold two pieces of turkey lunch meat and place on plain side of muffin and top with two slices of tomato. Gently place fried egg on top of tomatoes, top with a pinch of the alfalfa sprouts and the cheesy muffin half and place on a small serving plate. To eat, squeeze the sandwich gently to break the egg yolk and use for dipping. Tasty! Note: Spinach leaves are a tasty and equally healthy alternative to alfalfa sprouts.
Here is an interesting and delicious take on traditional potato salad, which makes a wonderful side dish or lunch!
Egg Salad Stuffed Potatoes – Serves Four
Four large russet potatoes
Four hard boiled eggs
3 green onions
1 large dill pickle, diced small
1 small can of sliced black olives
3 T Olive Oil Mayonnaise
2 t spicy brown mustard
1 t favorite seasoning salt
1/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Wrap potatoes in foil and bake in 350 degree oven until soft, about 45 minutes to one hour. Unwrap, let cool for ten or fifteen minutes, and then slice lengthwise about halfway down and carefully scoop our the potato guts into a separate bowl and let cool while you mix the remaining ingredients. Slice cooled, hard boiled eggs into medium sized bowl and add sliced green onions, diced dill pickle and sliced olives. Add the potato guts and mix all ingredients with the mayonnaise, mustard and seasoning salt until blended. Scoop the mixture into the potato shells, top with some grated sharp cheddar cheese and enjoy!
Here’s a great recipe if you don’t know what to do with leftover baked chicken breasts!
Fiesta Chicken, Egg and Chilies Bake – Serves Four
Six corn tortillas, sliced in half
Two large baked, boneless chicken breasts, shredded
Two large cans, whole green chilies, sliced down center and seeded
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey jack cheese
1/8 cup flour
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
Several dashes of hot sauce
Prepare a 9 x 9 inch square baking dish with cooking spray, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer one half of the corn tortilla halves along the bottom of the pan and top with one half of the shredded chicken and one can of prepared green chilies. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and again layer with the remaining corn tortillas, shredded chicken and green chilies. Place the eggs, jack cheese, flour, salt, pepper and hot sauce in a medium sized bowl and beat until smooth. Pour over the top of the ingredients in the pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into squares and, enjoy!