Sure we’ve talked about this a lot already, but it’s such an important issue that we don’t mind discussing it a hundred times more – we simply love eggs!
Whole eggs deserve a special place on your plate not only because of their taste and versatility, but because of their amazingly dense nutritional profile too. People too often succumb to the myths surrounding whole eggs, especially the egg yolk, and actually believe that eggs can endanger their dieting goals. So it’s kind of our mission to bring out the fact sheet about eggs and neutralize the rumors once and for all!
The truth is that eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Just think of the egg as the ultimate source of life – it contains all the ingredients required to develop a single cell into a live baby chicken. In order for that to happen, the egg has to pack all of the essential life-enabling nutrients in a very tight space. Isn’t that pretty amazing? Kudos for mother nature.
But the best part is that all of this nutritive goodness can be also used to complete your healthy diet with a variety of precious vitamins and minerals. And let’s not forget to mention the most famous feature of eggs – they are one of the best sources of high quality protein on the planet – and the cheapest one, as well! They provide your body with the whole package of amino acids required for building muscle mass and repairing tissues. Nutrition experts even recommend eating three whole eggs per day for a well-balanced diet.
Worried about your cholesterol levels? There’s no need for that.
While it’s true that the egg yolk contains a high amount of cholesterol, things are a bit more complex than that.
First of all, studies have never found a connection between normal egg consumption and coronary artery disease. And do you even know what cholesterol really is? From a nutritive standpoint, it’s not exactly the one-dimensional bad guy that popular magazines describe it to be. It’s actually a structural molecule that is an essential part of the cell membrane – of every single cell in the body. It’s responsible for the production of testosterone, estrogen and cortisol, all of which are very important for the normal functioning of the body.
Besides getting it from food, our body produces its own cholesterol in the liver. And when we eat foods that are rich in cholesterol the liver simply starts producing less of it, so the total amount of cholesterol in the body changes very little, depending on our diet. On top of that, there is the “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL) kind of cholesterol – according to the American Heart Association, the first one contributes to the production of thick, hard deposits that can clog arteries and make them less flexible, increasing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, the “good” cholesterol actually helps remove the LDL cholesterol from the arteries by carrying it back to the liver, where it gets broken down and passed away from the body, therefore protecting the heart’s health.
Eggs actually contain high amounts of HDL cholesterol, while trans fats found in overly processed and deep fried foods contribute to rising levels of LDL cholesterol. So consuming whole eggs will not only bring vital benefits to your health – it can also reverse the negative effects of your junk food choices.
Nutritional profile of one whole egg:
- Calories: 77
- Protein: 6 grams
- Healthy fats: 5 grams
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
- Folate: 5% of the RDA
- Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
- Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA
- Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
- Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
- Selenium: 22% of the RDA
In addition, eggs also contain significant amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.
The egg yolks are also packed with lutein, a type of carotenoid that helps prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness. Lutein is also found in green leafy vegetables, but research has shown that the body is able to absorb it way better from eggs. In addition, yolks also contain zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that protects your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Protecting bone health
Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and maintaining bone health, so if you don’t get enough of it, you might increase your risk of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Since Vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, many people aren’t getting enough of it on a regular basis – and here egg yolks come to the rescue yet again. If you don’t have enough time to sunbathe or sunny days are rather scarce where you live, eggs can be a convenient way to supply your organism with a decent amount of vitamin D.
Fighting off iron deficiency
In case you’re suffering from an iron deficiency, which is characterized by frequent headaches, fatigue and irritability, eggs can help you a great deal. Two large eggs contain 2 milligrams of iron, and with frequent consumption, you can significantly improve your intake of iron.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Eating eggs can help you increase feelings of satiety and control hunger easily. Having eggs for breakfast will keep you full longer than most types of food, which in turn will limit your calorie intake throughout the rest of the day, resulting in greater weight loss. The protein in eggs provides a steady and sustained source of energy for your body which doesn’t cause a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels.
Healthy brain development
As we’ve stated before, egg yolks are rich with choline, which among other things is an important nutrient for the proper functioning of the brain, especially crucial for healthy brain development in fetuses and newborns. Studies have shown that eating more eggs during pregnancy and lactation can stimulate the brain development and function of babies. In addition, a study from the University of North Caroline found that choline can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24 percent.
Eggs have long been considered as the perfect food and as you can see, there are plenty of good reasons for that. Making eggs a staple food in your diet is not only safe – it’s actually more than beneficial for your overall health. Everyone can benefit from increasing the consumption of this super food, including bodybuilders, pregnant women, kids and older adults. And don’t just reach for the whites – the yolk is equally important. Three eggs a day can keep the doctor away!