Throughout the world, eggs are one of the most affordable, versatile, and nutrient dense foods. At times controversial, due to the cholesterol content, eggs are now considered an important part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and other essential nutrients including choline, which the brain and nervous system require for the regulation of mood, memory, and the formation of the membranes that surround the cells.
Consider these specific health benefits that come with including eggs, and egg whites, in your diet:
Brain Health: Eggs are considered a neuroprotective food. They contain vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the development and functioning of the nervous system and the brain.
Immunity Support: Eggs contain vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and selenium, which are all important to the health of the immune system.
Protein Power: The protein in eggs is a simple form that is important to maintaining and repairing body tissues, including muscle. Egg white and yolk are both rich sources of protein. About 13% of the edible part of an egg is protein.
Healthy Pregnancy: Eggs contain folate, which is a nutrient known to support the development of a baby and protect from potential birth defects. (The synthetic form of folate is folic acid, which is found in vitamins).
Healthy Eyes: Lutein and zeaxanthin are just two of the important nutrients found in eggs that help protect the eyes from macular degeneration.
The Cholesterol Controversy
A medium egg contains about 162 mg of cholesterol. Nutrition science experts had once recommended limiting the intake of eggs (particularly the yolk) for this reason. However, researchers have not identified a definitive link between egg consumption and risk of heart disease. Additionally, consuming eggs raises the body’s level of HDL cholesterol, the type that is protective for the cardiovascular system, while lowering the “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Eggs can be boiled, scrambled, made sunny side up, used for quiche, souffles and many other types of dishes. They are also a staple ingredient for many types of recipes and most types of baking. Keep in mind that raw, undercooked, or out of date eggs can contain bacteria that enters through pores in the eggshell. Be sure to check the package date and cook eggs thoroughly.
If you have an egg allergy, or do not eat eggs, ask your naturopathic clinician to recommend alternatives. There are many egg alternatives on the market, such as JUST Egg or Egg Replacer. Your naturopath can suggest one that is right for you. You may also benefit from a visit with our nutritionist. Give us a call at 360.570.0401 to set up an appointment. Existing patients can also schedule online.
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HealthLIne.com “Everything You Need to Know about Eggs.” Accessed 13 Feb 2021: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283659#benefits
Soliman, Ghada A. “Dietary Cholesterol and the Lack of Evidence in Cardiovascular Disease.” Nutrients vol. 10,6 780. 16 Jun. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10060780
NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: “Choline.” Accessed 15 Feb 2021: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-Consumer/