Known as “nature’s multivitamin”, eggs are extremely nutritious. Therefore, it should be of no uproars that they have been a popular source of food for humans for over thousands of years. The most common choice for consumption is chicken eggs but many female animals also produce them.
They are cheap, taste amazing and can be very easy to prepare. If you are looking to start your day off with a healthy and high protein breakfast then eggs are a perfect choice. You can also eat them as a snack in the form of a hard-boiled egg.
Eggs are also extremely nutritious for children. Especially since most of the breakfasts marketed to children these days are usually loaded with sugar, carbs and even more chemicals that have over 20 letters in the names and simply cannot be pronounced.
Let us go deeper. It’s an easy cop-out to say that eggs are very healthy, high in protein and we that should all eat them. But what exactly is in them? And how do they help our bodies’ function better after we consume them? Below are some of these explanations:
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Eggs are highly nutritious- Nutritional breakdown
Eggs contain lots of minerals and vitamins that are essential in order for any individual to have a balanced diet. Below is a breakdown of a list of nutrients that can be found in eggs:
- Selenium– aids thyroid function, protects cells from oxidative damage and maintains the immune system
- Protein– needed in the body for maintaining and building organs, muscle skin, and tissue and producing antibodies, enzymes, and hormones.
- Phosphorus– aid energy and metabolism and maintains teeth and bones.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin– protects the eyes from age-reared damage and helps maintain normal vision.
- Iron– assists transportation of oxygen throughout the body and red blood production.
- Iodine– maintains the nervous system, skin and aids thyroid function.
- Folic acid– helps tissue growth during pregnancy and blood function.
- Choline– aids liver function and fat metabolism.
- Biotin– maintains skin hair and the immune system. Helps energy metabolism.
- Vitamin E– keeps the nervous system, reproductive system and muscles healthy.
- Vitamin D– aids absorption of calcium and keeps teeth and bones healthy.
- Vitamin B5– aids mental function and energy metabolism.
- Vitamin B12– aids the immune system red blood cells, energy metabolism, nervous system and vision.
- Vitamin B2– aids red blood cells, nervous system immune system and energy metabolism.
- Vitamin A– maintains normal vision, the skin and immune system.
Eggs increase satiety and boost weight loss
That’s correct, eggs can help you lose weight. This revelation might surprise you as in the past they have been known to be “fatty”- Rochester Centre for Obesity conducted a study and found that if a person eats an egg at breakfast, they will limit their overall calorie intake by 400 calories. That is indeed a lot and adds up to approximately 3 pounds a month, that’s well over a stone a year.
Eggs keep people energized and feeling full because of the high-quality protein that eggs contain. You are then less likely to succumb to snack throughout your entire day, especially when lunchtime comes around and all of those fresh sandwich and bakery goods are staring you in the face. After consuming an egg you will definitely have to rely on your willpower a lot less.
Contains a substantial amount of Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are excellent antioxidants as they help counteract a few degenerative processes that can affect our eyes, such as aging, macular degeneration, and cataracts. The yolk of the egg is what contains a large amount of Lutein and Zeaxanthin. The egg also contains Vitamin A, which absorbs light in the retinas, lessens the risk of night blindness and protects membrane around the cornea. Blindness in the world is also most commonly caused by a Vitamin A deficiency.
Eggs do not raise your risk of cardiovascular disease
Eggs contain cholesterol and this is what has made them be seen as unhealthy. A large egg contains 212mg of cholesterol, which is more than compared to most other foods. However, it has now been proven through lots of trials and studies that cholesterol in the diet does not affect cholesterol in the blood.
In fact, eggs raise HDL cholesterol, also known as “good cholesterol”. HDL stands for High-Density Lipoprotein. People who have higher HDL levels typically have a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, and other various health problems.
Eggs can raise LDL cholesterol in some people, and this has caused lots of the propaganda out there that demonizes eggs, saying that they are unhealthy. The reason for this is because LDL is known as “bad cholesterol”, and having high levels of it can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
However, LDL has subtypes, which have to do with the size of the particles. Since eggs mildly raise LDL levels, the particles can change from small, dense to large LDL. This is a good thing and therefore, eggs don’t only not have an effect on increased risk of heart disease, but they can help prevent it.
Have lots of high-quality animal protein and amino acids
Proteins serve both functional and structural purposes and are the main building blocks of the body. They consist of amino acids that are folded into complex shapes and linked together like beads on a necklace. The body cannot produce 9 of the 21 amino acids that it uses to build proteins. These are essential and therefore, we must get them through our diet.
The total amount a protein source has of these 9 amino acids, and in the correct ratios, determines its quality. This is exactly why eggs are a great source of protein. If you consume them you will have overall better health, including and not limited to increased muscle mass and better bone health.
Help prevent birth defects
The nutrients that eggs contain help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. They are also an extremely healthy food to eat during pregnancy. Not only do they provide adequate nutrition but also lower the unborn child’s risk of chronic illnesses and mental health issues later in life. These benefits are mostly the effect of choline, which plays a critical role in fetal development. Two eggs provide almost half the recommended daily amount for breastfeeding or pregnant women.
Encourage healthy hair and nails
We have already discussed the fact that eggs contain high-quality protein. And since nails and hair are made up of proteins, they keep them healthy, such as enabling your hair to be able to grow faster. If you want to go that extra mile you can even apply a hair mask using eggs and olive oil. All you need to do is put two eggs on your hair for 30 minutes while covering it with something such as a shower mask. Then rinse it off with shampoo and conditioner. Two or three times a month would be efficient enough for you to be able to see the effects.
Eggs have a fantastic amount of choline
Choline is required to synthesize the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and the structural components of cell membranes, which are phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin. An egg yolk contains 125.mg of choline, which is a quarter of the recommended daily intake, and with studies saying that 90% of people in the US are getting less than that eggs should definitely be on the menu for us all. If you think you may be one of the 90% who isn’t getting enough choline, you may be at risk of neurological disorders, liver diseases and cardiovascular disease.
How to incorporate eggs into your diet
Eggs are an inexpensive and readily available food in most parts of the world. They are great if you want to have them for breakfast, supper, and part of your salad or as a sneak protein snap while you’re on the go. They can also be VERY easy to prepare, but you can get a little experimental with them if you like. Below is a lost of recipe ideas:
- Huevos rancheroes
How to store, cook and eat eggs safely
Do not eat eggs that have cracked shells unless the cracking happened while cooking. It is also advised to not eat undercooked or raw eggs, as bacteria can enter through the pores in the shell of the egg. It is a good idea to store eggs in the refrigerator, as the USDA states if eggs are kept at room temperature they can sweat, which makes it easier for bacteria to move into the egg and grow.
Eggs must be cooked thoroughly before they are eaten. Such as making sure the yolk is firm and that scrambled eggs are not runny. If you are cooking a boiled egg and want to be able to tell if it is hard-cooked and not raw, all you have to do is spin it on a flat surface. If it wobbles while doing this then it means its insides are not cooked, and if it spins easily then you know it is cooked thoroughly.
How much is too much?
It is hard to tell how much eggs are too much to eat. This is because there haven’t been any studies done where the participants were consuming more than 3 eggs a day. Eating more could be harmful to your health, but this is extremely unlikely considering the results that have been studied in recent experiments. The best you can do is get in tune with your body, eat as many eggs as you like, and see then feel after, and adjust your diet accordingly.