As we gradually adjust to the knowledge that eggs are good for us—as in that they won’t skyrocket our cholesterol levels—there is more and more evidence coming to light in their favor. Eggs are looking better and better every day! They help with weight loss, are extremely nutrient-dense, improve cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of stroke. Interestingly, recent research even suggests that eating eggs on the regular could actually make you more generous.
You’re probably thinking, “Hold up, that’s crazy!” but hear us through. According to researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands, the tryptophan in eggs (and your Thanksgiving turkey for that matter) increase the likelihood of a person contributing to charity. The published study draws a connection between tryptophan consumption and serotonin production, the hormone which makes us feel good. It’s also possible that the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin initiates oxytocin production, another feel-good hormone associated with encouraging a charitable outlook.
Participants in the study who were given tryptophan supplements (equivalent to the tryptophan content of 3 eggs) donated twice as much money to charity as participants not administered tryptophan. While additional studies must be conducted to rule out other influencing factors like hunger, it is becoming clear that the food we put into our bodies is more powerful than we give it credit for.
The study states that “our results support the materialist approach that ‘you are what you eat’—the idea that the food one eats has a bearing on one’s state of mind.” The foods we eat dictate, in a profound way, how we interact with our world. Eggs are an affordable, healthy food that deserve a place in a balanced diet. Eat pasture-raised, organic, local eggs as often as possible, as these are the healthiest choice for your body, the chickens and the planet. Here are 3 healthy ways to incorporate pastured eggs into your day, no matter the meal:
-Avocado Deviled Eggs — These deviled eggs use no mayo (unless you want to). They simply rely on avocado, dijon mustard, egg yolks, salt and paprika for that deliciously creamy filling. Make a bunch of these to keep in the fridge for snacks. You’ll be so glad you did.
-Build-Your-Own Breakfast Sandwich—Nothing’s easier than cooking up two eggs, toasting up some bread and spreading on some goat cheese, avocado and arugula. Get creative with your egg sandwiches, mixing and matching foods and flavors you like. Plus, eggs are incredibly satisfying.
-Egg-Topped Pizza—This homemade pizza, topped with roasted red peppers, olives, arugula and, of course, eggs, is a tasty way to an impressive dinner. Plus, the incorporation of eggs boosts the protein content of the pizza, which helps to balance out blood sugar levels and make the meal less carb-heavy.
If you’re vegan, you can still reap the benefits of tryptophan without eating eggs. Spirulina, for instance, has three times as much tryptophan as a serving of turkey. Other great sources include chia seeds, roasted soybeans, pepitas and sesame seeds.