When it comes to helping you meet your daily nutritional requirements, eggs are pretty tough to beat. They provide some of the highest-quality protein available and are loaded with 13 essential vitamins and minerals along with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
In the past, there was controversy about whether eggs were healthy or not because of fears about cholesterol. But newer studies have shown that they can be consumed in moderation, and more and more people are beginning to add eggs back to their daily diet.
Eggs are low in calories, high in protein and rich in Vitamins D, B6 and B12. They’re also an excellent source of important minerals such as iron, copper and zinc. If you want a healthy breakfast or snack, stay away from fried eggs and enjoy a plain boiled egg instead.
Some 60 per cent of the high-quality protein in eggs can be found in the egg white, while the yolk contains the rest, along with vital fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all making valuable contributions to your daily nutritional needs.
Eggs have been a dietary staple since time immemorial, and there’s a good reason for their continued presence on our menus. From providing Vitamin D to help with immunity and bone health, to enjoying a post-workout meal that kick starts muscle recovery, eating eggs is an important part of living a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Here are some reasons why you should eat eggs more often.
Facilitating muscle building:
Eggs are widely considered to be a perfect protein source to maintain and repair body tissues including muscles. They contain all nine essential amino acids needed to support effective muscle growth, recovery and maintenance.
Enhancing brain health:
Eggs contain vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the brain and nervous system to function effectively. An egg contains about a quarter of the choline, an essential nutrient, you need to regulate memory and mood. Studies have shown that choline helps cognitive function and visual and verbal memory.
Boosting the immune system:
Eggs are jam-packed with a range of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, D, E and B2, B5 and B12 as well as the elements of iron, phosphorus and selenium, all also found in eggs, are vital nutrients for keeping your immune system healthy.
Improving levels of good cholesterol: Studies have shown that eggs improve an individual’s cholesterol profile. They help increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol which should lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. Eggs also contain other heart-healthy and heart disease-preventing nutrients.
Good for a healthy pregnancy:
Eggs contain Vitamin B8 (folic acid) that protects the unborn baby from damage to the central nervous system. Along with choline, this is essential for the baby’s brain development.
Protecting eye health:
Eggs are high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which can drastically reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Other vitamins in eggs like Vitamins A and E can also promote good vision while protecting the eye from free radicals.
Helping maintain a healthy weight:
Eating eggs for breakfast can help you lose body fat and help you feel full for longer. They can also promote stable blood glucose and insulin response, keep energy levels higher and boost metabolic activity, reducing the urge to snack and lowering your overall calorie intake.
Promoting skin, hair, and nail health: Vitamins D, E and K along with the minerals in eggs can help promote healthy skin and prevent the breakdown of body tissues. Vitamin B12 and the protein in eggs are important for healthy hair and radiant skin.
Lowering the risk of breast cancer:
A research study has showed that women who eat at least six eggs per week have a 44 per cent reduction in the risk of breast cancer, probably an effect of the choline contained in eggs.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 30 September, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly