There are some foods on which we never seem to be able to quite decide on the health benefits – and eggs are one of them. Just as advice seems to vary from one week to the next as to whether we should store eggs in the fridge or at room temperature, so it feels like the verdict on the dietary value of eggs changes constantly. While many of us have been led to believe we should cut them out of our diets as much as possible, the truth is that – in moderation, just as with all foods – eggs are packed with nutrients that can give our health and vitality a real boost. Here are a few hints as to why you should keep on with your egg intake.
Eggs are rich in protein, and yet low in calories, and this helps sustain energy levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer. As a result, a simple breakfast of eggs in the morning is more likely to last you through to lunchtime than a bagel, for instance – there is less chance that you’ll fall prey to a naughty-but-nice mid-morning snack, helping you to cut the calories and fat and achieve your weight loss goals more easily. One study concluded that eating eggs for breakfast could even reduce your daily intake by as much as 400 calories. Duck eggs are even richer in protein than chicken eggs, though they also have a higher fat content.
For years it has been believed that the relatively high levels of cholesterol contained in eggs meant they should be avoided by those with existing cholesterol issues, and eaten strictly in moderation by the rest of us. But this position has largely been discredited for two reasons. Firstly, changes to chicken feed are believed to have reduced the amount of cholesterol in eggs from a decade ago. Secondly, it’s now understood that cholesterol in the food you eat does not influence your blood cholesterol levels to the extent it was thought to – it is saturated fat that is responsible for that. To top it all, eggs will even raise the level of good cholesterol that your body needs in order to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Eggs are packed with healthy nutrients including choline, which both helps keep your heart healthy and stimulates the development and function of the brain; it has been linked to enhanced memory retention and recall, and alertness too. And while women are rightly cautioned to avoid raw eggs during pregnancy, the choline levels in properly cooked eggs are also vital for the healthy development of your baby’s brain. Regular egg consumption will also give you the benefits of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are believed to protect the eyes from UV ray damage and to prevent the development of cataracts as we grow older. Finally, eggs contain high levels of vitamin A, for healthy eyes, and vitamin D, essential for the development of healthy bones and avoiding developing osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease.
Here’s one benefit of eating eggs that you probably hadn’t thought of. Thanks to the levels of sulphur-rich amino acids they boast, as well as countless other vitamins and minerals, eggs can even help promote healthier and faster growing hair and nails.
As with any foods, eggs are best consumed as part of an overall healthy and balanced diet. If you need further advice on devising a diet plan that helps you achieve your health and fitness goals, get in touch today.