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Whole Eggs for Muscle Growth

by Tia Rains, Ph.D. | Jan 15, 2018
In nutrition science, individual nutrients are often recognized for their specific roles in physiology. We know that calcium is critical for bone health, choline is important for brain development and a lack of vitamin C will result in scurvy. However, whole foods are complex and contain numerous compounds, often leading to effects that extend beyond the sum of their parts.

 This was seen in a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers examined the effects of whole egg consumption compared to an isonitrogenous amount of egg whites in healthy young men following exercise. They found that, despite containing the same amount of protein (16 grams), whole eggs resulted in significantly greater muscle protein synthesis versus egg whites.

Egg whites have long been a favorite of athletes and fitness professionals due to their high-quality protein content. The white fraction of one large egg contains 3.6 grams of protein and 17 calories. However, the overwhelming majority of essential vitamins and minerals reside in the yolk, including choline, selenium, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Egg yolks also contain 4.5 grams of fat per large egg, most of which is unsaturated. In addition to the traditional nutrition components, there are a number of bioactive compounds in the yolk, many of which have yet to be characterized.

Which or how many of these components are important in stimulating muscle protein synthesis remains to be determined.  As is always the case with nutrition science, more research is needed.

Reference: Vilet S, et al. Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of postexercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. E-pub ahead of print.

 

Rose AcreTM Recipe of the Month

Huevos Rancheros

        
          
Ingredients:
  • 4 large EGGS
  • 1 tsp.canola oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp.each ground cumin and dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp.salt
  • 1 Tbsp. no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted, diced green jalapeno pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 small corn tortillas, approximately 6'' wide
  • 1/4 cup crumbled fat-free feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 lime wedges
  • black pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. COOK onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, or until softened. STIR in cumin, oregano, salt, tomato paste and jalapeno chilis for 1 minute or until combined. ADD tomatoes with juice; REDUCE heat to medium-low and SIMMER for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. REMOVE skillet from heat and cover to keep warm.
  • BAKE tortillas in single layer on large baking sheet in preheated 400ºF oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until crispy.
  • For Sunny-Side Up, Over-Easy or Over-Hard Eggs: HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high. BREAK eggs and SLIP into skillet one at a time. Immediately REDUCE heat to low.
  • COOK eggs for about 5 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. SERVE as is or FLIP eggs over carefully and COOK to desired doneness. SPRINKLE eggs lightly with salt and pepper.
  • SPOON warm sauce evenly over tortillas on four plates. TOP each tortilla with fried egg and sprinkle with feta and cilantro. SERVE immediately with lime wedges.
"This is the day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24

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