Eggs are among my favourite foods. Be it a cheesy omelette, hard-boiled eggs with a side of toast, or the ultimate hors d’oeuvre, deviled eggs, I cannot get enough. Loaded with protein, they serve as an excellent midday pick-me-up on my lunch breaks. Fortunately, my love for eggs isn’t impeded by negative health side effects as eggs tend to be among the healthiest of foods. Some people even go as far as to label them “superfoods”. But, what are the health benefits of eggs, exactly?
First, let’s discuss the nutritional value of eggs. Eggs rank high when it comes to the most nutritious foods on the planet. A single egg contains the required nutrients to form a baby chicken from a single cell! Just one large, boiled egg contains Vitamins A, D, E, and K; Vitamins B2, B5, B6, and B12; Calcium, Folate, Phosphorus, Selenium, and Zinc. That’s a lot of vitamins for a single food that only contains 77 calories! The egg also contains 5 grams of healthy fats and 6 grams of protein.
Speaking of protein, eggs are loaded with them! Being the human body’s main building blocks – utilized to create tissue, and multifunctional molecules – intaking enough protein is crucial to a healthy you. That’s where eggs come in. Eggs contain the correct ratios of essential amino acids, allowing our bodies to maximize the protein we receive from each egg. Eating proper amounts of protein can help increase muscle mass, and bone health, as well as lower blood pressure, and assist in weight loss.
On the topic of human health, eggs – specifically egg yolks – also contain nutrients that provide major benefits for eye health. These nutrients, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, are potent antioxidants that collect in the retina. This is actually a good thing, as research suggests these nutrients can drastically reduce the chance of cataracts, and macular degeneration, in your eyes.
Another nutrient found in eggs is Choline. A relatively unknown substance, this important nutrient is often found with B vitamins. Choline is used in the development of cell membranes, and aids in the production of signalling molecules in the brain. Unfortunately, dietary surveys suggest that nearly 90% of the U.S. population isn’t consuming enough choline.
Although eggs are high in cholesterol, this isn’t always a bad thing. Dietary cholesterol doesn’t always mean a rise in blood cholesterol. Dietary studies suggest that in only 30% of people do eggs actually raise Total and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. The other 70% were unphased by eggs, in terms of cholesterol.
On the contrary, eggs actually raise HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the “good” cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL typically mean a lowered chance of heart disease, stroke, and several other health problems. According to one study, 2 eggs every day for 6 weeks increased HDL levels by 10% in dietary testers.
So, the next time you’re considering having that tray full of deviled eggs, or those cheesy omelettes, remember the major health benefits eggs have and eat to your heart’s content!