Eggs a cracking defence for when hanger strikes

NUTRITION

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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If the terms ‘hanger’ or ‘hangry’ are unfamiliar to you, don’t be alarmed. It just means you are not keeping abreast with the latest words being added to the Oxford English Dictionary.


However, if we have tweaked your interest, a Google search will provide the following: “The feeling, often described as hangry, is now an official word according to the Oxford English Dictionary's latest update.

“Hangry (also hangriest and hangrier) is defined as bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger. The word is a blend of ‘hungry’ and ‘angry’, according to OED.”

This feeling of hangry is based on what we eat, according to Sharon Natoli, a leading Food and Nutrition Australia, dietitian and author.

“What and when we eat can have a direct effect on temperament. Eating regularly throughout the day and including protein rich foods at each meal, along with sufficient fibre, can help you to take control of your food intake, by helping you feel fuller for longer and stabilising energy levels that in turn help you maintain a good mood,” she says.

Ms Natoli says it’s the humble egg; scrambled, poached, fried, fashioned into an omelette or simply boiled to your preferred time that will help eliminate the hanger.

“Simply adding a high protein option, such as an egg, to your meal, or as a snack, will fill you for longer and uphold your feel-good vibe. Eggs are a great option and incredibly versatile,” she says.

Ms Natoli questions whether you have ever been guilty of snapping angrily at someone when you were hungry?

“Research has identified exactly what causes the emotive response to hunger, commonly known to be ‘hanger’ – and what foods to eat to keep it at bay. In fact, science proves a diet rich in protein foods, such as eggs, minimises hunger. This in turn will reduce rage and irritability.

“Research has shown that eating healthy, nutrient rich and high protein foods, such as the humble egg, will keep you fuller for longer. This is linked to the fact that protein significantly impacts hormones that regulate appetite, signalling to the brain that no more food is needed.”

Eggs also contain the amino acid, tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin in the body, a brain chemical that can improve mood and help with relaxation, proving eggs really can be your happy pill.

A diet containing highly processed, fried and sugary food is directly linked to low mood and increases the chance of feeling down in the dumps by as much as 36 per cent.

Carbohydrate foods that are high in added sugar, such as cakes, biscuits and sweet snack bars, can contribute to irregular bursts of energy and unexpected mood swings.

“The best way to improve mood through diet is to eat foods that contain a variety of key nutrients and vitamins. Eggs are a great ‘good-mood’ diet staple, containing 11 different vitamins and nutrients and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack,” says Ms Natoli.

 

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