What’s the deal with eggs? One day we read they are good for us because they have tons of vitamins and nutrients. Another day we read they are bad for us because they are high in cholesterol. Which one is it?
We let me break it down for you.
Below is the nutritional facts for an egg according to the Egg Nutrition Center a branch of the American Egg board. (Yes, there really is an American Egg board.) They gather scientific data about eggs that come from factory farms of larger than 75,000 laying hens.
After learning the proper way to read food labels, it is clear that there is so much information a food label leaves out.
A few things pop out to the naked eye when viewing the food label above. The amount of cholesterol can scare anyone away at first glance. One egg makes up for 62% of our daily cholesterol intake. Yikes! Well, it’s not really that scary when you look at the facts. It may come as a surprise to learn, dietary cholesterol doesn’t usually increase a person’s overall cholesterol. According to the University of California Berkeley, dietary cholesterol increases both HDL and LDL levels. Therefore, it does not change the overall ratio of HDL to LDL and does not increase a person’s chance of adverse side effects.
The number of vitamins and minerals found in eggs is even more interesting than the amount of cholesterol. According to the food label above, eggs provide the follow vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, riboflavin, folate, phosphorous, iron, and zinc. In addition, Harvard’s School of Public Health reports vitamin B12, vitamin D, riboflavin, and folate are found in eggs as well. They all help to reduce heart disease.The National Nutrient Database, eggs also shows eggs having magnesium, potassium, sodium, thiamine, niacin, vitamin D2, vitamin D3, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Trying to find data about how these vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats all work together would be very difficult. Instead, we can look at the benefits of each item separately.
Vitamin A protects eye health, supports the immune system, fights inflammation, supports skin and cell growth, as well as help to prevent cancer. Read this to learn more about vitamin A.
Vitamin B6 helps the brain to communicate with nerve cells. It also helps the metabolism run smoothly and aids in immune support. To find out more about vitamin B6 check out Dr. Weil’s website.
Vitamin B12 helps to maintain energy levels, heart health, and nervous system function. It aids in healthy digestion as well as, skin and hair. Vitamin B12 is needed for a healthy pregnancy. It prevents anemia, boosts moods and may help to prevent cancer. If you would like to learn more about vitamin B12 check it out here.
Vitamin D lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of diabetes. It also lowers your chances of a heart attack, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. There are risks to having low levels of vitamin D that you can find on WebMD.
Vitamins D2 & D3 helps brain function, supports the immune system, helps to maintain a healthy body weight and aids in lung function as well as bone and joint health. Here is more information about vitamins D2 and D3.
Vitamin E benefits bones, muscles, and heart function. It also helps support the immune system, brain function, and diabetes-related damages. Dr. Weil has more about vitamin E.
Vitamin K is also known as the blood-clotting vitamin. It helps heal wounds but it also is important for bone health. LiveScience goes into more detail about vitamin K’s sources and benefits.
Calcium strengthens bones, prevents obesity, protects the heart muscles, prevents colon cancer and kidney stones. It is also known to ensure a healthy alkaline level, prevent premenstrual depression and maintain healthy teeth and gums. Learn more at OrganicFacts.
Riboflavin is another B vitamin. It boosts mineral absorption, protects the digestive tract, supports the immune system, protects the nervous system, helps in red blood cells and regulates thyroid activity. Learn more here.
Folate supports normal fetal development, promotes sperm viability, great for the heart, reduces the risk of stroke, encourages normal cholesterol levels, help colon health and macular health. GlobelHealingCenter has more details about folate.
Phosphorous helps detox the body, promotes bone health, aids the metabolism, improves digestion, helps dental health, improves cognitive function and is important for growth and development. Dr. Axe has a good page about phosphorous.
Iron is well known as an aid to red blood cells. It transports oxygen to the body cells. Iron also helps with muscle function, brain function, regulates the body temperature, fatigue, neurotransmitter synthesis, insomnia, metabolizing energy and boosting the immune system. Iron is a key role in health but is a common nutrient deficiency in people. Find more health benefits of iron on OrganicFacts.
Zinc boosts the immunity and fights colds, it acts as an antioxidant, balances hormones, fights diabetes, maintains heart health, increases fertility, aids in nutrient absorption and digestion, supports liver health and supports muscle growth. Check out this website to find out more about zinc.
Magnesium improves sleep, muscles, flexibility, bone health, alkalizes the body, relieves constipation, increases the body’s ability to relax, promotes enzyme function and better facilitates the metabolism of sugar. MindBodyGreen explains magnesium further.
Sodium gets a bad rap but it is needed and helpful in the human body. According to Dr. MercolaDr. Mercola, healthy forms of sodium are needed to carry nutrients into and out of your cells, helping your brain communicate with muscles, maintaining blood pressure, supporting adrenal function and being a major component of blood plasma. However, sodium can have negative side effects if eaten too much or if not maintaining an optimal potassium level.
Potassium is important for the heart, bones, muscle and digestive functions. Just like sodium, the University of Maryland Medical Center shares that too much potassium can be a problem.
Thiamine is another B vitamin. It assists the nervous, muscular and digestive systems. According to the Mayo Clinic, it even aids in carbohydrate metabolism.
Niacin is another B vitamin. According to Dr. David Williams. It helps with arthritis, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, reverses heart disease, helps with memory, insomnia and sensitivity to light. It may even help with motion sickness.
According to LiveScience eggs even contain choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin which all aid in antioxidant properties and are good for eyes, pregnancy and brain development. can go as far as to say that eggs may help play a role in bettering a person’s overall health. This makes sense when considering that many of the vitamins and minerals found in eggs actually help heart health and cholesterol levels. Even the fat and protein content found in eggs aid in heart and general body health.
With all of this information, it is safe to say eggs help play a role in bettering a person’s overall health. This makes sense when considering that many of the vitamins and minerals found in eggs actually help heart health, cholesterol levels, boosts immunity, helps bones and muscles. Even the fat and protein content found in eggs aid in general body health.
The fat content of one egg is 8% of our daily recommended value. This sounds fairly high when you think of all the other food you will eat for the rest of the day (or at least I will eat). However, fats from good sources are healthy for us. It fats like hydrogenated oils, we all need to avoid like the plague. Unsaturated (healthy) fat is the majority of fat found in an egg. There is not enough saturated fat found in eggs to deem it as an unhealthy food.
In fact, fats are needed to build a healthy body. According to Dr. Sears, fats provide energy, build healthy cells, brain function, help break down vitamins, balance hormones, provides healthier skin and to provide a cushion for your organs. They even give people a longer lasting “fill” feeling which curbs cravings for more food.
The high amount of quality protein found in eggs also helps to give people a longer lasting “full” feeling. As well as, build muscles and provide energy. Proteins have tons of benefits and are building blocks for our bodies. You can learn more about proteins here. I would not stop there, keep learning about proteins, vitamins, nutrients, fat, food and how it interacts with your body. I hope you find it interesting.
Overall, eggs are good for our health. If you are concerned about adding eggs to your diet, talk to a doctor (or two) about it. But, you should know, not all eggs are created equal. They will vary by the chickens life, breed, feed, and the processing and shelf life of the egg. Follow along in June for a month-long of egg exploration.
What is your favorite thing about eggs?