The illusive egg is a food steeped in controversy.
For years, people were told not to eat them because they would raise cholesterol.
Now scientists say they’re fine. But what is the truth? Here we will get to the bottom of what the egg can offer.
What You Will Learn
- The nutritional value of eggs- including calories, protein and vitamins and minerals
- The importance of these nutrients to your body
- The health benefits eggs can provide you
- How to properly handle and store eggs
- How to choose the right eggs when at the store
Just be warned- this will change the way you think about eggs and may change your diet forever.
Nutritional Value of Eggs
One large egg gives you 6 grams of protein with only 78 calories and 0.6 carbs. This is great for people who want to watch their caloric intake or even those trying to get more protein in their diet. Here are the other major nutrients you will find in eggs.
Vitamin B12, B6, B2, and B5
These vitamins are important for metabolism and energy as well as your immune system and red blood cells.
You will find 11 percent of your daily need for Vitamin D in one egg. This helps with keeping your bones healthy and absorbing calcium.
Eggs are also a great source of Vitamin A which is important for healthy eyes. It can also help fight macular degeneration.
Also known as Vitamin H, biotin is important for hair, skin, and nail health. It is also used to help the immune system run smoothly.
Iron is needed for the production of red blood cells as well transporting oxygen through the blood. When people are deficient in iron they can become anemic.
Most people think of sunburns and Vitamin E. While it will help with the skin, it will also aid in reproductive health, the immune system, and keeping your muscles healthy.
Folic acid, a B vitamin, is important to proper health even in people who are not pregnant. For pregnant women folate helps with tissue development of the fetus and can help guard against conditions such as spina bifida.
This is an antioxidant that helps keep the immune system running efficiently and also aids in thyroid health.
This nutrient helps with liver function as well as metabolism. While eggs are a great source of choline, keep in mind that this comes from the yolk. Eating only the egg white to save on calories will not give you this benefit.
25 Health Benefits of Eggs
1. They Don’t Affect Bad Cholesterol
Even though eggs have cholesterol they do not have an impact on bad cholesterol levels. Unfortunately they have gotten a bad rap over the years, but now scientists have found they do not affect cholesterol unless they are eaten in excess (such as eating 3 eggs a day, everyday).
2. They Raise HDL Levels
HDL is the good cholesterol and eating eggs will help you to bring up your good cholesterol level according to studies done. This can be great for people who have low HDL numbers.
3. Great source of Choline
Choline is important for your liver as well as your metabolism. This video talks about the importance of choline and other nutrients found in eggs.
4. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Eggs can change the size of LDL, the bad cholesterol. This change is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
5. Promotes Eye Health
Egg yolks contain a substance called zeaxanthin. This is an antioxidant that can help protect eyes against UV radiation as well as protect against cataracts.
6. Lower Triglycerides
This is true with eggs that have been pasteurized or have Omega 3s. Just as cholesterol and triglycerides are connected, so eggs will help to lower triglyceride levels as well.
7. Contain all Essential Amino Acids
Amino acids are proteins and if you aren’t aware the body needs a variety of different amino acids to be healthy. The good news is eggs have all the essential amino acids for health.
8. May Reduce Risk of Stroke
You’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well now studies have found that an egg a day can keep a stroke away. It turns out that people who eat an egg a day have a lower risk of stroke than those who ate two or less a week.
9. Help You Eat Fewer Calories
The great thing about the high protein content of eggs is they leave you feeling fuller so you will eat fewer calories. Who doesn’t want this? Plus, several of the nutrients in eggs help with metabolism, which is important for those who are dieting.
10. Helps You Get Essential Minerals
Not only are eggs a great source of major nutrients, such as B vitamins, Vitamin D, and others, it is also a great source of trace minerals. These are nutrients that are important to the body, even though it only needs a small amount. These include zinc, selenium, choline, and many others.
11. May Prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is often passed through a person’s genes as it is associated with the BRCA-1 gene mutation. If you have a family history of breast cancer or are just concerned about This condition then this is just one more reason to include eggs in your diet.
12. Ward Off Iron Deficiency
Iron is important for everyone as it is needed for red blood cell production. However, women who are menstruating or pregnant need even more iron in their diets. A deficiency in iron can cause you to feel tired, dizzy, have pale skin, bruise more easily, and much more.
The good news is that eggs are one of the few foods that have more iron than a steak.
13. Absorb Nutrients Better
Not only do eggs provide nutrients but they can also help your body absorb them better. A study recently found that Vitamin E and other carotenoids in salads are better absorbed in the body when there is an egg in the salad. This is due to the fat soluble nature of eggs.
14. Help with Brain Health
It turns out that the biggest issue many people have with eggs- the high amount of cholesterol- is actually important for brain health. The majority of cholesterol is found in the brain where it is used to help with membrane function.
It also aids the brain in creating and releasing different chemicals, such as cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and more.
15. Promotes Healthy Bones
Bone health is important throughout your life, though is even more of a consideration if you are at risk for osteoporosis. There are several nutrients in eggs that make them great for bone health.
The Vitman B complex in eggs help with bone health.
The Vitamin D is important for absorbing needed calcium. Sulfur and phosphorus in eggs are needed components of bone. Even the iodine in eggs is important to bone health.
16. Aids in Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails
Everyone wants their hair, skin, and nails to look their best. These are all part of the integumentary system of the body.
The B vitamins, biotin and other nutrients in eggs are all important for keeping this system healthy.
Some people even believe that getting in more biotin and B vitamins means hair and nails will grow longer and stronger.
17. Helps You Build Strong Muscles
At first glance, you may think eggs are important for muscles because the great source of protein. While this is true, the nutrients within the egg and even the cholesterol are all important for muscle development and growth.
Keep in mind that eating only the egg white will not give the same benefit as the yolk is where almost all the nutrients and half the protein is.
18. Helps with Fetal Development
Nutrition is important to any fetus. This is the time when the body is forming and having the right nutrients is imperative. While prenatal vitamins can help, they are not meant to provide the only source of nutrients.
Some of the most important nutrients for fetal development are the B vitamins, especially folic acid.
19. Look Healthier
Overall, proper nutrition is important for looking healthier. However, the nutrients in eggs that help with hair, skin and nails will help you look healthier. They are just one of the foods you should be eating if you want to look and feel healthier.
20. Inexpensive Protein
It seems that it is more expensive than ever to eat healthy and this is where eggs can help. Even if you buy free range, organic eggs they will cost you less than other proteins out there. The only other protein product that is comparable to this in price is beans.
21. More Filling Than Cereal and Oatmeal
If you want a breakfast that will keep you feeling full longer, reach for eggs before oatmeal or cereal. This is because the protein in eggs helps to keep you feeling full longer.
Also, the lack of carbs in eggs will keep you from experiencing a midmorning crash that can leave you tired and hungry.
22. Great for Energy
Another great thing about eggs is they contain all the necessary nutrients for energy at the cellular level. The protein is also important for keeping your energy levels up. This is why many people eat eggs after a workout when they need an energy boost.
23. Can Help with Weight Loss
Eggs can help you on your weight loss journey in several ways. For one, they are low in calories which is important because caloric output over caloric intake is the basis of weight loss.
Also, they help you feel full longer so you will not want to eat as often.
Additionally, all the nutrients are helpful because many people tend to overeat because their body is craving a nutrient.
24. Reduces Inflammation
Studies have found that carb restrictive diets can actually help to reduce inflammation.
This is important because inflammation is linked to many health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more. As eggs have about a half a carb per egg, they are a great option for reducing inflammation.
25. Many Options for Preparing
Finally, before discussing egg recipes, it is important to realize that eggs are a versatile food.
There are many great recipes you can enjoy with eggs. Whether you want to enjoy eggs on their own or just as an ingredient in your meal you will find plenty of options for recipes. This can help keep you from getting bored with eggs.
Safely Handling Eggs
Most people are aware that eggs are one of the leading causes of salmonella poisoning. This is why it is important to know how to properly handle eggs. We have added a few tips and this picture can help you get an even better idea of how to handle your eggs.
- Keep your eggs in a refrigerator that is at least 45 degrees, though you do not want to freeze raw eggs.
- Only take eggs out of the refrigerator when you are about to use them. When you take them out make sure they are not near hot surfaces where they can become contaminated.
- Make sure you wash your hands after handling eggs, even if you think you didn’t get any raw egg on your hands.
- Be sure to cook eggs thoroughly.
- Do not leave out at room temperature for more than one hour. Be sure hot egg dishes stay hot and cold ones stay cold.
How to Select Your Eggs
When shopping for eggs the options can be overwhelming and some of them are misleading.
Many people think it is important to go for free range eggs. The only problem with this is that there are no real standards to this. It can simply mean the hen was allowed to go outside for 5 minutes a day.
On the other hand, pastured eggs mean the eggs come from hens that live in a pasture and eat grass. You want to look at the Omega 3 and DHA amounts in the eggs as the higher the better.
It is also a good idea to go with organic eggs because you know the hens have not been given antibiotics.
Eggs are a great source of nutrition that can help give you a balanced diet. Along with the numerous health benefits there are also many ways you can cook eggs. Look online for recipes to give you new and exciting ways to incorporate this food into your diet.
Related reading: 23 Superfoods To Add To Your Diet For A Healthy Life