It’s easy to be a little confused by the history of the egg.
At first it was praised as a health food.
Then an incomplete picture of how cholesterol works led many to condemn the egg as being quite bad for your heart and cardiovascular health.
Now that science has improved, this conclusion has been dramatically reversed.
The pendulum has swung back again. Eggs are a health food once more.
But this time it is for sure. We know more than ever before about what eggs can do for your health.
Let’s take a look at some intriguing egg facts.
Knocking Down Egg Myths
Before we get into the data that demonstrates how great eggs are for your health, let’s dispense with one of the more prevalent myths about the egg.
Early nutritionists’ recognized that nearly half the calories from eggs come from the fat in the yolk.
Contained within this fat are high levels of cholesterol.
While today we understand the body’s relationship with cholesterol to be a complicated one including multiple forms of cholesterol and different manners of processing it, these early nutritionists’ lacked such a complete picture.
As such, the association between high cholesterol and poor cardiovascular health was all they had to go on.
Eggs were, for a time, labeled an unhealthy food.
Today, research has demonstrated that eggs do not increase levels of “bad” cholesterol.
While those managing a condition with a low cholesterol diet may want to avoid eggs, for healthy individuals eggs can be an important source of nutrition with no negative health effects.
Don’t take our word for it. Studies have shown that you can eat as many as 12 eggs per week without any measurable effect on cholesterol levels.
That’s almost 2 eggs every day!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to take a peek at what eggs can do for your diet.
1. Eggs Are A Truly Exceptional Source of Nutrients
It’s not hard to see why eggs are such a rich source of nutrition.
After all, they have to contain everything needed to nourish a baby chick until it hatches.
Eggs are well-known as an excellent source of protein and healthy fats.
You might be less aware that eggs contain traces of nearly every single vitamin, mineral, and nutrient your body needs to live.
Many of these are just in trace concentrations, but eggs provide a healthy dose of vitamins A, B2, B5, and B12. It’s also a great source of the essential mineral nutrient selenium.
You find all of this goodness in the yolk, which is packed with nutrients.
But don’t go throwing out those egg whites, either. Egg white is almost entirely protein and is an excellent way to boost your protein intake.
2. Eggs Help Nourish Your Brain
Although it is an essential nutrient, few of us have heard of a compound called choline.
Eggs are a rich source of choline.
Necessary for the synthesis of a key neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, as well as an essential component in cell membranes, choline is vital for the health of the brain and the entire body.
Despite this, choline can be difficult to come by in modern diets and many people do not get enough choline.
Low choline intake has been associated with neurological disorders and heart disease.
Egg yolk provides one of the best sources of choline in the diet.
3. Eggs Can Protect Your Vision
Two compounds which have been associated with protecting the vision – zeaxanthin and lutein – are found in high concentrations in eggs.
These are powerful antioxidants which have many beneficial effects on the body. Of particular interest, they have been shown to accumulate in the retina where they help shield the eye from the effects of harsh light.
Both zeaxanthin and lutein have been associated with reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two key diseases of the eye common in the elderly.
Crack An Egg For Your Health
Now that we’ve got those nasty rumors out of the way, you can enjoy your breakfast in peace.
Maybe even ruminate on all the ways an egg a day can improve your health and nutrition.