Food Facts Friday: The Benefits of EggsArticle posted in: Nutrition
Eggs have long been applauded for their protein content and yet begrudged for their cholesterol content, but these superfoods actually have a much richer and more complex nutrient profile than they are usually given credit for. The benefits of eggs are countless, so we’re here to tell you why you should add them to your weekly menu.
Small, shelled wonders, eggs contain all the necessary components to create life which means they are packed with great things for your body. Eggs are a great source of many essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals which aid and improve various functions of the body. From improving your metabolism to promoting brain functions, eggs are a beneficial mainstay to have in your diet. Make sure you eat eggs often with a balanced diet to experience the numerous health benefits of eggs explored below.
Check out seven of the many benefits of eggs:
1. Eggs contain dense protein content and amino acids for strong muscles.
A whole egg offers 6.3 grams of protein to fuel your body and fill you up to prevent the desire for snacking, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The quality proteins found in eggs along with powerful amino acids work to stabilize your blood glucose levels (prevent crashing) and contribute to increasing muscle mass. The amino acid leucine found in eggs can help stabilize your metabolism and promote your muscle recovery after exercise—slowing the rate at which you lose muscle. According to Nutrition Today, For those who do endurance or resistance training, eating eggs in combination will greatly improve the rate at which your body builds and restores muscles afterward making you lean, mean and strong!
2. Eggs are low in fat and calories for weight management.
Whether you’re looking to slim down or just maintain your weight, eggs are an easy snack or meal to eat to aid in these efforts. A large egg has just 72 calories and a little under 5 grams of fat. Eggs contain mostly unsaturated, healthy fats—the majority of which are found in the yolk. Findings published in Nutrition & Food Science state that “eating eggs is associated with satiety, weight management, and better diet quality.” So, adding eggs to your diet in one way or another can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle and keep you on track with your weight loss goals.
3. Eggs have high choline content for improved brain and cell function.
Choline has been identified by the Natural Academy of Sciences as an essential nutrient in the human diet, but that doesn’t mean it gets a lot of attention. Luckily, choline is often present in many plant and animal proteins, including the accessible egg which has 100 mg (or about 23% of the recommended daily value for women). Vital to many brain and nervous system functions, choline plays an important role in promoting mood, memory and muscle control. Choline also enhances early brain development making eggs great to eat during pregnancy.
4. Eggs contain antioxidants to prevent vision loss and disease.
Yet another one of the many benefits of eggs: They are a great source of many antioxidants which can promote the disease-fighting powers in your body, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Among them are phospholipids, carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin which all contribute to anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting functions to keep you healthy and stave off sickness. Certain proteins found in eggs are also known for their antibacterial effects to help strengthen your immune system. The compounds lutein and zeaxanthin also play favorable roles in reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration which are the most common eye ailments among older adults, according to research conducted by The University of California at Davis.
5. Eggs contain Omega-3s and healthy fats to fight heart disease.
Eggs and cholesterol have been a notorious couple in the past due to the supposed relationship with heart disease, but many studies along with the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition state that egg consumption has no effect on cholesterol levels. In fact, most of the cholesterol in our bodies is actually produced by the liver as a result of eating foods with high amounts of saturated fats. Eggs have also been shown to raise the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) in our bodies. So in the end, eating eggs has no ill effects on cholesterol levels as previously thought and the nutrients contained in eggs can actually help lower cardiovascular risks.
6. Eggs have a nutrient-rich yolk with an array of vitamins and minerals.
Yolks have gotten a bad rap and have been pushed aside by some egg-white options deemed healthier, but the proof is in the yolk that they quite possibly contain most of the egg’s essential nutrition! Eggs contain high amounts of essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, magnesium and sodium—all found in the yolk. Folate and selenium are also present in the egg yolk along with essential vitamins B, B12, A, D and E, according to USDA. You’ll be missing a lot when you skip out on the yolk including positive effects to aid inflammation in the body and maintain blood pressure.
7. Egg are accessible, affordable and easy to in a variety of ways.
It’s easy enough to grab a carton of eggs from your local store, and since they last several weeks in the fridge and can be whipped up in minutes, you can always count on them as a healthy snack or meal. Hard-boiled and poached are the healthiest ways to cook eggs, but there’s an assortment of methods to choose from. The best thing about boiling eggs is you can do it in advance on the weekend and eat them throughout the week.
There are, of course, the breakfast staples including the omelet, scrambled eggs and sunny-side up—all of which pair well with veggies for a delightfully balanced breakfast, lunch or dinner. Egg whites are an option but you will be missing out on the bulk of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Overall, this is a simple, staple food—so add them in to your diet to reap the many benefits of eggs!