Eggs. These little wonders are a versatile ingredient, used in recipes for everything from simple breakfasts to the most complicated of cakes.
But are eggs actually good for you?
Well, not only are they delicious but they also have several health benefits as well as being full of nutrients.
We take a closer look and examine nine of the top health benefits of eggs.
Eggs are high in protein
When talking about egg nutrition facts, protein usually comes up first.
It depends on size of course, but the average large egg can contain as much as 6g of protein.1
It is often thought that most of the protein is in the egg white but there is also lots of protein contained within the yolk of an egg – in fact, it is about half and half.
So to get all of the protein that it can offer, ensure that you eat the entire egg.
You get the same amount of protein no matter how you choose to cook your egg. Scrambled, poached, boiled – you choose!
Eggs contain B vitamins
One large egg contains 9% of the recommended daily allowance of B12, 15% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B2 and 7% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B5.2
B vitamins are vital for your health and they help to support a number of processes in the body including growth of red blood cells, energy levels and good digestion.3
Eggs are relatively low in fat
An average egg contains around 4.6g of fat. Only a quarter of this is unsaturated fat, the type which can cause higher cholesterol levels.
Are eggs high in cholesterol?
Eggs used to be considered a high-cholesterol food. However, more recent research shows that the cholesterol in food has much less of an effect on our blood cholesterol levels than the amount of saturated fat we eat.4
Eggs also help to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is also known as good cholesterol. It is thought that HDL can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.5
You can happily eat two to three eggs per week without worrying about weight gain or them having a negative effect on your cholesterol levels if you are high risk - and even every day if you are not high risk.6
Eggs are a source of vitamin D
Eggs can provide us with vitamin D which helps to protect the bones.7
Whether eggs are free-range, organic or barn-raised can make a difference to how much vitamin D they contain, with free range usually offering around 30% more than other eggs.8
It is especially important to ensure that you are getting vitamin D through your diet during the winter months.
This is because we do not tend to get outside as much during the winter, compared with the summer, and there are less daylight hours, which means that we do not get as much vitamin D through sunlight.
Eggs are filling
Eating foods that are rich in protein can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, which helps to reduce the temptation to snack in between meals, or over eat at meal times.
Eating eggs can help to reduce the amount of calories that you eat throughout the day and so they are great for if you are trying to eat less and lose weight.9
Eggs are a good source of omega-3s
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential fats, which help to support the way our cell membranes work.
They also help to support a number of functions including heart, brain and eye health.10
Eggs can lower triglycerides
When you eat, any fat that is not needed by the body straight away is converted into triglycerides, which are then stored in your blood and fat cells.
Fatty acids found in eggs can help to reduce blood triglycerides and therefore lower your risk of heart disease.11
Eggs can be beneficial for the eyes
Eggs are high in two powerful antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Consuming adequate amounts of these nutrients can help to lower the risk of common eye disorders such as cataracts.12
Eggs are also rich in vitamin A. And vitamin A deficiency is a common cause of blindness throughout the world.13
Eggs contain choline
One hard-boiled egg contains around 147mg of choline.
Choline is a vitamin which helps to build cell membranes, as well as producing signalling molecules in the brain.14
Choline is also used by the brain and nervous system to regulate memory, muscle control and a number of other functions.15
Read more: The healthiest way to eat eggs
Last updated: 18 March 2021