Are eggs healthy? Eggs have gotten a bad nutrition rap over the years. People got afraid of the cholesterol in eggs, then their fat. Egg white omelets are all the rage in “health food” circles. (Click here to read about why I try to eat good food instead of not eating food.) I’m here to tell you why eggs – whole eggs – are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat, and they’re not too bad on the budget, either!
Egg Nutrition Facts
Eggs will give you the following nutritional benefits:
- Protein: 5.5 g (11% DV)
- “97% digestible, practically a nutrition miracle, and its amino acids are superior in promoting growth and tissue health.” (source)
- Fat – and more than half is UNsaturated
- Good source of ALL vitamins except C, especially:
- B complex
- Fat-soluble vitamin A
- Useable vitamin D (in the news currently – we don’t get enough vitamin D that our bodies can assimilate!)
- Vitamin E
- Good source of ALL necessary minerals, especially:
- Significant amounts of iron
- Folate (pregnant women need lots!)
- Choline – not found much elsewhere
- lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants)
- EPA and DHA (yes, the brain boosters found in breastmilk and mimicked in formula) – not as much in supermarket eggs as farm fresh
All those nutrients can improve your health:
- Eyes (prevents leading cause of blindness)
- Brain Development (unborn babies and other humans) and mental acuity
- Thyroid health
- Strong bones
- Antioxidants (cancer-fighting)
- Nerve function
- Wound healing, fighting infection
- Helps you feel fuller, longer
- May be associated with a decrease in blood pressure
- Contributes to heart health
- May prevent breast cancer
- Healthy hair and nails
I just have to repeat the amazing parts of the egg: Vitamin D is found in very few other natural food sources. Americans are severely deficient in Vitamin D, especially in winter months. Synthetic vitamin D, like that found in store milk, is not well utilized by our bodies. Yay, eggs! Choline is also found in very few other foods. Read on for its benefits!
What is choline?
“One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.” (source) Anyone out there care about their brains? Nervous system? Heart? These are serious areas for egg help! More than 90% of Americans are choline-deficient. Yikes! This is especially a big deal in pregnant women and young children, because choline builds brain health. Two eggs provide about half the recommended daily supply of choline. Three oz. of chicken, less than 1/6. Eat more eggs!
Our brains are largely fat, and choline keeps the cell membranes there healthy. Who doesn’t need improved “mental acuity” (Nourishing Traditions)?
Choline also reduces inflammation “linked to a wide range of conditions including heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s, and type-2 diabetes.” Pairing eggs with spinach completes the duet needed to combat inflammation. Here is how we do that in scrambled eggs.
Choline has improves overall heart health because it neutralizes homocysteine, a molecule that can damage blood vessels. This keeps the cholesterol moving in the blood stream. Scared of the cholesterol in eggs (almost 2/3 of recommended daily value)? See below for more.
Read here for lots more on choline.
Egg Yolks, too?
Oh, yes. Yolks too. Guess what’s found in the egg yolks? Everything. Egg whites only have half the protein of the egg and a little salt. All the many bullet points under “nutrition” above are in the yolk. I don’t want to skip the yolks! That means missing out on brain, heart, and nerve health! Plus Vitamin D and all the other vitamins and minerals. And don’t forget the taste. Mmmm.
Eggs you can pour aren’t going to have all the benefits of eggs you can crack, by the way. Anything with powdered egg may have oxidized cholesterol, something you don’t even want to know about!
Don’t Worry About the Cholesterol in Eggs
- First, dietary cholesterol (what you eat) only translates into about ¼ of your blood cholesterol. The rest is made by your body because of other conditions.
- Second, “saturated fat [and trans fats] in the diet, not dietary cholesterol, is what influences blood cholesterol levels the most.”
- Third, recent research shows that egg consumption may improve overall cholesterol health.
- Fourth, “A 2007 study of 9,500 people reported in Medical Science Monitor showed that eating one or more eggs a day did not increase the risk of heart disease or stroke among healthy adults, and that eating eggs may be associated with a decrease in blood pressure.” (source)
If you really want to worry about cholesterol in eggs, you can buy more expensive eggs. I’ll explain more about how to decipher the packages in the grocery store later this week.
For now, eat more eggs! Multiple sources stated they are literally THE healthiest food available on our earth!
An Easy Read: 10 Health Benefits of Eggs
Other Super Food Health Benefits:
Looking for other Food for Thought?
- Antibacterial Soap
- Supermarkets waste of food
- America’s Food Waste
- Energy Use
- Menu Planning
- Plastic Safety
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