Eggs spent a long time on the do not eat list due to claims by the American Heart Association that stated that eggs would raise your cholesterol, and increase you risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Although they retracted that statement in 2000 after further research, the myth of the dangers associated with eggs continues to linger and cause confusion for many. Eggs are an incredibly healthy and nutritious part of your diet so we are going to clear up the misconceptions by sharing some of the crucial benefits that eggs can offer you.
- High nutrient Content
Consider this: an eggs design has to provide a baby chicken with all the nutrients that it needs to develop into a healthy bird. It takes an average of 21 to 25 days for an egg to hatch, so eggs need to be one of the most nutritious environments possible to ensure survival. With that in mind it should be no surprise that eggs contain many elements of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA):
- Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
- Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA
- Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
- Folate: 5% of the RDA
- Selenium: 22% of the RDA
- Choline: 35% of the RDA
Eggs contain other essential trace elements that are essential for healthy bodies, while also providing seventy-seven calories per egg, six grams of protein, and five grams of healthy fat. There is a reason that bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts point to eggs as a vital protein source, it offers a small amount of almost every nutrient we need.
While many choose to eat only their egg whites, it is important to eat them completely if you are able to. The yolk contains over ninety percent of its calcium and iron while the whites contain over half of its protein.
- Raising you Good Cholesterol
The American Heart Association was actually correct when it stated that eggs will raise your cholesterol, they just focused on the wrong type. Cholesterol is necessary to make hormones and essential vitamins. It cannot dissolve in your blood and must be transported with lipoproteins to reach every cell of your body to ensure your health. There are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) that do drastically different things.
- LDL or the “Bad Cholesterol”: LDL is a bad form of cholesterol because it contributes to thick deposits called plaque that clog your arteries and make them less flexible. This can result in conditions such as atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
- HDL or the “Good Cholesterol”: HDL is a good form of cholesterol that helps to remove LDL build up from your arteries and returning them to the liver to be broken down and passed from the body. Healthy levels of HDL protect against the conditions that LDL creates, and a lower level allows LDL to proliferate.
In short, eggs help you to boost your levels of LDL and prevent cardiovascular diseases in the future.
- Preventing Eye Diseases
While most people turn to dark leafy greens to get their daily dose of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, eggs are also abundant sources. Both of these nutrients filter harmful wavelengths of light while acting as an antioxidant for the eye to help protect and maintain cells. There are six hundred carotenoids found in nature and these two are the only ones that are deposited in high quantiles in your eyes retina.
Because your body does not synthesize these nutrients, it is vital to have a daily intake of both through diet or nutritional supplements to battle cataracts and age related macular degeneration. The main function for your the natural lens of your eye is to collect and focuses light on to the retina, something it cannot do if the lens is not clear. Both cataracts and eye degeneration form due to free radicals that oxidize the lens, something that antioxidants will directly attack. A recent study showed that a diet high in lutein and zeaxanthin was linked with a lower risk of both of these ailments.
- Avoiding Birth Defects
One egg can provide one third of your RDA for choline, a nutrient that is required for humans. While our bodies are able to synthesize it as it is used for normal liver and muscle function in adults, many people are deficient in this nutrient, which is why it is included in prenatal supplements as your growing fetus draws more choline for their development.
Pregnant women need extra choline because women who are deficient in choline have a greater chance of their child having a neural tube defect or cleft palate. The availability of this nutrient also permanently influences their brain, as it is used for making cellular membranes during the rapid-growth period of the third trimester.
By ensuring proper levels of choline, you are boosting your child’s cognitive function for life and you can get one third of your needed amount from a single egg.
- Glowing Skin
The same nutrients that protect your eyes from free radicals also will quadruple your protection against UV damage. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown in studies to increase your ability to withstand lines, wrinkles, and brown spots that are associated with long-term sun damage as well as helping to protect your body against skin cancer.
- A healthy heart
Eggs are rich in nutrients like betaine and choline that promote heart health, however; this is not true for diabetics. In a study published in the Nurses’ Health Study as well as the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, heart disease risk was dramatically increased for those who suffer from diabetes.
Overall, the health benefits of eggs are generous and will help to promote a healthy lifestyle while decreasing the risk of many illnesses for adults, children, and fetuses. In most parts of the world, eggs are easily available and are inexpensive, offering a cheap source of protein and vitamins. With many people deficient in the most fat-soluble vitamins that an egg offers (such as vitamins A, D, E and K2), would benefit greatly from the addition of an egg a day.