Eggs are one of the most versatile and nutritious foods you can eat. They are packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit your health in many ways. Here are some of the health benefits of eggs and how to enjoy them safely and deliciously.
Eggs are incredibly nutritious
Eggs contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need for good health. One large egg provides:
6 grams of high-quality protein, which can help build and repair your muscles, skin, hair, and nails
5 grams of healthy fats, mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke
186 milligrams of cholesterol, which is not harmful for most people and may even improve your blood cholesterol profile
22% of the daily value (DV) of selenium, a powerful antioxidant that can protect your cells from damage and support your immune system
15% of the DV of riboflavin (vitamin B2), which helps convert food into energy and supports your nervous system
14% of the DV of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which helps synthesize hormones and fats
9% of the DV of vitamin B12, which is essential for making red blood cells and maintaining healthy nerve function
8% of the DV of vitamin A, which is important for your vision, skin, and immune system
7% of the DV of phosphorus, which helps form strong bones and teeth
6% of the DV of folate, which is crucial for DNA synthesis and cell division
Eggs also contain smaller amounts of other nutrients, such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, vitamin E, folate, and more.
The most nutritious part of the egg is the yolk, where most of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fats are found. The white is mostly protein.
If you can get pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs, they are even more nutritious. They contain higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for your brain and heart health. They also have more vitamin A and E, which are potent antioxidants.
Eggs improve your cholesterol profile and do not raise your risk of heart disease
Eggs have been unfairly demonized for their high cholesterol content. However, dietary cholesterol does not necessarily raise blood cholesterol levels or increase the risk of heart disease in most people.
In fact, eggs may improve your blood cholesterol profile by raising HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and changing LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol to a larger subtype that is less harmful.
Multiple studies have found no association between egg consumption and heart disease risk. On the contrary, eggs may have some protective effects on heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and improving insulin sensitivity.
However, some people may be more sensitive to dietary cholesterol than others. These include people with diabetes or genetic disorders that affect cholesterol metabolism. If you have these conditions, you may want to limit your egg intake to about three per week or consult your doctor for advice.
Eggs are good for your eyes
Eggs contain two antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin that can help protect your eyes from age-related diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
These antioxidants accumulate in the retina, the light-sensitive part of your eye, where they filter out harmful blue light and prevent oxidative damage to your eye cells.
Studies have shown that eating eggs regularly can increase the levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in your blood and improve your eye health.
Eggs are good for your brain
Eggs contain a nutrient called choline that is vital for your brain function and development. Choline is used to make a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is involved in memory, learning, mood regulation, and muscle control.
Choline is also important for pregnant women because it helps with fetal brain development and prevents neural tube defects.
Unfortunately, many people do not get enough choline from their diet. Eggs are one of the best sources of choline, providing about 147 milligrams per large egg. That’s about 27% of the recommended daily intake for men and 35% for women.
Eggs are good for weight loss
Eggs are a great food to include in your weight loss diet. They are low in calories, high in protein, and filling.
Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, meaning it can keep you full for longer and reduce your appetite. Protein can also boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories.
Eggs score high on a scale called the satiety index, which measures how much foods contribute to the feeling of fullness. One study found that eating eggs for breakfast increased the feeling of fullness and reduced food intake later in the day, compared to eating a bagel.
Another study found that eating a high-protein breakfast with eggs resulted in greater weight loss over eight weeks, compared to eating a high-carb breakfast with bagels or skipping breakfast.
How to eat eggs safely and deliciously
Eggs are easy to cook and can be prepared in many different ways. You can boil, scramble, poach, fry, or bake them. You can also make omelets, frittatas, quiches, or egg salads with them.
However, to enjoy the health benefits of eggs, you need to eat them safely and moderately. Here are some tips to follow:
Choose fresh eggs that have no cracks or leaks. Check the expiration date on the carton and store them in the refrigerator.
Cook eggs thoroughly until both the white and yolk are firm. This will kill any bacteria that may cause food poisoning, such as salmonella.
Avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs, especially if you have a weakened immune system, are pregnant, or are elderly.
Eat eggs in moderation. The American Heart Association recommends eating up to one egg per day as part of a healthy diet.
Pair eggs with other healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean meats. Avoid adding too much salt, butter, cheese, bacon, or sausage to your eggs.
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit your health in many ways. Eggs can improve your cholesterol profile, protect your eyes and brain, and help you lose weight. You can eat eggs safely and deliciously by cooking them well and pairing them with other healthy foods.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456