Eggs are the fittest food for a healthy lifestyle
Luckily, we live in a more health conscious and active world than our parents did. However there is one mainstay of our traditional diet that is perfect for the healthy lifestyle – eggs.
If you’re an athlete, pounding the pavements in the early mornings before work or at the weekend or spending your evenings in the gym, you’re building a fitter healthier body. However for all the extra stress you’re putting your body under you need extra fuel and protein for muscle growth and repair. There’s a great source of this already in your fridge, and what is more, it’s the most versatile food available to us –eggs. Here are some facts about the health benefits of eating eggs as part of an active lifestyle and balanced diet.
Why are eggs beneficial for athletes?
• Eggs are a complete source of protein which is what athletes require after intense exercise to adapt and get stronger - this makes eggs a great recovery food for anyone who exercises regularly.
• Building muscle mass is a key goal for many athletes. Eggs provide all the essential building blocks (amino acids) needed by the body to grow and adapt to their training.
• Eggs are a quick, convenient and cost effective way for athletes to meet their daily protein requirements.
• As eggs are a slow digesting food they can be used as an evening snack option to provide protein in the form of amino acids for the recovery of muscles into the night.
• Athletes require a protein source in the morning to fuel their day and eggs are a great morning food option.
And for everyone who exercises?
• Skipping breakfast is often associated with higher intakes of calories later in the day which may lead to weight gain. Having a protein breakfast has been shown to reduce hunger and the desire to eat more food later in the day.
• Fullness – With a high protein content eggs help to make you feel fuller for longer making them a great breakfast or snack option.
• Eggs are one of nature's most nutritious foods, not only do they contain protein and healthy fats but also essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate.
Eggs are inexpensive, they are widely available and with Bord Bia Quality Assured logo you can be certain that they have been produced to the highest Bord Bia quality standards and you know where they come from. . They are about the most versatile food we can buy, delicious on their own or as a main ingredient in any kind of recipe you wish.
Teresa Brophy, Consumer and Trade Marketing Manager at Bord Bia said, “. Eggs are suitable for any meal occasion and ideal for quick and tasty lunch or dinner options for a busy person on the go, all in under 70 calories for a medium-sized egg. At less than €2 for half a dozen eggs, they are also excellent value. Nutrition guidelines recommend that a healthy individual can have up to seven eggs a week (our Guide to Healthy Eating Using the Food Pyramid – Department of Health and HSE)”
Bord Bia teamed up with Daniel Davey, Senior Performance Nutritionist and founder of popular food nutrition network FoodFlicker, who developed a suite of delicious egg recipes using Bord Bia Quality Assured eggs which are high in nutritional value and suitable for any meal occasion. Check out www.bordbia.ie and see two recipes below with images.
Potato and Spinach Hash with Fried Eggs
750g mini white potatoes
1 tablesp. coconut oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tablesp. butter
¼ teasp. salt
¼ teasp. pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
100g coarsely shredded spinach
100g cheddar cheese, grated
¼ teasp. cayenne pepper
1. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until fork-tender. This will take roughly 10 minutes. Drain, let cool slightly and cut into quarters.
2. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil over a medium-low heat in large non-stick pan. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring often. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan, melt the butter over a medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until light golden brown. Sprinkle with half each of the salt and pepper. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes until tender. Add the spinach and onion and cook until the spinach is wilted. Stir in the cheese until melted.
4. Add a little oil to a separate clean pan and cook the eggs over medium heat until whites are set but yolks are still soft, or until almost hard if you prefer.
5. Serve the eggs over the hash with a little cayenne pepper sprinkled over them.
Quinoa Frittata with Spinach and Feta Cheese
60g quinoa, uncooked
40 g feta cheese, crumbled
Handful of baby spinach leaves
100g cooked bacon OR ham OR chicken
1 teasp. butter
1. Cook the quinoa according to your preferred method.
2. Whisk the eggs and add in the cooked quinoa, feta cheese, spinach and bacon OR ham OR chicken.
3. Heat an ovenproof frying pan and melt the butter.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for two minutes on high heat.
5. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake at Gas Mark 4, 180oC (350°F) for 15 minutes or until the middle is firm.
6. Remove from the oven, taking care of the hot handle and serve.