As mother nature’s original superfood – eggs have been part of our diets since the dawning of time. Yet only now are we learning the full extent of the nutritional wonders they pack, and how beneficial they are in promoting lasting health benefits. Loaded with 13 essential vitamins and minerals, eggs also provide key sources of these important nutrients that are needed as part of a healthy diet to help you be your best, every day.
Are Eggs Good for You?
Yes. When it comes to helping meet your daily nutritional requirements, eggs are pretty tough to beat.
Eggs provide the highest-quality protein – while also containing 13 essential vitamins and minerals, alongside necessary omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
60% of the high-quality protein in eggs can be found in the egg white, while the yolk contains the rest, along with vital healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – all compounding for a valuable contribution to your daily nutritional needs.
Below, we’ve provided some of the proven key health benefits of eating eggs:
1. Eggs Are Nutrient Rich
Let’s start with the fact that eggs are jam-packed with a range of essential vitamins and minerals.
An average serving of 2 eggs contains:
- 82% of your daily vitamin D requirements
- 50% of your daily folate requirements
- 25% of your daily riboflavin (Vitamin B2) requirements
- 40% of your daily selenium requirements
Eggs also contain useful amounts of vitamins A, E, B5, B12, as well as iron, iodine and phosphorus – all vital nutrients in supporting your healthy, balanced diet.
2. Eggs Contain The Highest-Quality Protein
Eggs are widely considered to be a perfect protein source. Proteins are the building blocks of life, essential for the strength and repair of muscle and tissue – with one single egg containing about 6.3 grams of the highest-quality protein available.
The powerful advantage of the protein in eggs links to the fact that eggs contain all nine essential amino acids – in sufficient amounts – to support effective muscle growth, recovery and maintenance.
While some other foods contain proportionately more protein than eggs – the high-quality and bio-availability of protein in eggs is truly second to none.
3. Eggs Improve Levels of “Good” Cholesterol
Eggs help increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels – or “good” cholesterol as it’s commonly known – and this is one reason why eggs have been found to have little to no effect on heart disease risk.
It’s low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – or “bad” cholesterol – that can put heart health at risk. Meals high in saturated fats and trans-fats such as deep-fried takeaway foods are the key culprits when it comes to increased risk levels of LDL cholesterol.
4. Eggs Provide A Great Source Of Vitamin D
Egg yolks are one of a handful of foods that naturally contain vitamin D. And with close to a quarter of all Australian adults suffering from a mild or moderate vitamin D deficiency, the case for eggs is even more potent.
A serving of two eggs provides 82% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin D – making them an all-important source of this essential vitamin.
Sometimes called the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus – making it essential for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D also aids in promoting healthy muscle function and immune system maintenance.
5. Eggs Are Filling And Help With Weight Management
Relatively low in calories and a rich source of high-quality protein, eggs are one of the best food options to assist with weight management. The high satiety levels of eggs lead to greater feelings of satisfaction, less hunger and a lower desire to eat later in the day, meaning you’ll be less inclined to reach for that mid-afternoon snack.
Studies have found that eating eggs can make you feel full for longer by:
- Increasing levels of a hormone that helps you feel satisfied after eating
- Keeping energy levels higher
- Boosting metabolic activity
- Delaying the rate at which food leaves the stomach
Eggs are packed full of high-quality protein, making them ideal as part of many different dietary patterns that can assist people in managing their weight. Consuming eggs can also help reduce variations in glucose levels, which can have great lasting benefits in regulating eating patterns.
6. Eggs Are Among the Best Dietary Sources of Choline
Choline is an important nutrient that is made in the liver, however, as most people don’t produce enough choline to meet daily requirements, it also needs to be consumed through the food you eat.
Similar to the function of B vitamins, choline is essential for normal cell functioning, playing an influential role in brain and spinal cord development during pregnancy, cognitive development in infants and also helping to reduce cognitive decline in the elderly. Until recently, the role of choline as part of a balanced diet had been largely overlooked.
Eggs are a rich source of choline providing more than double the amount of choline per 100g than any other commonly eaten food. This makes eggs a highly effective and simple means of meeting your daily nutritional intake.
7. Eggs Are A Good Source of Omega-3s
Omega-3s are special types of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and are a family of “essential fats” that play an important role in the way your cell membranes work; from heart and brain health through to protecting your eyes. And as your body produces a limited amount of Omega-3s on its own, it’s beneficial to actively consume them through various food sources.
Eggs are mother nature’s incredible and edible source of Omega-3 fatty acids, providing on average, 180mg per serve (2 eggs). Of this amount, 114mg is the long-chain type of omega-3 fatty acid – which represents between 71-127% of the desired intake for adults.
Oily fish is one of the best-known sources of omega-3s, however, for people who avoid or can’t eat fish, eggs are a particularly useful source of these healthy types of fats.
8. Eggs Contain Antioxidants That Are Beneficial for The Eyes
Eggs contain a range of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E and selenium which all act as important antioxidants in supporting eye health, retina function and helping counteract degenerative vision as you age.
Eggs are rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which play a protective role in reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Studies show that these antioxidants are also better absorbed by the body from eggs than from alternate plant sources.
9. Eggs Help Boost Nutrient Intake for Healthy Aging
Eggs are an accessible, economical and easily digestible source of high-quality protein and essential vitamins and minerals – making them an ideal dietary inclusion for older Australians.
Easy to prepare, eggs are a simple means to increase nutrient intakes for older people, in turn helping to reduce the risk of a wide range of deficiencies and conditions.
They also contain a significant amount of leucine, an amino acid that is important for ongoing muscle support, as well as other key nutrients including Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids, plus a little-known nutrient, choline, which is important for brain function.
10. Eggs Can Support Mental Health
A balanced diet can go a long way toward supporting stress reduction and better mental health practices – both reducing the impact of symptoms and optimising greater performance.
And when it comes to the headstrong benefits of eggs – the combination of Vitamin B2, B12, choline, iron and tryptophan are all associated with helping reduce the risk of anxiety, symptoms of depression and naturally aiding sleep.
Courtesy of 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Eggs 2021, viewed 29 July 2021, <https://www.australianeggs.org.au/nutrition/health-benefits>