While Easter normally make you think of chocolate eggs, today I am going to discuss the benefits of eating chicken eggs!
Without a doubt, there are a multitude of benefits to eating eggs every day. Not only do eggs provide high quality protein, they also contain 11 vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Most of the protein in an egg can be found in the egg white, while the yolk contains healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
1. Eggs contain many nutrients
Just one boiled egg contains:
• 40% of your daily vitamin D requirements
• 25% of your daily folate requirements
• 12% of your daily riboflavin (Vitamin B2) requirements
• 20% of your daily selenium requirements
• Eggs also contain vitamins A, E, B5, B12, as well as iron, iodine and phosphorus.
2. Eggs are high in quality protein
Proteins are the building blocks of life and a single egg contains about 6.3g of high-quality protein. The main functions of proteins in the body are to build, strengthen and repair muscle and tissue.Eggs provide us with very high-quality protein that contains all nine essential amino acids in the right amounts needed by the body for optimum growth and maintenance. Some other foods contain proportionately more protein than eggs but it’s the quality of the protein in eggs that really stands out.
3. Eggs help to raise Good cholesterol
Eggs have gotten a bad name in the past for raising cholesterol which just isn’t accurate. Eggs help increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
4. Eggs are a good source of Omega-3’s
Omega-3s are a family of “essential fats” that play an important role in the way our cell membranes work. Oily fish is one of the best known sources and eggs contain similar types of omega-3s as those found in fish.
This makes eggs particularly useful for people who avoid or can’t eat fish. Omega-3 fats are good for many things, from heart and brain health to protecting our eyes.
5. Eggs are one of the best sources of Choline
Though many people have never heard of choline, this nutrient plays an important role in our health.
Choline is essential for normal cell functioning and is particularly important during pregnancy to support healthy brain development in the baby. Eggs are one of the best dietary sources of choline.
6. Eggs help to boost nutrient intake for healthy aging
It’s important for older Australians to pay attention to what they eat to ensure they are getting adequate nutrients. Increased nutrient requirements and decreasing appetites can increase the risk of deficiencies in fibre, calcium, vitamins A, E, C, B6, B12, folate, iron, magnesium and zinc. Older people who primarily stay indoors are also at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency from a lack of sun exposure. Containing 11 different vitamins and minerals, eggs are an easy way to increase nutrient intakes. They are also one of the few foods containing vitamin D and are economical, easy to prepare and easy to eat.
7. Eggs are a cheap, easy meal option
Eggs are versatile and can create many different meal types on a budget while still providing high quality protein and fat. Try scrambled eggs with veggies for dinner, boiled eggs as a snack or added to a salad for lunch, frittata and salad for lunch or dinner, fried or poached eggs for breakfast – the options are endless!
So this Easter include a good balance of both chocolate and regular eggs in your meal plans!
Kasey Boorman, Nutritionist