The Benefits of Eating Eggs – Why You Should Be Including Them in Your Diet…
Poached, scrambled, fried, steamed, hard and soft boiled or simply used as one of the key ingredients in a recipe, eggs are one of the most versatile and easy to cook foods.
Eggs have been one of the most common breakfast choices for years, but did you realise the great benefits of eggs and why they are the perfect food to add anytime to your weekly diet. Not only are they cheap but they are packed full of nutrition and can be added to many dishes or just perfect to have hard boiled as a small satisfying snack.
The humble egg is not only one of the least expensive sources of quality protein but also the many benefits of eating eggs on a regular basis include from reducing the risk of heart disease to simply helping you to lose weight.
An average sized egg is only 77 calories but has 6g of protein and 5g of healthy fat and look at the other nutrients it contain. The egg white is rich in protein, Vitamin D, B6 and B12, copper, iron, selenium and zinc. The egg yolk often gets a bad reputation as it contains cholesterol, but it also contains the important nutrients lecithin, vitamin A, D. E and K as well as some other vital nutrients you may not have even heard of.
One valuable nutrient the humble egg contains that most people have never heard of is Choline and one egg has 110mg of it, which the yolk provides 90%. The average person generally doesn’t get enough of this nutrient which plays an important part in our optimal health. Our livers do produce a little of it but we need do need to get most of it from food sources.
Choline along with vitamin B complex group helps keep your body healthy and working to its best ability to ward off diseases. It also helps make the fats needed for building our cell membranes, to carry cholesterol away from our liver and keeping our nervous system healthy.
Ever wondered why the egg yolk was yellow? – It’s because it contains carotenoids which is a key nutrient that is beneficial for the health of your eyes.
The depth of the yolk colour depends on the amount of carotenoid pigments that hen consumes. A high level of carotenoid pigments in the diet mean that the yolk will have a deeper, more orange colour and hens get these pigments from eating yellow maize, grass and clover.
A study by Dr. Carrie Ruxton, sponsored by the British Egg Industry Council, found that egg yolks contain high levels of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids accumulate in the eyes and may prevent age related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness in people aged over 60.
The Cholesterol debate
Eggs have often got a bad rap because of their fat content and the fact that they are high in cholesterol, but just because you include cholesterol rich foods in your diet don’t necessarily mean it will raise your blood levels of it. Studies have shown that in at least 70% of people eggs didn’t raise their cholesterol levels.
Also the liver produces a large amount of cholesterol everyday and when we consume foods containing it, the liver automatically produces less.
Plus eggs actually raise HDL or high density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is the good part of cholesterol as simply put it removes harmful cholesterol from places in the body that they shouldn’t be and takes them to the liver to be reprocessed. Having high levels of this can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke whereas low levels of HDL can raise the risk.
Fights Heart disease and more…
Eggs can also help reduce excess fat around the waist and studies have shown eating more eggs may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome in adults over 40.
Metabolic syndrome includes a number of symptoms including excess body fat around the waist area, increased blood sugar levels and abnormal cholesterol levels. All of these things can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Help with weight loss
Eggs are not only filling but also relatively low in calories, that with their protein content make them a great choice for those wishing to lose weight. Not only are they are a quick and easy meal to prepare but studies also show they can make you eat less calories for up to 36hrs. Also being a high protein food they help raise your metabolism which boosts the amount of calories you burn.
So contrary to all the bad publicity they get eggs are a great addition to your normal diet. It has been shown they don’t necessarily raise your risk of heart disease and may even reduce the risk of having a stroke.
They are a food that will keep you full for longer and can raise your metabolism, so you will end up eating fewer calories and therefore can help you lose weight.
So go crack an egg or two today!
Soon I’ll be sharing some great recipe ideas for eggs so if you have an you’d like to share I’d love to read them.