Though eggs have sometimes received a bad rap in past years, more and more health professionals have started promoting the benefits of eggs. And with new research, some of the previous claims about this inexpensive and delicious food have been discredited. In reality, eggs are a great health food. Whether you like them scrambled, over easy or sunny side up, eggs are a great meal to start your day, yolk and all. In this article, we'll investigate some of the great health benefits of eggs, including the ways that they can help you avoid certain diseases and harmful health conditions.
Vitamins and Nutrients
Eggs are a great source of many of the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to survive. For example, eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, whereas most foods that contain vitamin D are actually fortified with it. Eggs also contain the following nutrients:
Additionally, a typical egg contains about six grams of high-quality protein and all nine of the essential amino acids. Of course, eggs are also one of the most protein-rich foods you can eat. Eggs also contain the following vitamins:
Today, some farmers are using certain methods to increase the health benefits of their eggs. Chickens who receive a special vegetarian diet typically produce eggs with less cholesterol and more omega-3 fatty acids. Check the packaging carefully or shop at health food stores to find these special eggs.
Preventing Disease and Sickness
Consuming eggs may help to prevent the development of certain diseases and harmful health conditions. For instance, eating one egg a day can help reduce the chances of developing macular degeneration or cataracts. This is due to the high levels of carotenoids found in eggs like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are crucial to eye health, but are lacking in many people's diets.
While many people try to stick to egg whites, egg yolks actually have a lot to offer as well. One egg yolk contains about 300 micrograms of choline, a nutrient that helps to regulate the nervous system, the brain and the cardiovascular system. Choline can also reduce chronic inflammation that may lead to conditions like osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. And while some claim that egg yolks are too fatty, an average egg contains only five grams of fat, with only 1.5 grams of that being saturated fat according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Similarly, the myths that regular egg consumption can increase cholesterol levels have mostly been debunked. In fact, some studies have linked regular egg consumption to reduced cholesterol levels because the saturated fat content is so low. Additionally, eggs can help to promote healthier pregnancies due to the fact that they contain both folic acid and choline.
Studies have also associated eggs with the prevention of breast cancer. Though it is not known exactly why eggs have this effect, one study showed that women who ate a minimum of six eggs a week reduced their risk for breast cancer by 44 percent. A Harvard School of Public Health study also found that eggs may help prevent many of the symptoms related to heart disease including stroke, heart attacks and blood clots. Though this information is promising, a clear link between eggs and breast cancer or heart disease has yet to be formed.
Other Health Benefits
Eggs can also provide some great health benefits that are unrelated to the prevention of disease or sickness. For example, eggs have long been known to promote the growth of healthy hair and nails. In fact, many people report that their hair grows much faster when they increase their weekly egg consumption. This is due to the fact that eggs contain a significant amount of sulfur along with essential vitamins and minerals.
Some scientists have found that people who eat eggs regularly have better overall diets. The theory behind this is that these people are most likely eating a regular breakfast, which not only promotes better health but also helps them to eat better throughout the day. Because eggs contain fat and protein, they help you to feel fuller than if you were eating a breakfast that is higher in carbohydrates. This can help you avoid unhealthy snacking or eating oversized meals throughout the day. Plus, even the large eggs contain only about 70 calories, so you won't be overindulging with an egg and some whole wheat toast for breakfast.
Keep in mind that eggs should always be thoroughly cooked before eating to prevent salmonella poisoning. Furthermore, always be sure to keep your eggs refrigerated and to eat them immediately after cooking.