The humble egg is a surprisingly beneficial food, and the nutrition of eggs are not really that well-known. In fact, our clients are often surprised that we recommend eggs as part of their diet, due to being wrongly cited as being too high in cholesterol in the past.
Thankfully, due to more recent research, we’ve discovered just how amazing this age-old superfood really is! Eggs are a versatile and very tasty food source that is actually chock full of nutrients, and should be considered an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Read on to learn more about the nutrition of eggs and their amazing benefits for you and your entire family!
What nutrition do eggs have?
Curious about how much nutrition is in eggs? Well, if you’re looking for a good source for your vitamin and mineral intake, look no further than eggs! No matter what size and types of eggs you consume, it’s worth noting that in general, a whole chicken egg contains a host of different vitamins and minerals that are vital to your overall health, including:
- Vitamin A, for healthy growth and good eye health
- Vitamin B5, which harnesses energy from our food for our body to use
- Vitamin B12, for brain and nervous system development, as well as blood formation
- Vitamin D, an important vitamin for maintaining the health of your bones
- Vitamin E, an antioxidant to protect our bodies against diseases caused by free radicals
- Phosphorous, which helps maintain strong bones and teeth
- Selenium, an antioxidant which protects our immune system
- Biotin, which helps cell metabolism and the utilisation of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
Aside from all of the above, eggs also contain calcium, zinc, and iron.
6 Ways Eggs Are Good For Nutrition
There are so many ways that nutrition of eggs is good for not just you, but all your family and friends of all ages! Here are some nutrition facts of eggs:
1. Eggs are low in calories
If you are counting calories as part of your health and fitness strategy, then eggs are a winner! At an average of just 74 calories per egg – or 310 kilojoules – eggs are incredibly low in calories. And if you’ve ever had an egg, you’ll know just how dense and filling it can be despite this low number.
Egg whites – the clear liquid surrounding the yolk – is especially low in calories. In fact, it contains only about 17 calories per egg and no fats at all. That being said, the yolk still contains most of the protein and nutrients for an egg, so it’s always recommended to eat the whole egg where possible.
Here’s something else to think about when thinking of calorie count: the way you cook an egg will affect the total amount of calories! So make sure to also include any fat – oil, butter, or even bacon fat – when you’re counting the calories of your meal. The calories of fried eggs (or an egg and bacon meal) will generally be higher than boiled or poached eggs.
If you still want to enjoy a decadent Sunday brunch without using up your entire caloric quota for the week, you can consider pairing healthily prepared eggs with bacon alternatives!
2. Eggs are high in protein
In order for your body to remain fit and healthy, you need to have high protein intake. Proteins contain amino acids, which your body uses to not just build muscle and bone, but also continually create important hormones and enzymes.
Protein is a great source of energy that has been shown to have really amazing benefits for health and fitness. In terms of weight loss benefits, protein reduces appetite and hunger levels, and can even curb the sneaky habit of late night snacking!
Increasing your protein intake is also known to increase muscle mass and strength. If you’re serious about your fitness, you need to make sure you are consuming plenty of protein to reach your goals. The nutrition of eggs can definitely help with this among other high protein based foods.
3. Eggs can aid brain development
Choline is an essential nutrient for brain development, and it’s been discovered that egg yolks are an especially concentrated source of choline. As a matter of fact, egg yolks provide 680 milligrams of choline per 100 grams!
Not only is choline important for developing brains of babies in utero and young children, it’s been proven to have a preventative effect against cognitive deterioration. Research has shown that choline can actually aid in better cognitive function and memory in older people too.
Aside from the choline content, eggs also contain plenty of folate and B vitamins – including vitamins B6 and B12 – which are known to boost brain health.
4. Eggs contain a lot of Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency has been in the news a lot lately, due to modern life making us more sedentary and preferring to stay indoors, which of course reduces our exposure to natural sunlight.
Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because of how UV rays hitting our skin can actually help synthesise vitamin D from cholesterol, deficiency of this important nutrient can lead to diabetes, weight gain, depression, chronic fatigue, and osteoporosis. More worryingly, research has started to show that vitamin D deficiency could even cause cancer.
Fortunately, eggs contain some of the highest amounts of vitamin D of any food. In fact, just two eggs provide 82% of your daily recommended intake of this important nutrient.
5. Eggs contains vital nutrients for growing children
The nutrition of eggs provides great benefits for all ages, and are especially important for young children’s health and growth. Protein is an essential building block for bone and muscle growth, while the high choline content is great for brain development.
Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are both essential for maintaining eye health. This will keep their vision sharp and help prevent retinal and macular degeneration. Seeing as how kids are exposed to screens a lot more than previous generations, taking all preventive measures is a good idea!
As part of a high-protein breakfast, eggs can effectively keep your child full for longer, which will help reduce hunger pangs during their busy school days. This is a great way to avoid snacking on unhealthy food during the day, especially when you consider all the physical activity that kids partake in daily!
6. Eggs provide excellent nutrition for pregnant mums
We’ve mentioned before how important choline is for brain health. Well, this nutrient is especially vital for developing babies! Choline plays a really important role in brain and spinal cord development.
Aside from choline, eggs contain other vitamins and minerals that are good for pregnant mums and their bubs in utero. This includes vitamin A, which aids in the healthy development of eyes, skin, and overall immune system. It also supports normal growth and development of important organs like lungs, kidneys, and the heart.
Whilst eggs had a bad rep for pregnant mums in the past, many studies show that they are beneficial and can be enjoyed safely. Health advice usually recommends the eggs are well cooked or pasteurised.
Eggs can also help pregnant mums stay at a healthy weight due to their high protein content, which increases and prolongs that feeling of fullness. Staying at a healthy weight will help avoid issues like gestational diabetes and complications during childbirth.
It will also reduce the chances of the baby being overweight, which in itself has been shown to cause long-term health issues in their lives.
Nutrition of Egg Whites VS Egg Yolk
Generally speaking, when you compare egg whites VS egg yolk, the egg whites is where you’ll find the highest amount of protein, and the smallest amount of calories.
By comparison, egg yolk contains all the fats and cholesterol, and the bulk of the overall calories. That being said, it also contains all the important vitamins and minerals!
So while consuming mostly egg whites may be a good way to reduce your calorie intake, you will only be able to get all the nutrition of eggs if you eat it whole – both egg white and egg yolk together.
Difference of Raw Eggs VS Cooked Eggs
There’s this stereotype of body builders consuming raw eggs every morning as a source of high-quality proteins to help them build muscle. However, you might be surprised that the science doesn’t really back this up!
If you really want to maximise the nutrition of eggs, cooked eggs actually do better than raw eggs. The main difference between raw eggs vs cooked eggs is that the digestibility and absorption of egg protein is much higher than cooked eggs. Apparently, the availability of protein is at 91% for cooked eggs, and only 50% for raw eggs.
We’ve also briefly mentioned before that cooked eggs can help prevent food borne illnesses caused by bacteria like salmonella. Just cooking eggs to temperatures of 74oC will instantly kill any salmonella and reduce the risk of food poisoning.
Eggs are easy nutrition for the whole family!
The best thing about eggs is how affordable and accessible they are. You can source eggs from any supermarket or farmer’s markets. Some people even have their own chickens for fresh eggs from their own backyards every day!
Not only are they easy to find, eggs also happen to be really quick to cook. They are also an incredibly versatile food source, so you can cook them so many ways in a variety of different cuisines to satisfy even the pickiest eater.
If you’re looking for a food source that is good for your health, and the health of your family members, then eggs should definitely be on your shopping list.
Want to learn more about how a healthy diet can help you reach your fitness goals? Well, we offer customised meal plans that are tailor-made for your health needs. Get in touch with us to learn more about our customised meal plans and nutritional advice consultations today!