Eggs are an amazing source of low-cost high-quality protein, providing 5.5 grams of protein (11.1% of the daily value for protein) in one egg for a caloric cost of only 68 calories, and all 9 essential amino acids (all for less than 0.5 grams of carbs!) But there’s much more…
More than 90% of Americans are choline-deficient. Older adults are especially at high risk of choline deficiency. People whose diets supplied the highest average intake of choline (found in abundance in egg yolk), and its metabolite betaine (found naturally in vegetables such as beets and spinach), have levels of inflammatory markers at least 20% lower than subjects with the lowest average intakes.
In the mineral department, eggs are an excellent source of selenium, which is thought to prevent cancer, particularly tumors affecting the prostate (although researchers are currently going back and forth on this one!) Eggs are also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two types of carotenoids important for eye health (with several studies indicating that these compounds may prevent macular degeneration as well as reduce the risk of developing cataracts). Additionally, eggs are thought to be one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D, providing roughly 10% of the recommended daily intake per serving.
Eggs are high in cholesterol, and health experts in the past counseled people to therefore avoid this food. Not only have recent studies shown that eggs do not significantly affect cholesterol levels in most individuals, but the latest research suggests that eating whole eggs may actually result in significant improvement in one’s blood lipids (cholesterol) profile.
Still need convincing? A 2005 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that eggs keep hunger at bay longer than bagels (or “dietary disasters” as they should be renamed!). In addition, eggs’ high sulfur content and wide variety of vitamins and minerals can promote healthy hair – and may even speed up growth rate in those with such deficiencies – as well as help nails grow.