Eggs are an integral part of many a breakfast recipe. Yet is there anything to them besides their taste? Scientific evidence suggests eggs are not popular for nothing: the variety of nutrients in them makes eggs a thing that can benefit health in a number of ways. But what about cholesterol, you may ask. Here is what researchers say.
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Simple as egg
Eggs contain quite a lot of nutrients, including folate, riboflavin and plenty of vitamins, such as vitamin A, E, B12 and, perhaps, most notably, vitamin D, which is difficult to find in food, as its major source is sunlight. There are also selenium, calcium, iron, iodine and zinc, zeaxanthin, lutein, and choline, which is beneficial for the nervous system.
Before we move on to discussing the benefits of eating eggs (in reasonable amounts, of course), we should emphasize that the common assumption according to which eggs are bad for your cardiovascular system is kind of outdated.
While egg yolk is definitely rich in cholesterol, the blood cholesterol level is shaped primarily by the cholesterol made by the liver. Yes, that’s right – the amount of cholesterol our liver makes is more significant than that which gets into our bloodstream from our meals. The thing is, the liver makes cholesterol using saturated and trans fats, and it is them that should be avoided.
Still, egg intake should be limited to one or two eggs a day, provided you do not have any diseases that should prevent you from eating more of them (say, those with diabetes are recommended not to consume more than 3 eggs a week, as one large egg content features 1.5 g saturated fats).
What’s so good about eggs?
There are several reasons why having eggs on the menu can benefit your health.
Reason #1. Eggs are filling, which means you will feel full much longer. That being said, eggs are a good food to be on the menu of those who want to lose weight. It is also supported by scientific evidence suggesting that eating eggs for breakfast can help lose extra pounds, if it is combined with an energy-deficit diet. However, eggs alone do not contribute to weight loss, and in the study mentioned above egg intake effect was compared to that of bagel breakfasts.
Reason #2. Eggs are reported to be able to boost memory, because they contain choline – a nutrient that plays a significant role in human metabolism, and affects the liver, nervous system, and other organs.
Reason #3. Eggs are beneficial for eyes due to their being rich in lutein. It is a carotenoid that can help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. There is one more thing that makes eggs special: the lutein found in them is 200-300% more bioavailable than that found in vegetables.
Reason #4. Vitamin D is difficult to get, as it is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. The vitamin is rarely found in food, but egg yolks do contain it, which makes them a source you can use to supply your body with vitamin D, especially if it is winter.
Reason #5. Folate, which eggs contain, is beneficial in many ways. It is a vitamin B type that is used in processes of formation of red blood cells; besides, folate is very important for proper development of babies while they are still in the womb. That is why pregnant women are recommended to take folate supplements, and eggs are a natural source of it.
Despite the abundance of benefits, one should not forget that less is more: while eating an egg or two on certain days of the week can be a nice option to provide your body with the nutrients it needs, it is not a good idea to consume dozens of eggs on a regular basis. This is also true of almost any food, though.
Are eggs risky for heart health? – Health.harvard.edu
Choline: an essential nutrient for public health – Academic.oup.com
Eggs are a high in lutein, a carotenoid important for eye and skin health – News-medical.net