10 Health Benefits of Eggs
Last updated on August 19, 2015
A lot has changed since we first published this article on the health benefits of eggs in 2006. Back then, eggs were still being demonized by most experts because of their high cholesterol content. But now, in 2015, the U.S. government has revised its guidelines on eggs and cholesterol-laden foods in general, saying that dietary cholesterol is not a “nutrient of concern” for most healthy people and probably does not raise cholesterol in the body.
So now that we don’t have to worry as much about the cholesterol in eggs, we can enjoy them for their many health benefits. Here are 10 health benefits of eggs, updated with some recent studies since we first published it.
Eggs are great for the eyes. The American Macular Degeneration Foundation says that eggs are one of the foods that may prevent or slow the progress of macular degeneration. According to a 2009 study, older adults who consumed four egg yolks a day for five weeks had improved macular health. The reason for eggs’ eye health properties is their carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.
According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate consumption of eggs (up to seven eggs per week) may prevent some types of stroke. A study at Yale University found that it was safe for people with heart disease to eat two eggs per day without any negative impact.
Eating eggs during pregnancy can help to prevent birth defects because they are so nutritionally rich, with vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a healthy baby like folate, choline, and selenium. However, pregnant women should never eat raw or undercooked eggs.
PROTEIN AND AMINO ACIDS
Eggs contain about 6.28 grams of protein, making them one of the best food sources of protein. Eggs also contain all nine essential amino acids and three of the non-essential amino acids.
One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, an important nutrient that helps to regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. A study at Boston University School of Medicine found that people who ate a lot of eggs and chicken, both of which contain choline, had lower rates of dementia as they aged.
One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat. The rest of the fat in eggs is heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.
FOOD SOURCE OF VITAMIN D
Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone health, immunity, and much more.
Eggs are a great food when you’re trying to lose weight. They are low in calories (about 80 calories per egg) and the protein they contain will keep you fuller longer. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that, when eggs were eaten for breakfast instead of bagels and total calories were limited each day, subjects experienced weight loss.
HEALTHY HAIR AND NAILS
Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.
There are so many great ways to enjoy eggs that they never get boring. Whether your favorite egg dish is an omelette or egg salad sandwich, it’s easy to get all the nutrition they contain while reaping their health benefits and maybe even shedding a few pounds!
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