Eggs are considered by nutritionists to be a vitamin pill, as it contains many of the vitamins and minerals required by man for health. For the amount of nutrients they have, eggs are a relatively low-calorie food. A large egg contains thirteen varying range of essential minerals and vitamins for just 70 calories. They have no carbohydrates or sugars, and only 5 grams of fat, which is only 7% of the daily recommended intake.
Eggs are a super food. They contain vitamin A and are one of the natural good sources of vitamin D. They also have vitamin B12, choline, folic acid, iron and selenium. All these are very essential nutrients for a healthy body. The protein in egg is considered high quality. This is because an egg has all the B vitamins and every amino acid, thus making it a complete protein. Eggs are rich in the essential amino acid leucine, which helps in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. High-quality protein helps build muscles. The protein also helps people feel fuller for longer periods which can help maintain a healthy weight.
Eggs are a very nutrient dense food. Some of the nutrients and their function are:
Proteins: Eggs have high quality proteins. Proteins are very important for building and repairing muscle, organs, skin, and other body tissues. Proteins are also required in order to produce hormones, enzymes and antibodies.
Folic acid: Folate helps the formation of red blood cells and promotes good fetal development. It is therefore, very important for pregnant women.
Iron: Iron like folic acid plays a vital role in red blood cells formation. It is necessary for carrying oxygen throughout the body.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is required for the development of cells. It supports growth and maintains a healthy skin, vision and immune functions.
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is again necessary for the formation of red blood cells. It also helps with the normal functioning of the brain and the nervous system.
Iodine: Iodine is very essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and is crucial for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland.
Choline: This is very critical forr nerves and muscles to function properly. Choline also with brain development and memory functioning.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These help to maintain good eyesight and reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Selenium: Selenium helps to prevent the breakdown of body tissues. It protects the DNA, proteins and fats in cells against damage. Selenium is very important for a healthy immune system and a working thyroid gland.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones and teeth. It is also very important for the absorption of calcium in the body.
Riboflavin or B2: This is vitamin of the B complex which is essential for metabolic energy production. This is necessary for healthy skin and eyes, nerves and muscles.
B5 or Pantothenic Acid: B5 is important for the body’s metabolism. It helps to release energy from food which helps mental functioning.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E helps to keep our reproductive system, nerves and muscles healthy.
Health Benefits Of Eggs
Given the above nutrients that an egg has, its health benefits are many.
Eggs help keep your immune system functioning efficiently.
Eggs help to keep the muscles and nerves strong and healthy.
Eggs help brain and memory function.
Eggs help your body produce the energy it needs from food.
The vital nutrients in the egg help to support a healthy pregnancy and growth and development of children.
Eggs helps your eye sight and protects against macular degeneration.
Eggs help you to lose weight. The high-quality protein in eggs can reduce hunger and help weight loss.
Eggs and the Heart
Eggs had a bad reputation for a few decades because of its high cholesterol content. A large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol while the recommended total daily cholesterol limit is 300mg. That accounts for almost two-thirds of the daily recommended limit. When scientists found that high blood cholesterol leads to heart disease, foods that were high in cholesterol naturally became suspect. This is the reason why many stopped eating eggs, while some ate only the whites of the egg.
In 2000, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its dietary guidelines, which now allow an egg a day but still keeping the total limit of daily cholesterol to 300mg. This upper limit was removed in 2015. They now believe that dietary cholesterol does not translate into high levels of blood cholesterol. After decades of study, evidence shows that saturated fat has a bigger negative effect on blood cholesterol than cholesterol itself. Saturated fat found in full-fat dairy products and fatty meats can trigger the body to produce cholesterol.
A study, which followed participants for 14 years, concluded that eating one egg per day was fine for healthy adults, if they don’t eat a lot of other saturated fats. People who find it difficult to control their total and LDL cholesterol should be cautious about eating egg yolks.
Eggs and Diabetes
The scenario is a little different for people with diabetes. The Mayo Clinic states that diabetics who eat seven eggs per week “significantly” increase their risk of heart disease. A 2010 analysis published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology stated that participants in the Physicians’ Health Study who became diabetic during the course of the 20-year study were twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease if they ate one egg per day. According to Harvard Health, “For people who have diabetes and heart disease, it is best to limit egg consumption to no more than three yolks per week.”
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