Many people use the term “superfoods” to describe a lot of foods but, perhaps, there is no more deserving food than eggs.
They are an excellent source of several nutrients including some that are absent from foods we eat these days.
This article examines 9 health benefits of eggs.
1. Egg Contains Plenty of Nutrients
Eggs are highly nutritious foods.
They must have a lot of nutrients, given that a single egg has enough nutrients to nourish a cell into a chick.
The following are some of the nutrients found in one large egg (a):
- 22% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Selenium
- 15% of the RDI of Vitamin B2
- 9% of the RDI of Phosphorus
- 9% of the RDI of Vitamin B12
- 7% of the RDI of Vitamin B5
- 6% of the RDI of Folates
- 5% of the RDI of Vitamin A
- You’ll also find small amounts of Calcium, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and vitamin K.
There are 6 grams of proteins, 5 grams of healthy fats and 76 calories in a large egg.
There are also trace amounts of some essential nutrients in eggs.
They are so nutritious that it is entirely possible to sustain yourself on just eggs for an extended period.
Conclusion: Eggs are highly nutritious. A single whole egg has almost all the nutrients our bodies need to function properly.
2. The Cholesterol in Eggs are not harmful to your body
One of the reasons eggs were vilified in the past is their high cholesterol content.
There is 212 mg of cholesterol in one egg, which constitutes about 70.7% of the recommended daily allowance of 300 mg.
However, the body reacts differently to the consumption of eggs in different people (h):
- Eggs do not affect the cholesterol levels in approximately 70% of people.
- Eggs can slightly raise the total and LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol levels in the rest. These people are known to be “hyper-responders”).
We will talk a little bit more about eggs and cholesterol in a later section of this article. You’ll realize that this rise in cholesterol level is not a bad thing. It is actually good for you.
However, eggs are not suitable for people with some genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia or people having the ApoE4 gene type. Avoid eggs if you are one of these people.
Conclusion: Eggs have high levels of cholesterol but this does not affect the blood cholesterol levels in most of us.
3. Eggs can Boost The Levels of HDL (the “good”) Cholesterol
There are two main types of cholesterol, HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) and LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein). HDL is considered the “good” cholesterol (i).
Research shows that regular consumption of eggs can boost HDL levels I the blood.
Conclusion: The regular consumption of eggs can raise the levels of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol in the blood.
4. There is choline in Eggs
Choline is an important nutrient, but most of us are deficient in this nutrient.
The truth is that most of us have probably never even heard of choline.
This may be because they are usually classified with B vitamins.
Choline has beneficial uses for our cells and nervous system (q).
According to surveys, most Americans (approximately 90%) consume significantly less than the RDI of choline (r).
The regular consumption of eggs can go a long way to meeting this recommendation. There is more than 100 mg of choline in one egg.
Conclusion: Eggs are an excellent source of the important nutrient Choline. It goes a long way to help you meet the recommended daily intake.
5. The LDL cholesterol in Eggs May Not Be as Harmful as those found in other foods
It is no secret that eggs are high in LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, but it is not all bad news.
However, LDL cholesterol can be broken down into subsets, which are the large LDL and small, dense LDL. These classifications have to do with the size of their particles.
Research shows that you are at a lower risk of heart disease if your LDL particles consist mostly of the large LDL particles. People with predominantly small, dense LDL particles are at a higher risk than people with large LDL particles (u, v, w).
Although eggs may cause your LDL cholesterol levels to rise mildly, research has found that cholesterol particles change from small, dense LDL particles to large LDL particles, which do not carry as much risk (x, y).
Conclusion: Eggs contain high levels of LDL cholesterol, however, research shows that the LDL particles change from mostly small, dense LDL particles to mostly large LDL particles, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
6. Eggs are high in the Eyes-Healthy Antioxidants, Lutein and Zeaxanthin
One casualty of old age is a deteriorating eyesight.
A few nutrients can help fight off some of the processes that contribute to the deterioration of our eyesight.
There are high levels of Zeaxanthin and Lutein in eggs.
In a 5-week study, researchers observed a significant rise in the levels of Lutein (28 to 50% rise) and Zeaxanthin (114 to 142% rise) in the blood due to the consumption of 1.3 yolks a day (e1).
Eggs also contain high amounts of vitamin A, which is known to be beneficial for the eyes. Vitamin A deficiency is linked to a higher risk of blindness (f1).
Conclusion: Eggs contain high levels of the potent antioxidants, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are highly beneficial for the eyes. They can help fight off degenerative eye disorders in the elderly.
7. Eggs from pasture-fed poultry or Eggs enriched with omega-3 can help lower Triglycerides levels
The nutritional composition of eggs can differ depending on what they poultry that produced it fed on.
Free range chicken or those that feed on pasture and those that feed on omega-3 enriched feed tends to have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Research shows that you can significantly reduce the level of triglycerides in your blood when you eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. A 3-week study showed that you could lower the triglycerides levels in the blood by 16 to 18% by eating 5 eggs, enriched with omega 3, per week. (i1, j1).
Conclusion: Eggs from poultry that feed on pasture or omega-3 enriched feed tends to contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower triglycerides levels in the blood.
8. Eggs contain high-quality protein
The protein found in eggs are high in quality. This means they provide the right ratios of all the essential amino acids.
It is one of the very few types of foods that contain all the essential amino acids.
The primary building blocks of our bodies are protein. It is found in all tissues in our body. Some of its functions are structural while others are essential parts of processes in our body.
Research shows that we may not be eating enough protein and that the current recommended daily values should be reviewed.
There are 6 grams of protein in one large egg, which makes eggs an excellent source of high-quality protein.
Daily consumption of eggs may help you lose weight (by making you feel fuller and eating fewer calories), boost muscle mass and cause a fall in blood pressure levels. It may also be beneficial for bone health (k1, l1, m1, n1).
Conclusion: Eggs contain high amounts of quality protein, which has a good ratio of all the essential amino acids.
9. Eggs Are Not Bad For Your Heart And May Even Be Good For Stroke Prevention
Eggs used to be vilified for their high cholesterol content.
They had a bad reputation for heart health because of the cholesterol.
This led to a series of research on the link between heart disease and the high consumption of eggs.
According to a review study of 17 such studies, eating eggs on a regular basis does not increase your risk of heart disease or stroke (o1).
However, some studies have linked eggs consumption to increased risk of heart disease in diabetics (r1).
However, the study only proves association and not causation. It is entirely possible that something else may be responsible for this increased risk.
Conclusion: There are extensive studies on the relationship between the consumption of eggs and an increased risk of heart disease. Most of these studies found no association. However, there may be links between the consumption of eggs and heart disease in diabetics.
How many eggs should you eat in a day? Research suggests that up to 3 eggs per day are ok.
We just don’t know if there are any harmful effects of eating more than 3 eggs per day.
My breakfast often consists of 3 eggs fried in olive oil or coconut oil, or 2 hard-boiled eggs. And I have no health issues from eating that many eggs over the years.
You have no reason to fear eggs. They are packed with nutrients and are good for you.
Eggs are healthy, affordable and easy to prepare foods that do more good than bad.