Food Spotlight: Eggs
Eggs are one of the healthiest protein sources. A medium sized egg has only 75 calories and 7 grams of protein, several minerals and only 5 grams of fat. Approximately 60% of the proteins are found in the egg yolk. Proteins are the main building blocks in the body, and have structural and functional properties.
Eggs are often eaten for breakfast since they provide enough energy for a quality start of the day. They keep you full for a long time, and can therefore help in maintaining weight. Eggs have high satiety index that is a measure of how filling the food is.
Nutrients Found in Eggs
Egg yolk contains vitamin D that is considered an immunity booster and is important for bone health by playing a role in calcium and phosphorus absorption. Two eggs provide 82% of the daily recommended vitamin D dose.
Eggs contain 13 vitamins and minerals among which are vitamin B12, B6, B5, choline and folate that are known as mood regulators.
Choline is important for brain and spinal cord development of the baby during pregnancy, and cognitive development of infants. Choline plays a critical role in lipid transport, cell membrane signaling and neurotransmitter synthesis.
They are also a good source of the mineral selenium, that is important for healthy skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in eggs. They are needed for proper function of cell membrane, the brain, heart and eyes. The best source for omega-3 fatty acids is fish. But if you are not a fish fan, eggs are a suitable substitute for getting these essential fats. Two eggs provide approximately 180 mg of omega-3.
A single egg contains 212 mg cholesterol, and the recommended daily cholesterol intake is 300 mg. Although they are rich in cholesterol, eggs do not increase the overall cholesterol level in the blood. Eggs are known to increase the levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol.
Some of the vitamins and antioxidants found in eggs like lutein and zeaxanthin are important for reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Are There Limitations On How Many Eggs A Person Should Eat Per Day?
Even with all the benefits, you should consume eggs in moderation. For a healthy life, one to two eggs are recommended daily.
Still, people who have hypercholesterolemia should limit the number of eggs they consume.
Eating uncooked eggs possess the risk of getting Salmonella poisoning. This can be avoided if eggs are pasteurized.
Another thing to keep in mind is that eggs can be allergenic especially in young children.
How To Consume
Different types of eggs are available on the market, including non-cage-free, cage-free, free-range and organic. Free-range eggs must come from chickens who have unlimited access to food and water, freedom to roam within an area and continuous access to the outdoors during their laying cycle.
Eggs are inexpensive and very easy to prepare. You can eat them hard boiled, scrambled, as an omelet, poached etc. For an example of a tasty breakfast egg check our Shakshouka recipe.
A good combination is a salad with hard boiled eggs. Because of the satiety index, eggs help in portion control. At last, eggs can also be consumed as part of a cake or in pancakes!
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