Eggs are a wonderfully complete food that contain selenium, iodine, vitamin B2, protein, choline, folate, iron, zinc, molybdenum, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
Riboflavin helps your body get energy from food. Vitamin D deficiency is more common for people who are overweight or who have diabetes.
An average egg contains only 75 calories. Eggs have got a bad rap in the past because of the fact they contain cholesterol. However even Dr. Ancel Keys (famous for his “Seven Countries” study that started the bad publicity for eggs) has stated: “There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in the blood. None. And we’ve known that all along.”
For the vast majority of people our internal production of cholesterol will decrease if we eat more cholesterol rich foods. There is however a small percentage of people whose internal production of cholesterol does not alter regardless of diet, these people will need to monitor their cholesterol intake.
Eggs contain high levels of choline, an organic, water-soluble nutrient that’s usually grouped in with the B vitamins. Additionally they contain high levels of betaine, a nutrient related to choline. Together these 2 nutrients in adequate quantities help to prevent heart disease, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and type-2 diabetes.
Choline and betaine work together in the cellular process of methylation. For instance cells use methylation to send messages back and forth. Also when the body sends messages between nerves and muscles it uses a neurotrasmitter called acetylcholine of which choline is a key element.
The body produces only small amounts of choline by itself so it is necessary that we get more via our diets, as well choline intake typically decreases with age. Adequate choline in expectant mothers has been shown to help prevent birth defects and promote brain and memory development.
Choline deficiency can also cause folic acid deficiency which is essential for health. Inadequate choline levels in the body can also lead to fatty liver or muscle damage. Interestingly, more than 90% of Americans have been identified as choline-deficient.
Protein Rich and Weight Loss Benefits
Eggs are considered to be the best overall source of high quality protein. High protein foods send a signal to your brain that you’re no longer hungry. All of the protein and virtually none of the fat is in the egg whites however egg yolks have different healtful properties of their own as you will read later.
All calories are not created equal and you will get much longer lasting energy from protein rich foods than you will from high carbohydrate foods. When the energy lasts longer you do not need to eat as many calories overall and this can help with weight loss. In particular eating a high protein breakfast has been shown to be extremely beneficial to achieving weight loss.