Many people believe that eating eggs may be bad for your health. Here are some excellent reasons to justify why eating eggs can make you healthier, brainier, leaner and stronger.
1. Eggs help to improve performance
Eggs have a high satiety index, meaning they make you feel full for longer. One large egg supplies 6g of high quality protein and a large variety of essential nutrients, with the exception of vitamin C. This is why teaming up a fruit or orange juice with an egg and whole-wheat/low GI bread provides the perfect breakfast to perform well in a challenging environment.
2. Eggs can help to iron out problems
Many people with mild iron deficiency experience vague symptoms of tiredness, headaches and irritability. Iron is the carrier of oxygen in the blood and plays an important role in immunity, energy metabolism and many other functions in the body. The iron in egg yolk is in the form of heme iron, the most readily absorbable and usable form of iron in food and more absorbable than the form of iron in most supplements.
3. Eggs improve nutrient adequacy of the diet
The nutrient density of eggs makes them a valuable contributor to a nutritious diet. A study among egg vs. non-egg consumers revealed that the diets of the non-egg consumers were more likely to fall short of vitamins A, E and B12. Eggs contributed 10-20% of folate and 20-30% of vitamins A, E and B12 among egg consumers. This study demonstrates the important role one food can play in ensuring nutrient adequacy.
4. Eggs do not increase blood cholesterol
In the 1990s, eggs received a lot of bad publicity due to their cholesterol content of 210mg per egg yolk. Numerous studies have clearly demonstrated the lack of a relationship between egg intake and coronary heart disease.
To put things into perspective, it is important to realise that foods high in fat, especially saturated and trans fatty acids have a far greater impact on heart health than cholesterol in food. Eggs should be recognised as an inexpensive, versatile and easily digestible source of protein.
5. Eggs can help to promote weight loss
Eggs with toast have a 50% higher satiety index than regular breakfast cereals. Several studies have reported that starting the day with an egg breakfast increases satiety in overweight people and may help with weight loss.
In one study where a breakfast of bagels, cream cheese and yoghurt were compared to a breakfast of two eggs, toast and jam (same amount of kilojoules), the latter group stayed fuller for longer and reduced their kilojoule intake at lunch by 29%.
At 315kJ per large egg, eggs actually add few kilojoules for all the nutrients they provide. When teamed up with whole grains (for example whole-wheat bread) and fruit or vegetables they are a complete meal, readily available, easy to prepare and inexpensive, making them a useful tool in weight-loss programmes.
6. Eggs help to promote brain health
Choline is a nutrient that facilitates brain development in the foetus and newborn as well as memory function even into old age. Eggs are an excellent dietary source of choline, and one egg per day will provide 28% of a pregnant woman’s choline requirement.
Choline is of extreme importance during pregnancy and lactation when the reserves can be depleted. At the same time, it is the critical period for foetal brain development and lifelong memory enhancement. In experiments with rats, memory function in the aged rat was in part determined by what the mother ate. Mothers, the message is clear – make a lifelong investment and eat your eggs!
7. Eggs help to prevent cataracts and to protect eye sight
A good dietary intake of eggs, spinach and broccoli is associated with a significant decrease in cataracts (up to a 20% decrease) and age-related lens and retinal degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly (up to a 40% decrease).
Eggs are a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthine, which play an important role in keeping the eyes healthy. It accumulates in the eye where these nutrients protect against some types of harmful, high-energy wavelengths of light. Getting enough lutein and zeaxanthine is therefore very important from childhood onwards throughout the life cycle.
8. Eggs provide the best quality protein
Protein is one of the most important elements of our diet. Our bodies use protein to build new and repair old tissue. Eggs are champions at providing high quality protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Nine of these amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body and must be derived from the diet. A complete protein food contains enough of these nine essential amino acids to promote growth and maintain body tissue.
Egg, milk and meat (including poultry and fish) proteins are all complete proteins, but egg protein is of the highest quality, with a rating of 100. Compared to eggs, milk is rated at 93 and fish and beef at 75. One egg has approximately the same protein content as 30g cooked meat, fish or poultry. And apart from being the most versatile and best source of protein in our diet, it is also the least expensive.
9. Eggs can help to protect our bones
Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, our sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and for maintaining optimum bone health. Eggs therefore play a supporting role in the prevention of osteoporosis together with dairy products, our main source of calcium.
10. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails
The hair and nails reflect many biochemical imbalances and shortages in the body. Eggs can help to promote healthy hair and nails because of their high content of sulphur-containing amino acids and the wide array of vitamins and minerals.
Many people report faster growing hair after adding eggs to their diet. Especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing zinc, sulphur, vitamin B12 and vitamin A.
Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches
Ingredients – 12 servings
- 8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup sliced scallions
- ¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 5 eggs Eggs Large White
- 3 egg whites Eggs Large White
- 1 cup 1% milk
Active 30 m
Ready In 1 h
- Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray (see Tip).
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper.
- Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup.
- Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a rack on top of the pan, flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack. Turn upright and let cool completely.
- Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Tip: A good-quality nonstick muffin tin works best for this recipe. If you don’t have one, line a regular muffin tin with foil baking cups.
- Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.
Easy Salmon Cakes
Ingredients – 4 servings
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, finely chopped Onions Red
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 15 ounces canned salmon, drained, or 1½ cups cooked salmon
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1¾ cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs, (see Tip)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Creamy Dill Sauce, (recipe follows)
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Active 30 m
Ready In 45 m
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley; remove from the heat.
- Place salmon in a medium bowl. Flake apart with a fork; remove any bones and skin. Add egg and mustard; mix well. Add the onion mixture, breadcrumbs and pepper; mix well. Shape the mixture into 8 patties, about 2½ inches wide.
- Heat remaining 1½ teaspoons oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 4 patties and cook until the undersides are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn them over onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining patties.
- Bake the salmon cakes until golden on top and heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare Creamy Dill Sauce. Serve salmon cakes with sauce and lemon wedges.
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice makes about ⅓ cup.
- Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.