I can’t live without eggs! For most non-vegetarians, eggs are a dietary mainstay. It’s also probably one of the first few foods that you were able to cook by yourself. Because why not? Eggs are a breakfast staple as well as an ingredient in a lot of sweet and savoury food.
But what about all the fuss about egg not being good for you? The truth is, eggs are champions for your diet. When we stop eating eggs – or throw away those egg yolks – we miss out on lots amazing benefits. In 2000, the American Heart Association said that an average intake of 1 whole egg per day is allowable. This means you can even eat 3 eggs in a day, as long as you only do this twice a week. Do note that if you have any restrictions for fats and cholesterol, you should limit your egg yolk intake to just one per day.
If that sounds good, check out more nutrition facts about eggs below:
1. Eggs are considered a gold standard for protein.
Just like milk, eggs contain complete and highly bioavailable protein. Eggs contain all the essential amino acids for optimal metabolism. Egg protein is highly bioavailable and are absorbed by your body at a higher rate compared to other protein sources. This is why eggs and milk are recommended foods for growing children or people trying to build muscle.
Protein is the building block of the body and it is usually broken down when we are ill or stressed. If you are recovering from an illness or surgery, observing dullness in your hair and skin, or feeling weak during a workout, try adding eggs to your diet. You might be surprised by the results.
2. Lutein and zeaxanthin, found in the egg yolk, are great for maintaining eye health.
Your eyes are one of the most stressed organs in the body specially because they need to be exposed to light to perform its function. Light can cause free radical damage on the sensitive parts of the eye so your eyes need specialized antioxidants to fight those free radicals and protect themselves from degeneration.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotthenoids that act as phytochemicals and antioxidants that are most needed by our eyes. Zeaxanthin is an antioxidant that protects the retina from degeneration. Lutein, found in your macular pigment, absorbs harmful ultraviolet and blue light to help protect your eyes.
3. Eggs are rich in brain-boosting choline and other B-complex vitamins.
A single yolk of a chicken egg contains 215mg of choline. Choline is a nutrient that plays an essential role in brain development. It is a key ingredient to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is needed for muscle control and memory. It also helps maintain our cell membranes and control inflammatory reactions in our body.
Eggs also contain almost all B vitamins such as riboflavin (B2), biotin (B7), pantothenic acid (B5), and cobalamin (B12). These work with other nutrients to regulate nerve function, energy metabolism, red blood cell formation, and cell renewal.
4. The fatty yolk carries fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K
Essential fat-soluble vitamins can only come in fatty packages. So why throw out the nutrient-rich egg yolk? Cut out empty-calories, deep-fried foods and high-fat snacks instead.
Vitamin A is essential for normal cell growth and development. It also contributes antioxidant and immune protection for your body. However, it is best known for its role in maintaining good vision.
Vitamin D, otherwise referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” enhances and regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption. This translates to maintaining strong bones, as well as keeping other functions of these minerals – such as blood pH balance and muscle contraction – in check.
Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant for your body as it protects our cells, tissues, and organs from free radical damage. Good levels of vitamin E also help maintain good skin as it needs protection from exposure to light and harsh environmental factors.
Lastly, Vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting. This saves you from excessive bleeding whenever you have skin wounds or internal injuries.
5. Eggs contain body-regulating minerals such as iron, zinc and selenium.
Eggs are rich in iron which helps our body metabolize protein. Iron also plays an important role in hemoglobin and red blood cells that deliver oxygen to other cells to help them breathe and function.
Zinc is needed to stimulate proper wound healing. It keeps our immune and digestive systems functioning in top shape. It also helps us control diabetes, maintain taste acuity, regulate energy metabolism, and reduce stress.
The essential trace mineral selenium is also found in eggs. Selenium is important for cognitive function, a healthy immune system, and fertility for both men and women. It also works with vitamin E for antioxidant support, and is needed in higher amounts by pregnant women.
Eggs are usually considered unhealthy because of their fat and cholesterol content. However, they are actually one of the most ancient, original and legimitate superfoods as they contain a lot of nutrients like complete proteins, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. They are also very convenient and practical as part of a healthy diet.
As a nutritionist and dietitian, I am really concerned with the singling out of foods, and labelling them as healthy or not as generalizations like this are very unhelpful and very misleading. Our focus should be on healthy dietary patterns, not specific foods or nutrients. In conclusion, eggs are good for you if – and this is true for all foods – they are eaten in moderation and balance with other natural, low-processed, and nutrient-dense food.