Niki Bezzant is a New Zealand-based food and nutrition writer, speaker, editor and thinker.
Niki Bezzant – writer, speaker and commentator in food, science and health, talks about how our everyday diets can potentially help in our day-to-day good health and wellbeing.
As we move out of winter we’re likely doing all we can to protect ourselves from seasonal bugs, which might include supplements and healthy eating. Of course, we can’t prevent illnesses with any one specific food, tonic or supplement – no matter what the claims – but a good diet can support our overall general health.
Eating well means we’re more likely to get important substances we need to stay healthy.
For example, antioxidants are fundamental for our bodies to curb free radicals, damaging particles linked to ageing and other issues including some cancers and heart diseases. Selenium is an antioxidant that protects our body and immune system. As an added bonus, it helps us stay looking good by contributing to healthy hair and nails. It’s also important for growth and development in children.
Vitamin B12 helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It’s found in animal foods, so if you’re cutting down on meat, your B12 intake is worth keeping an eye on.
Protein is a super important nutrient, helping build and repair tissue, grow and maintain muscle mass – especially important as we age and tend to lose muscle – and protect bones.
There’s an everyday quiet hero food that contains all these goodies and more, and you may even have it in your fridge and pantry right now. It’s the humble egg, and it’s worth including it in your everyday diet.
The latest evidence shows eggs are a nutrient-dense natural food and an excellent addition to a whole food, healthy diet. Eggs contain 14 essential vitamins and minerals including about a quarter of the B12 you need in a day and between four and eight grams of highly digestible, great quality natural protein. Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are carotenoids – types of antioxidants that can help with age-related macular degeneration.
The Heart Foundation, Ministry of Health* and the NZ Nutrition Foundation have all given eggs a big tick for their nutrition, protein and vitamins. The Heart Foundation says if you’re in good health you can eat 6-7 eggs a week, meaning an egg a day is A-OK.
Give yourself a boost by starting the day with eggs cooked your favourite healthy way; grab an egg sandwich or wrap for lunch, or try a simple boiled egg as a quick snack.
For references and other information visit https://eggs.org.nz/super-naturally-good/.
*For good health the Ministry of Health recommends at least two servings of legumes, nuts or seeds a day or at least one serving of fish/seafood, eggs, poultry or red meat a day. The guidelines define one egg as one serving so at least an egg a day can be enjoyed by most people.