When it comes to breakfast, if you asked someone what three foods come to mind when you think about breakfast, I’m willing to bet that 9 times out of 10, eggs are going to be in the top 3. Two-thirds of the breakfast menu items at that place with the gold-colored arches contain eggs. It’s no surprise though since eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition. I am going to discuss how eating eggs every day benefits a person in many ways. I also hope to dispel some myths, or misunderstandings about the incredible edible. Sorry, I just had to do that.
Eggs and Nutrition
A single large egg has all the following positive nutritional benefits:
- High-quality protein
- Essential Vitamins and minerals
- Good fats
- Low in calories
The protein in an egg varies from article to article that you read. The average large egg has about 6 grams of not just protein, but High Quality protein. A complete range of 9 amino acids within the egg makes it a complete protein source. Complete protein is best at fulfilling the human body’s needs for the nutrient. Not only is egg protein complete, but it is almost perfectly complete, meaning that the balance of amino acids is almost in perfect proportion.
Vitamins and minerals found in eggs are many:
- Iron – Used to produce red blood cells
- Folate – Used to make DNA, and facilitates cell division
- Vitamin B-!2 – Used to make DNA, provides energy, keeps nerve and blood cells healthy
- Vitamin A – Good for vision, immune system, healthy cell growth
- Vitamin D – Helps build strong bones by facilitating calcium, has a range of other health benefits
- Vitamin E – Antioxidant, boosts immune system, prevents blood from clotting within cells
- Lutein – Antioxidant
- Zeaxanthin – Good for the eyes
- Selenium – Helps to make DNA, protects against cell damage and infections, good for the thyroid
- Choline – Good for the brain, good for metabolism
The fats in eggs are both good and bad. Eggs contain both mono- and polyunsaturated fats (the good ones), and saturated fats (bad fats). The ratio is about 3 good grams to 2 bad grams. It’s too simple to say that they balance each other, but the good fats allow eggs to be part of a healthy diet.
The calorie count in eggs is low, coming in at around 70 calories per grade A large egg. Given all the health benefits and low calorie count of eggs, they are pretty perfect food.
Let’s Look A Little Closer
Choline is an essential nutrient needed for normal bodily function and overall health. Neither vitamin nor nutrient, it is a water-soluble compound that has an effect on many processes in the body. Liver function, brain function, muscle movement, nervous system function and metabolism are all impacted by choline.
Eggs are brain food. The choline in eggs is needed for acetylcholine production, an important neurotransmitter for mood, memory, muscle control, as well as other brain and nervous system functions.
Although the body manufactures some choline, the bulk of it has to come from your diet. Eggs have a goodly amount of choline in them, weighing in with around 120 milligrams per large egg. Two eggs for breakfast starts you off with half of the choline you need for the day. Other great sources are beef liver, soybeans, and chicken breast.
The weight loss benefits of eggs are that they are high in protein, which makes you feel fuller for longer periods of time than most carbs do. Feeling fuller means you eat less frequently. They are low in calories while still being packed full of essential vitamins and minerals – more bang for the buck you might say.
Eggs have gotten a bad rap for causing high cholesterol and heart problems because of the cholesterol in the yolk. This is dated thinking because we know now that cholesterol is created by the liver when stimulated by saturated fat and trans fat. Studies at Harvard Medical School have shown that eating eggs in normal amounts, up to one a day, does not cause strokes or heart disease in healthy people.
Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are good for your eyes as they promote good retinal health while preventing the number one reason for blindness in the U.S., macular degeneration.
I won’t go as far as saying eggs are perfect food, but they are pretty close.
Eggs can be fried, boiled, poached, scrambled, pickled, whipped into a meringue, and used as an emulsifier. The uses for eggs in cooking number in the thousands. Deviled eggs can be found at almost any large family gathering where food will be served. In my opinion, you can’t make chocolate chip cookies without eggs. The point is that eggs are extremely versatile food.
Eggs are very affordable and easily accessible. Even at five dollars a dozen, two eggs made into an omelet with last night’s leftover meat, or vegetables, or cheese costs less than a couple of bucks, and is a huge meal for one person. Eggs can be found at supermarkets, farm stands, farmer’s markets, almost any convenience store, and more and more, farm-fresh on the side of the road.
A Couple Of Points
Chicken eggs are chicken eggs. It doesn’t matter if they are brown, white, green, or blue, they are all the same on the inside.
Labels can not be trusted. The USDA defines free-range as the chickens having access to the outside. There has to be an open door, so if you think free-range means stress free chickens…well? The only way you can really know where your eggs have been, or what they’ve been through, is to raise your own, or buy from someone whose practices you are familiar with.
Eggs are delicious.
In A Nut Shell
Eggs are very nutritious and eating eggs every day benefits a healthy person’s brain, eyes, nerves, gene expression, and more. The fats and cholesterol in eggs isn’t as bad as they were once thought to be. Eggs can be found easily and are a good value. Their versatility is matched by few other foods. They are a good addition to a healthy weight loss program.
I invite you to leave a comment below, or ask me a question if you have one. I will be happy to get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for reading.