Why you should add an egg to your salad
Adding an egg to that salad improves the absorption of carotenoids, according to a new study from Purdue University.
In a study group of 16 participants, the absorption of carotenoids was 3.8-fold higher when the participant’s salad included three eggs compared to no eggs. Carotenoids are antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and eye degeneration.
“Eating a salad with a variety of colorful vegetables provides several unique types of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene,” said Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science, in a news release. “The lipid contained in whole eggs enhances the absorption of all these carotenoids.”
Carotenoids are commonly mentioned when talking about superfoods, or those that act as a disease-fighting antioxidant. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, foods high in carotenoids include red, orange, deep yellow and some dark green leafy vegetables.
“There have been other studies concluding that there is greater absorption of carotenoids when salads were consumed with full fat instead of reduced fat salad dressings,” said Sandra Gifford, registered dietitian at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “Including an egg with a salad provides a protein source to make the meal balanced and may have increased benefits when it comes to carotenoids.”
About the Author
Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.