Eggs are a true treasury for our health. They are not just delicious and versatile (you can prepare them in more than 10 different ways), but also very healthy. One egg has only 70 calories. At the same time, it contains more than 12 useful nutrients.
Eggs are best known as protein sources, but what else do we get from eggs? The egg consists of three parts – shells (consisting of Ca and Mg carbonates, Ca and Mg phosphates and organic substances), egg whites (mainly water and proteins), and egg yolks (nutritionally most important protein-rich part of egg, also containing iron, phosphorus, as well as fat, vitamins and minerals). Let’s find out more about the nutrients found in eggs!
One egg on average (depending on the size) provides between 4.5 and 6 grams of protein. Half of that amount is in the egg whites, while the rest is in egg yolk.
Eggs are considered to be one of the highest quality protein sources. This, in combination with the essential fatty acids, is the key to many important functions in our body, including growth and development of the tissues and normal muscle and nerve functioning.
Because of the high protein ratio, eggs are recommended as an ideal breakfast that provides healthy energy. It’s good to know that eggs ensure a longer feeling of satiety thanks to a high protein content. Therefore, consumption of eggs reduces the craving for food throughout the day.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin, found in eggs, participates in all processes related to energy metabolism in the cells. It is important for normal functioning and appearance of our skin, hair and nails. In addition, it helps our body properly and quickly absorb iron and vitamin B6. Riboflavin is also an important part of the red blood cells production process.
Choline is responsible for better brain function. Therefore, choline is certainly a nutrient required for maintaining good health. It is a key component of many structures in cell membranes, whose flexibility and integrity depends on adequate supply of choline.
Since phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin represent a significant percentage of total brain mass, the importance of choline in maintaining function and brain health is clear.
Moreover, choline is an integral part of acetylcholine. It is a neurotransmitter carrying impulses from one nerve to another. Egg is one of the best choline food sources.
Even though human body has the ability to synthesize choline, eggs are fruitful supplies of choline required to meet our daily needs. One larger egg contains about 300 micrograms of choline, and 315 milligrams of phosphatidylcholine.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
According to the results of many studies, carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin can prevent the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. These disorders occur as a result of aging. From this aspect, eggs are of utmost importance for the health of our eyes. They are an outstanding source of lutein and zeaxanthin. Namely, one egg contains between 150 and 250 micrograms of lutein and about 200 micrograms of zeaxanthin.
Iron found in egg yolk, just like that found in red meat, has high bioavailability. What does this actually mean? It means that the type and form of iron we intake from eggs behaves as an active substance in our bloodstream. Therefore, eggs are recommended to people that are at risk of iron deficiency.
Eggs are also considered good sources of calcium. A larger egg provides about 25 mg of calcium. The average daily calcium requirement is 800 mg.
However, did you know that some people consume egg shells in the form of powder? It sounds crazy, right? On the contrary, it is not crazy at all, but a very smart idea! Only half of an egg shell contains enough calcium to satisfy our daily needs.
Eggs are also rich in phosphorus. Along with calcium, phosphorus is the main “building material” of the bone structure. It participates in almost every biochemical reaction. Phosphorus maintains the normal pH value of our body. It is also necessary for energy production. One of its key roles include participation in growth and development of all body cells.
Eggs are very useful if you are planning a pregnancy. First of all, vitamin B positively affects your hormones. However, there is another thing we want to point out. Vitamin B9 or folic acid is found in eggs. Folic acid is of the utmost importance for women planning their pregnancy and for pregnant women, i.e. for the baby’s health and development. Folic acid helps creation of red blood cells and nerves.
Biotin is important for the health, strength, and beauty of our skin, hair and nails. Eggs are a good source of biotin, vitamin involved in metabolism of fat and carbohydrates. Therefore, consumption of eggs can stimulate energy production.
Vitamin E, just like vitamin C, is a powerful antioxidant that protects body cells from damage. Vitamin E, found in eggs, fights the negative effects of free radicals – oxygen-oxidized molecules that are waste products of metabolism.
Vitamin D is very important for our general health. It is fat-soluble and essential in many bodily functions.
It helps our body to absorb calcium, which plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of strong bones. Vitamin D also ensures normal functioning of our brain. It reduces inflammatory processes, strengthens muscle, promotes immunity and protects against diabetes.
Vitamin D can be found in fish, liver, milk, eggs, and dairy products.
Eggs give you 0.6 micrograms of this essential vitamin. If you lack vitamin B12, you should focus on the egg yolk. It is the egg yolk where we find vitamin B12.
Finally, we can conclude that, except the highly valuable proteins, eggs are a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2), choline, lutein and zeaxanthin, iron, calcium, phosphorus, folic acid, biotin, as well as vitamins E, D, and B12.
Therefore, you should not avoid eggs. Experts recommend consumption of at least 1 egg a day. The best time to consume eggs is breakfast. Enjoy!