Eggs are a staple in many Australian’s diets, but what are eggs good for in terms of our health? At Eggzi, we’re passionate about eggs and the unique attributes that make them so delicious and healthy. Eggs are an excellent and affordable source of essential vitamins, proteins, and minerals. Eggs are readily available on supermarket shelves. In addition, they are versatile additions to a variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert dishes. From breakfast to dessert, eggs are an indispensable item in many of the most common recipes of Australians today.
Eggs are one of the most economical foods you can purchase whilst still being packed full of flavour. However, there have been times when the healthiness of eggs has been brought into question. In this article, we will examine what are eggs good for in your diet whilst breaking down some of the common misconceptions about eggs. So, what are eggs good for? Let’s start by examining the health benefits of eggs in terms of nutrients and our health, followed by debunking some of the myths about eggs.
What are Eggs Good for?
So, precisely what are eggs good for in your diet? We know that eggs are a good source of nutrients and vitamins. Not only are they tasty and good for you, but they’re also one of the most versatile foods you can purchase. In the next section of this article, we’ll dive deeper into the nutritional benefits of eggs when incorporated into a healthy, balanced diet in moderate amounts.
The Nutritional Benefits of Eggs
The best way to answer the question, ‘what are eggs good for in your diet?’ is to consider one medium sized egg. A single egg weighing 44g can contain the following nutrients:
- 62.5 calories
- 5.5g protein
- 4.2g total fat, of which 1.4g are saturated
- 189mg sodium
- 24.6mg calcium
- 0.8mg iron
- 5.3mg magnesium
- 86.7mg phosphorous
- 60.3mg potassium
- 0.6mg zinc
- 162mg cholesterol
- 13.4mcg selenium
- 220mcg lutein and zeaxanthin
- 15.4mcg folate
In addition to the above nutrients, a single egg offers the following recommended daily allowances:
- 6% vitamin A
- 5% folate
- 7% vitamin B5
- 9% vitamin B12
- 15% vitamin B2
- 9% phosphorous
- 22% selenium
If that wasn’t enough, eggs also contain vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin B6. So, what does it all mean? What are eggs good for in terms of your health?
Eggs for Health
Whilst it is great that eggs are a good source of various nutrients and vitamins, it’s important to understand how eating eggs might impact our overall health and wellbeing. This section of the article will aim to outline the health benefits of the various nutrients and vitamins found in eggs.
Eggs & Protein
First and foremost, when considering what are eggs good for, protein should be at the top of the list. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain all nine essential amino acids, including histidine, lysine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine, and valine. Protein is vital for the growth and repair of all cells within the human body. The amino acids found in protein are often referred to as ‘building blocks’ and can help maintain and repair body tissue. Additionally, eggs are an excellent source of energy that is produced from protein.
Eggs & Heart Health
Commonly when we have wondered, “what are eggs good for?” heart health hasn’t been at the top of the list. However, more recent research has proven that eggs are a great source of nutrients that promote heart health, such as betaine and choline. Betaine is involved in cellular reproduction and helps the body metabolise amino acids, whilst choline is essential for regulating memory, mood, cell repair and growth, and other bodily functions. Choline is vital in pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding; however, many women are cautious when consuming eggs throughout this vulnerable time. Many pregnant women or new mothers choose pasteurised eggs that destroy harmful bacteria by up to 99.9% to eliminate potential risks.
Eggs & Eye Health
When considering what are eggs good for, eye health probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two antioxidants that can be found in eggs. Lutein is an anti-inflammatory vitamin best known for improving or preventing age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision impairment. Zeaxanthin is also suitable for eye health and protects the eye from the harmful effects of light sources like the sun.
Eggs & Vitamins
Eggs contain vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and selenium, essential for brain function, nervous system function, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Eggs also contain vitamin D, which can prevent the onset and development of osteoporosis.
Eggs & Essential Fatty Acids
Eggs provide a significant portion of the recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, prevent blood clots, prevent plaque lining the arteries, and reduce inflammation.
We could go on for hours on the topic; however, the bottom line is that eggs are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that work to improve overall health and wellbeing. Now that we have covered what are eggs good for in your diet, we’ll debunk some of the myths that traditionally meant eggs were considered bad for your health.
Cholesterol & Eggs: The Breakdown
Let’s set the record straight. When considering what are eggs good for, especially in the diet, you must understand the relationship between eggs and cholesterol. Historically, eggs were deemed to be bad for humans to eat due to the high cholesterol content within eggs. It has traditionally been believed that eggs are linked to an increased risk of heart disease due to the cholesterol content. Whilst eggs are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol, it is now widely understood that eggs can help to lower the risk of heart disease. One medium egg contains approximately 162mg of dietary cholesterol. So, that’s bad, right? Not necessarily! New information surrounding dietary cholesterol in eggs far outweighs the outdated cholesterol content concerns.
The difference between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol in the blood is that there is no conclusive evidence to suggest dietary cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. According to Elizabeth Jonson of Tufts University, Boston, “…for most people, dietary cholesterol isn’t a problem… Humans have good regulation when consuming dietary cholesterol.” On the other hand, cholesterol in the blood is proven to increase the risk of heart disease and should therefore be avoided. Cholesterol becomes harmful when it is oxidised in the arteries. However, this does not occur from the type of cholesterol found in eggs. So, what’s the verdict? As part of a balanced diet, eggs will not harm the cholesterol in the body.
Fat & Eggs
The fat in an egg is predominantly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat are good for you. Unsaturated fats have double chemical bonds that change how the body stores fats and uses them instead for energy production. A recent study conducted by the University of Connecticut found “no relationship between eating eggs and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease”. Therefore, eggs are safe to eat in moderation.
Egging Responsibly at Eggzi
Now that we have discussed what are eggs good for in terms of a healthy diet and lifestyle, it’s time to egg responsibly. Even with safe food handling practices and stringent refrigeration methods, hens can still pass on bacteria causing salmonella to eggs. The best solution is investing in pasteurised eggs.
At Eggzi, our eggs are pasteurised, which is a process that employs specifically designed equipment in HACCP certified facilities to ensure harmful bacteria such as salmonella is reduced by up to 99.9%. Furthermore, our eggs are sourced from some of Australia’s finest free-range farmers who produce excellent growing conditions and, as a result, the tastiest eggs. Discover our range of certified free-range pasteurised eggs today.