Is your New Year Resolution to get healthier or lose weight? If so, start your day with an egg. Eggs help to increase metabolism and keep you feeling full longer. It is well known that eating breakfast increases brain power and balances the glycemic index. Eggs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy proteins and healthy fats. A healthy person can eat up to 7 eggs per week with no noticeable increase in cholesterol, however type 2 diabetes individuals or those with consistently high cholesterol may need to watch their dietary intake and limit to fewer eggs per week or eat the white of the egg, though be aware that the yolk is what packs the nutrients and dietary benefits, so include the yolk at least part of the time. For those that grab a quick bagel at up to 350 calories, compared to 72 calories in the average large egg that is higher in protein and nutrients, eating an egg a day for weight loss can be easily calculated as being the healthier option.
Eggs can be prepared in so many different ways, there is no limit to how you can benefit from the good nutrients that eggs provide. Scrambled, poached, boiled, fried and baked may be how we think of egg preparation, but how about topping your favorite casserole, or placing eggs in your tomato based sauces and a smooth egg custard is a perfect way to have eggs, help ease the dietary cravings as well as offer that sense of comfort that few other foods can. For breakfast, whip up a couple eggs in a large mug, set in the microwave 1-2 minutes (about the same time to toast a bagel), and you have a quick, nutritional breakfast even on the go.
The protein in eggs improves muscle strength whether you're body building or losing some muscle tone from the long winters of less exercise, though I don't think that completely applies to anyone raising chickens because of the general duties involved with caring for them; regardless we can all benefit from toning muscles and especially as we age and find the muscles are not as efficient as they once were. With 7% of our dietary requirements in protein, eggs are a powerhouse food that helps keep us healthy and productive.
Eggs are also high in calcium for bone strength. Without healthy bones, our bodies tend to break down and the muscles have to work much harder whenever we are active. With up to 19% of our daily requirement of calcium, eggs are an excellent source for healthy teeth and bones. When raising chickens, we use a lot of back strength, so keeping the spine, hips, neck healthy means fewer muscle injuries and fewer overworked muscles.
Eggs are also one of the few foods high in Vitamin D, and A. In winter many people become deficient in Vitamin D that is required for healthy skin and those suffering from lower light syndrome, may benefit from an increase in Vitamin D. Vitamin A is required for good eyesight and may prevent or slow Macular Degeneration.
Though Eggs are a very important part of any healthy weight loss or general health and well-being, let us not forget the benefits of the meat. Chicken meat is also very high in protein and comparable to beef, but it's lower in fat than most other meat. Again, chicken can be prepared so many different ways, that you could have chicken daily and would not have to repeat the same recipe for weeks ahead. Ground, shredded, baked, fried, broiled, grilled, smoked, with any combination of healthy vegetables, beans and grains, you have once again a near perfect food high in the recommended nutrients required for daily intake. Rich in the B vitamins, B12, B6 and B3 to help control stresses, Calcium, phosphorus and zinc are all very important elements within our daily diets.
A meal of chicken can be prepared and ready to eat within 30 minutes, so even those with busy schedules can make a nutritious meal with little time or effort. A slow cooker can make that even more simple, by doing all the cooking for you and ready to eat when you walk in the door. Just toss your meat, vegetables, grains, beans or whatever your favorite combination is into that slow cooker, set on low for 8 hours and you're good to go with little to no time or effort.
So while you're making those New Year resolutions for a healthier lifestyle remember to add eggs and chicken meat to those plans, for all the health benefits without the sacrifice associated with exercise and good nutrition. As with any good diet, nutrition is never sacrificed, a good well balanced meal in proper portions is the easiest and most effective way to tone the body and meet the necessary caloric intake along with proper nutrition to keep the body healthy and functioning properly. While dieting may seem like drudgery, we can still enjoy the foods that pack the most nutrition without sacrificing flavor or appeal.
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