Six reasons why eggs are awesome superfoodsEggs are so nutritious they can be nicknamed nature's oldest superfood.
Eggs are abundant in essential vitamins and minerals as well as unique antioxidants and brain nutrients many people are lacking in their nutrition when they don't eat eggs regularly.
Here is a breakdown of the six reasons why eggs are such an awesome food choice
Whole eggs contain nearly all of the essential micronutrients and moreOne whole egg contains an amazing range of micronutrients: they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein, good fats and various other lesser-known micronutrients.
One large egg contains:
- vitamin A: 6% of the recommended daily intake (RDI)
- vitamin B2: 15% of the RDI
- vitamin B5: 7% of the RDI
- vitamin B12 : 9% of the RDI
- selenium: 22% of the RDI
Eggs also contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body, including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, vitamin E, folate and many more.
A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates.
It's very important to realize that almost all the nutrients are contained in the yolk, the white contains only protein, so the worst you can do is to throw away the yolks when you want to take advantage of its nutritious content.
Eggs are an abundant source of choline, an important brain vitaminCholine is a lesser-known micro-nutrient that is often grouped with the B-complex vitamins.
Choline is an essential nutrient for human health and is needed for various processes in the body.
Choline is required to synthesize the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and is also a component of cell membranes.
A low choline intake has been implicated in liver diseases, heart disease and neurological disorders.
Choline may be especially important for pregnant women. Studies show that a low choline intake can raise the risk of neural tube defects and lead to decreased cognitive function in the baby.
Many people do not get enough choline. As an example, one study in pregnant, Canadian women found that only 23% reached the adequate intake of choline.
The best sources of choline in the diet are egg yolks and beef liver. One large egg contains 113 mg of choline.
Eggs contain precious lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyesThere are two antioxidants in eggs that can have powerful protective effects on the eyes. These are called lutein and zeaxanthin, both found in the yolk.
Lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the retina, the sensory part of the eye, where they protect the eyes from harmful sunlight.
These antioxidants significantly reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, which are among the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the elderly.
It was proven in a study how eating on average 4 egg yolks in 3 days for a full month increased blood levels of zeaxanthin by 114 up to 142% and lutein by 28 up to 50%.
Eggs lower your risk of heart disease and improve your cholesterol profileThe main reason people have been warned about eggs is that they're loaded with cholesterol.
One large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is a lot compared to most other foods.
However, dietary sources of cholesterol have a minimal effect on cholesterol levels in the blood.
Your liver actually produces cholesterol, every single day. The amount produced depends on how much you eat.
If you ingest a lot of cholesterol from food, your liver produces less. If you don't eat cholesterol, your liver produces more of it. Many studies show that eggs actually improve your cholesterol profile.
Eggs raise HDL (the "good") cholesterol and tend to change the LDL (the "bad") cholesterol to a large subtype which is not as strongly associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Multiple studies have examined how eating eggs affects the risk of heart disease and found no association between the two.
On the contrary, eggs have been linked with health benefits.
It was proven how eating 3 whole eggs per day reduced insulin resistance, raised HDL and increased the size of LDL particles in people with metabolic syndrome.
However, some studies do show an increased risk of heart disease in people with diabetes, which is probably caused by the tendency to combine eggs with junkfood like processed meats and overly fried foods. This tendency doesn't seem to apply when eggs are eaten as part of a low-carb diet, which has been proven to reverse type 2 diabetes.
Eggs contain high-quality proteins with a perfect amino acid profile
Proteins are the main building blocks of the body and serve both structural and functional purposes.
They consist of amino acids that are linked together like beads on a string, and then folded into complex shapes.
There are 21 amino acids that your body uses to build its proteins.
Nine of these amino acids are essential amino acids because they cannot be produced by the body and have to be obtained from the diet.
The quality of a protein source is determined by its relative amounts of these essential amino acids. A protein source that contains all of them in the right ratios is a high-quality source of protein.
Eggs are among the best sources of protein in the diet. In fact, the biological value (a measure of protein quality) is evaluated by comparing it to eggs, which are given the perfect score of 100.
Eating eggs for breakfast help in losing weightEggs contain only trace amounts of carbohydrates, but lots of protein and good fats.
Eggs score very high on the so-called satiety index, which is a measure of how much foods contribute to satiety.
Because of this, it shouldn't be a surprise how eating eggs for breakfast may lead to fat loss.
Among 30 overweight women that consumed a breakfast of either eggs or bagels with the same amount of calories, the women that ate eggs felt more full and ate fewer calories for well over a day up to the next 36 hours!
In a longer similar study, that went on for 8 weeks, women who ate eggs for breakfast
- lost 65% more body weight
- lost 16% more body fat
- had a 61% greater reduction in body mass index (BMI)
- had a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference, which indicates they lost more visceral belly fat
Not all eggs are equalIt's important to keep in mind that not all eggs are created equal.
Hens are often kept in cages and fed grain-based feed that alters the final nutrient composition of their eggs.
It is best to buy omega-3 enriched pastured eggs, which are more nutritious and healthier while the hens have had a better life, too.
Summing up the reasons why you should eat eggsWhole eggs are incredibly nutritious, containing a very large amount of nutrients compared to calories. The nutrients are found in the yolks, while the whites are mostly protein.
Choline is an essential nutrient that few people get enough of. Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline.
Eggs are very high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which can drastically reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Studies show that eggs actually improve the cholesterol profile. They raise HDL (good) cholesterol and increase the size of LDL particles, which should lower the risk of heart disease.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with all the essential amino acids in the right ratios.
Eggs are very satiating. As a result, eating eggs for breakfast may reduce calorie intake later in the day and promote fat loss.
The nutrient content of eggs largely depends on how the hens were fed. Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs tend to be richer in healthy nutrients.
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods you can find, providing virtually all the vitamins and minerals you need.
And the best part? Eggs are cheap, taste awesome and go with almost any food. Eggs really are an exceptional superfood.