Eggs’ Sunny Upside

One of Nature's Most Perfect Foods

Often considered one of nature’s most perfect foods, eggs are an excellent source of protein, lipids, vitamins and minerals. Now, researchers at the University of Alberta, in Canada, have discovered that they also contain antioxidant properties that help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Jianping Wu and his team of researchers at the university’s Department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science examined egg yolks produced by hens that were fed typical diets of either primarily wheat or corn. They found the yolks contained two amino acids; tryptophan and tyrosine, which have high antioxidant properties. The researchers found that two raw egg yolks offer almost twice as many antioxidant properties as one apple and about the same as half a serving (25 grams) of cranberries. When the eggs were fried or boiled, however, the beneficial properties were reduced by about half. “It’s a big reduction, but it still leaves eggs equal to apples in their antioxidant value,” says Wu.

In prior research, Wu found that egg proteins converted by digestive enzymes produced peptides that work in the same way as ACE inhibitors, prescription drugs used to reduce high blood pressure. That finding contradicted the notion that eggs increase high blood pressure because of their cholesterol content.

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