The humble egg is a powerhouse of nutritional goodness. Here are just some of the heath benefits of eating eggs.
Good for your brain
Egg yolks contain choline, an important nutrient that helps brain development. And choline is also good for brain plasticity, which may help protect you from memory loss and other signs of cognitive decline as you get older.
Good source of energy
A large egg (around 60g) provides about 300kJ of energy. If you have eggs for breakfast they will make you feel fuller for longer, which means you are likely to eat less throughout the day. Most of the energy content of the egg is in the yolk.
Getting enough protein in our diets is an important way of promoting good health. Each egg contains about 6g of protein as well as helpful amino acids. Getting our share of protein for the day can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure and help our bones as well. The white of the egg contains most of the protein.
As we get older, we need to take better care of our eyes. Egg yolks contain large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, helpful antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration in the eyes. Eggs also are high in vitamin A, also beneficial for eye health.
Boost your ‘good’ cholesterol
Eating eggs leads to elevated levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which is also known as the ‘good’ cholesterol. People who have higher HDL levels have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and other health issues. Eating eggs also increases the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol, but the individual pieces of cholesterol go from being small and dense to large, which makes them less harmful as they are more easily cleared away by the body. This lowers the risk of heart disease.
So how many eggs should you eat?
Eggs are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines include eggs in the ‘lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legume/beans’ group as a meat alternative.
A serve of eggs is two large eggs (around 60g each), and the guidelines recommend that you eat one to three serves of protein-rich foods from this group daily.
According to the Dietary Guidelines, most recent evidence suggests there are no health risks associated with eating eggs.
It was once thought that because eggs naturally contain cholesterol, eating them might lead to high blood cholesterol levels. There is now good evidence that there is no link between eating foods with cholesterol and the risk of high cholesterol or heart disease.
The Dietary Guidelines have also reported no association between eating eggs daily and the risk of heart disease.
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Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.