Nutrition Meets Food Science

The Cracking Benefits of Egg

Eggs are one of the few natural foods that are consumed across the world since ancient times. Consuming eggs is proven to have many benefits on health. It contains good amount of Protein, Vitamins, Minerals and other essential nutrients that are necessary for body’s growth. Eggs are well liked as they are inexpensive & also easy to fetch.

Unfortunately, people seem to be afraid of consuming eggs considering that it might increase their blood cholesterol level. But eggs, in fact are incredibly healthy & nutritious part of diet. Let’s quickly explore few benefits of egg here in this blog.

  1. Gives You the Best Quality Protein
    Many studies suggest advantage of whole eggs for building muscle tissues and repairing damaged ones. Both egg yolk & egg white are rich in protein providing all essential amino acids needed for health.Proteins are building blocks of body, each & every cell rely on protein for its development. The amount of protein to be ingested depends on an individual’s body weight. A normal healthy adult must take at least 55-60g of protein daily through diet for optimum health.A normal sized egg weighing 50g contains nearly 7 g of this very important nutrient.
  2. Storehouse of Nutrients
    Eggs are abundant in most vital elements that are important for health.

Vitamin A:

Eggs are loaded with preformed vitamin A called as Retinol which has specified functions in body. Daily intake of 900 mcg & 700 mcg RAE of vitamin A are recommended for both healthy adult male & female respectively.

Any deficiency in vitamin A can cause weak eye sight, night blindness, particularly cataracts in elderly, poor bone health, etc. People with Vitamin A deficiency are likely to have low iron status in blood as well that may consequently cause Anemia.

Eating one large hardboiled egg can provide you approx. 75 mcg of vitamin A which is almost 8 to 10% of the recommended intake.

Bundle of B Vitamins :

Beside complete proteins, eggs also are a great source of Vit B2, B5 & B12.

Research indicate egg yolk has high amount of Vit B12 than egg whites besides Vit B12 coming from yolk can be better absorbed too. Hence it is advised to eat whole eggs not just white portion.

One large egg gives 0.6 mcg of Vit B12. People who are on non-vegetarian diet can get enough of B Vitamins through eggs & other animal foods.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption thereby maintaining strong bones & teeth. Although majority of Vitamin D comes from sunlight as a source, considerable amount of it should transpired from foods as well.

Egg yolk naturally contain decent amount of Vit D. Some eggs are fortified with vitamin D through hen’s feed.

1 large scrambled egg can give 1.1mcg or 44 IUs of Vit D per serving.

Source : thedailymeal.com

Eggs also contain appreciable amount of minerals & antioxidants such as :

Iodine Ensures proper functioning of thyroid gland & hormones
Iron Production of hemoglobin which carries oxygen in blood
Zinc Plays eminent role in growth, healing, tissue maintenance & blood formation
Calcium Helps in formation of skeleton
Phosphorus Makes bones & teeth stronger

Choline is the exceptional nutrient present in abundance in whole eggs. Choline performs varied functions while the most important ones are building cell membranes & role in signal transmission to the brain.

A single egg contains more than 100mg of choline being an enormous source of it.

Loaded with Antioxidants: Selenium, Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Weak eye sight is no more confined with just old age, now it is often seen in small age group as well.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin are two of the antioxidants present in the retina of eye which hinders the degeneration process of some eye cells. They have been shown to reduce the risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in seniors. They also reduce the chance of cataracts. Along with vitamin A egg yolks are enriched with lutein & Zeaxanthin, the two most beneficial antioxidants for eye health. Considerable amount of Selenium is also present in egg which protects body from free radicals & prevents damage to our immune system.

Rich in Good Cholesterol

Consumption of egg & rise in blood cholesterol levels are in controversies since decades. It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol however there is no clear evidence of egg directly affecting blood cholesterol level among healthy people. In fact moderate dietary cholesterol is compensated by body producing less cholesterol.

Moderate amount of cholesterol is needed in our body to synthesize important steroid hormones like testosterone, estrogen & cortisol. Liver also produces some amount of cholesterol depending on how much we take from diet. If we consume enough cholesterol rich foods then our liver make very little of it to ensure normal range of blood level. Eggs also contain HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) which is good cholesterol.

As per RDA, a normal healthy person should consume no more than 300mg of cholesterol per day.

A whole egg gives you 212 mg of cholesterol.

Source of healthy fats

Quality of egg depends on feed given to hens. Many research support eggs from pastured chickens may be more nutritious with twice as much vitamin E & omega 3 fatty acids. Being healthy fats, omega 3s tends to lower the blood triglycerides (bad fat) which may be helpful for cardiac patients.

Helps you to lose weight

Studies indicate eggs have good satiety value that may help to reduce weight. Eggs are nutritious, low calorie & high in protein, eating 2 eggs (100g) can make you feel full for a long time. Studies show that eating eggs may help burn more calorie than other carbohydrate or fat rich foods. So, it’s a good option for weight watchers especially when included in breakfast.

On top of it all, eggs have unique taste, color, flavor & special properties. Addition of egg to any cuisine makes the food even more appetizing & luscious.

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Abir Ansari

Jr. Nutritionist, PFNDAI

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