In only 70 calories a piece, eggs contain more than 11 useful nutrients. One egg (depending on its size) provides 4.5 – 6 grams of protein, half of which is in the egg white, while the rest is in the egg yolk. Eggs are, above all, a good source of choline, lutein, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and vitamin E. The iron in the egg yolk, like iron in the meat, has a high bioavailability; therefore, eggs are suggested to persons who are at the risk of having the iron deficits. One larger egg provides around 25 mg of calcium and the average daily needs for calcium are 800 mg.
It is well known that the foods of animal origin contain vitamin D. Meat, milk, and dairy products don’t have a high concentration of vitamin D, and the highest concentration is found in fish, fish liver, and animal insides. The values of vitamin D in egg yolk are between the values of meat and the animal insides.
Despite having a high percentage of cholesterol, the egg consummation has little or no effect on the blood cholesterol levels. The observational studies relate the egg consummation to the increased risk of heart disease in diabetics, but not in healthy individuals.
The studies conducted in the past 40 years prove that the healthy individuals can eat eggs without the fear that this will increase their risk of heart disease. Analyses also show that eggs have 14 % less cholesterol (185 mg) than it was measured in the past. The cholesterol in the blood will increase more if you are consuming saturated fats, which are barely present in the eggs. When preparing eggs, the advantage should be given to methods like boiling and poaching, rather than the „sunny side up“ or omelet methods, because the oxidized forms of cholesterol that deposit in the blood vessels is created in high temperatures.
They are the best for breakfast
A protein breakfast that contains around 35 grams of protein from eggs or beef prolongs the feeling of satiety and reduces the probability of eating snacks (especially the ones rich in saturated fats) later in the day. Likewise, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition has shown that women, who consumed eggs for breakfast during the course of 2 months, when compared to women who ate pastry, have lost 65 percent more body weight and 83 percent more centimeters around their waists.
How eggs affect blood pressure
In 2009, scientists Wu and Majumder have published a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that shows how proteins in the eggs have a similar effect on blood pressure as the popular ACE inhibitors – medicines for reducing the blood pressure. These scientists have managed to identify several different biologically active peptides in boiled and fried eggs, which, in contact with stomach acids and small intestines in the in vitro conditions, become active and act as the strong ACE inhibitors. It is also useful to add that the fried eggs had a stronger effect than the boiled ones.
Not all eggs are the same
The research of the scientists from Tel Aviv published in 2011 has shown that the egg quality depends upon the nutrition of the hens. The nutrition of the lens varies from breeder to breeder. The hens that have been fed with the foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids like corn and soy will give eggs a high percentage of these fatty acids, for which it has been proven to increase the oxidation of the cholesterol responsible for the creation of plaque on blood vessels. In this research, scientists have fed the hens with the food that has a lower concentration of omega-6 fatty acids and that was based on barley, wheat, and sorghum.
They gave special eggs to one group of participants twice a day, while the other group was given 2 to 4 eggs per week. The obtained results were then compared to the control group’s results, which has been consuming only standard eggs. The results have shown that, in the participants who have consumed 2 eggs with a low concentration of omega-6 fatty acids and a high concentration of antioxidants every day, the degree of oxidation of the LDL cholesterol was the same as in the participants who consumed only 2 to 4 standard eggs per week.
In other words, it is possible to eat the ‘healthier“ eggs in the double amount of the currently recommended amounts for egg intake. Today, in our market, eggs that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that contain 3 to 4 times less omega-6 fatty acids than the classic eggs and 300-400 mg of omega-3 fatty acids are available.
The other side of the medal
The newest meta-analysis published in the Breast Cancer magazine has shown that the intake of 2 to 5 eggs per week is related to the increased risk of the breast cancer among the European and Asian women, as well as the post-menopausal women. Furthermore, the relationship between the egg intake and the prostate cancer in men has also been discovered in the California scientists’ research in 2011. Therefore, despite the fact that the eggs are the cheapest and the most affordable source of numerous useful nutrients, we should not exaggerate with their intake.