While the egg yolk debate (to eat or not to eat) may continue among doctors, nutritionists and others in the health industry, researchers from Purdue University are giving the whole egg the thumbs up.
In fact, they’ve discovered that eggs consumed with raw vegetables can actually increase the nutritional value of the veggies.
This study, which was presented earlier this month at theAmerican Society for Nutrition’s Annual Meeting, consisted of 16 healthy young men who were instructed to eat three different salads — one with no egg, one with one-and-a-half scrambled whole eggs and another with three scrambled whole eggs. “And what we observed was that there was a progressive increase in the absorption of the carotenoids from the vegetables as you had more eggs, which we attribute to the fat component of the yolk,” lead study author Wayne Campbell, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University, tells Yahoo Health.
The carotenoids — which are naturally-occurring pigments in plants that the body converts into antioxidants — found in the salad used in this study included beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. The latter two nutrients are found in egg yolk, as well. The salad was made with tomatoes, shredded carrots, baby spinach, romaine lettuce and Chinese wolfberry.
“The key to our salad was that it had a variety of colorful vegetables, and the colorful part is what distinguishes the different types of carotenoids that you get from different foods,” explain Campbell. “There’s no indication from our work that it matters what vegetables you eat, but carotenoid-rich vegetables tend to be those that are more colorful.”