The Health Benefits of Eggs
I happily admit that I love eggs. Despite the bad rap that eggs have received the last few decades (read more below), there are many health benefits of eggs. “Eggs have been recognized as functional foods due to the presence of bioactive components, which may play a role in the prevention of chronic and infectious diseases.”(1)
There are several benefits of eating eggs, including:
- High-quality protein: Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: Eggs are a good source of several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, and choline. These nutrients are important for maintaining healthy bones, supporting the nervous system, and aiding in the metabolism of fats and proteins.
- May promote weight loss: Eggs are low in calories and high in protein, which makes them a great food choice for those trying to lose weight. Eating eggs for breakfast can help you feel fuller for longer, which may lead to consuming fewer calories throughout the day.
- Boosts brain health: Choline, a nutrient found in eggs, is important for brain health and development. It is also essential for the production of neurotransmitters, which are necessary for cognitive function.
- Helps with eye health: Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are important for eye health. These nutrients may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older adults.(2)
If you have a chronic viral infection or auto-immune issues, eggs may be something you want to avoid, according to Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD.(3)
Why Do Eggs Have A Bad Reputation
Since the 1960s, eggs have received a bad reputation because they contain cholesterol, with the yolk having about 186 milligrams per large egg. For many years, it was believed that eating cholesterol-rich foods like eggs would increase blood cholesterol levels, thus increasing the risk of heart disease.
Research now concludes, “…it is clear that heart disease does not increase by egg intake…”(1) Recent research has shown that the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol is more complex than previously believed. Studies have found that for most people, consuming moderate amounts of dietary cholesterol, such as that found in eggs, does not significantly impact blood cholesterol levels or increase the risk of heart disease.(1)
Furthermore, eggs provide many essential nutrients and health benefits, as mentioned above, and can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet for most people. It is important to note that those with certain medical conditions, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, allergies to eggs, auto-immune diseases, or chronic viral infections like Epstein Barr, should still be cautious about consuming eggs.
Why Is It Important To Eat Organic Free-Range Eggs – More Benefits of Eggs
Organic free-range eggs are produced by hens that are allowed to roam freely outdoors and are fed an organic diet that does not contain any pesticides, antibiotics, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic free-range eggs are often considered to be a healthier and more sustainable option compared to conventionally raised eggs. Here are a few reasons why:
- Better animal welfare: Hens that are raised in free-range environments have access to outdoor areas, which allows them to engage in natural behaviors like pecking, scratching, and foraging. They are also not confined to small cages, which can cause stress and discomfort. This can lead to happier and healthier animals.
- Lower exposure to pesticides: Organic farming practices prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which can reduce the risk of contamination of eggs and the environment with these harmful chemicals. This means that you are not ingesting any potentially harmful chemicals that could be present in conventionally raised eggs.
- No antibiotics: Organic farming practices prohibit the use of antibiotics for non-medical purposes, which reduces the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and can lead to healthier hens.
- Higher nutrient content: Some studies have suggested that organic free-range eggs may have higher levels of certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, compared to conventionally produced eggs.(4) This is likely due to the hens’ ability to forage for food, which allows them to consume a more diverse and nutrient-rich diet.
- More sustainable: Organic farming practices are more sustainable and environmentally friendly, which can help reduce the negative impact of food production on the environment.
Overall, choosing organic free-range eggs can support both your health and the health of the environment.
So, don’t be afraid of eggs. Dr. Kalaba eats 4-5 per week!