Egg: The Inexpensive Superfood You Shouldn’t Skip
Eggs are not just delicious, they also boast a grand nutritional profile that does wonders for our health. Read on to know why skipping eggs from your daily meals should be out of the question, considering their vast perks!
Eggs are one of the best and most inexpensive sources of valuable nutrients. They are healthy, loaded with nutrients, easy to eat in their fried and boiled forms, and can be incorporated into Noodles, Quesadillas, and various other meals. The egg benefits our overall system and is a food that should be a part of our everyday menu!
Types of Eggs
Different types of eggs are available on the market and can be classified into three broad categories:
Brown and white eggs:Brown and white shelled eggs are nutritionally the same. They are obtained from caged hens and are the conventional form of eggs available on the market.
Organic eggs:Organic farming involves environment-friendly farming practises, and the eggs are produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides, or preservatives.
Designer eggs:In this case, the hen’s feed is modified in order to produce healthier eggs, like feeding them with flaxseed. These eggs can act as functional foods and can be a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids, an important fat that must be consumed through the diet. They are known to have potential health benefits in comparison with conventional eggs.
An egg is a complete food, and the nutritional value of eggs is of superior quality. Egg is a source of high biological value protein, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that possess antioxidant potential. The following is a breakup of egg nutrients (each egg approximately weighs 50 g):
|Total fat||4.5 g|
|Biotin (Vit B7)||9 μg|
|Folate (Vit B9)||24. 6 μg|
|β Carotene (Vit A)||6.8 μg|
|Omega - 3 fatty acid||16 mg|
|Omega - 6 fatty||511 mg|
|Total MUFA||1740 mg|
Eating eggs daily
While eating eggs daily has become quite a controversial topic due to the high lipid content of the egg yolk, studies suggest regular egg consumers who limit the intake of red and processed meat usually practice healthier diets and have a better micronutrient status than those who do not eat eggs. Thus, the benefits of eating eggs are numerous and associated with positive health outcomes. Moreover, it is proven that eating eggs every day is not linked to heart disease, which is why regular consumption of eggs, while moderating the quantity, can be a wise choice.
Health benefits of eggs
Eggs are primarily divided into the egg yolk and egg white, and the nutrient facts for eggs as well as the benefits of eating eggs can be listed as follows:
1. Nutritional Value of Eggs is of Premium Quality:
Egg proteins are distributed equally between the egg white and egg yolk, while the fat, vitamins, and minerals are essentially present in the yolk. While water forms a major part of the egg, the egg isn’t a good source of fibre. Egg nutrients include a high range of iron, selenium, and folate, as well as vitamins A, B12, K, and D.
2. Excellent source of protein and good fat:
The protein content of eggs is so impressive that it is used as the gold standard and a reference to compare the protein content of other foodstuffs. An egg contains all the essential amino acids that are required for good health. Besides, eggs, especially egg yolks, are high in fat.
- The egg white lacks fats and is a concentrated source of protein, mainly ovalbumin, which accounts for 50% of the total egg-white proteins. Egg-white ovalbumin is a valuable source of amino acids for human nutrition.
- The egg yolk contains 16% high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), which are the good types of fat needed by our body. Compared to egg whites, egg yolks also contain higher quantities of protein required for growth and muscle maintenance.
3. Essential form of antioxidants:
Egg proteins can help reduce inflammation and act as antioxidants, namely phosvitin and ovalbumin. These proteins, which behave as antioxidants, can prevent damage to lipids as well as aid in scraping out harmful free radicals in our body that can cause damage to other cells. This antioxidant ability of eggs could play a role in preventing several degenerative diseases, including those related to the heart.
4. Provides satiety:
Emerging evidence indicates that eating eggs is associated with weight management and better diet quality. Egg yolk protein, in particular, can provide satiety, which is the feeling of fullness. Its effect is supposed to be significantly greater when compared with other protein sources. This could imply that egg yolk benefits weight loss programs and those on a calorie-restricted diet.
5. Builds immunity:
- Nutrients in egg white include lysozyme, which is antibacterial in nature and may be used to treat infections. Thus egg white benefits could be linked to our immune system when consumed regularly.
- The egg yolk contains immunoglobulins, which can bind to foreign bodies and protect our bodies from infectious attacks.
6. Required for a healthy nervous system:
The phospholipids and choline present in eggs are important to provide support to the nervous system and build its integrity. Choline is also required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and plays an important role in the development of the brain and memory in the growing foetus.
7. Good for eyes:
Egg yolks contain carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which can protect our eyes from damage caused by blue light. Health benefits of eggs due to carotenoids include prevention of age-related macular degeneration and a reduced risk of cataracts, cancer, and atherosclerosis.
8. Helps maintain blood cholesterol levels:
Although the egg yolk is quite high in cholesterol and fat, studies have shown that consuming eggs does not change the ratio of good vs. bad fat in our body. This could imply that since the bad fat - LDL - tends to accumulate in the artery wall and cause inflammation, its negative effects can be balanced by the good fat - HDL - which removes this detrimental cholesterol thereby helping in preventing atherosclerosis.
When planning a healthy diet, one must remember that egg benefits our overall health and should find space on our plates. Apart from being the best source of protein and a storehouse of nutrients, the egg bears the proud tag of being functional, which can help enhance health and keep several diseases at bay!