Eggs are packed full of protein, essential minerals and vitamins, and are delicious however you cook them and however simple you decide your meal will be. With that in mind, here’s how to make the most of their nutrients along with suggestions for vegan egg alternatives.
What are the health benefits of eggs?
They may help to raise “good” cholesterol
There are 2 types of cholesterol in our blood: LDL and HDL. LDL cholesterol is often referred to as "bad cholesterol" while HDL is known as “good” cholesterol, which is what eggs contain.
Contrary to popular belief, although eggs are high in cholesterol because the high level of HDL they contain reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes, they may not have a harmful effect on our bodies after all
If, however, you tuck into eggs for breakfast each morning, you could be in luck, because recent evidence has shown that levels of “good” cholesterol HDL increased by 10% after people ate 2 eggs a day for six weeks.
Eggs are protein powerhouses
Large eggs contain 6g of protein, which is the building block of the human body. From our skin and bones to our blood and muscles, we need it to help us grow and repair.
This is why getting enough of it from our diets is so important, even if you’re not a musclebound bodybuilder. Plus, research has shown that fuelling your body with protein could help you control your weight by helping you feel fuller for longer, even lowering your blood pressure.
Eggs boast plenty of nutrients
So, not only do a few eggs make a quick and tasty meal, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Along with vitamin B12, eggs also provide calcium and zinc as well as vitamins D, E, K and B6. A large boiled egg also contains nutrients like vitamin A and selenium which both help to keep the immune system working to fight infections and diseases.
The yolk of an egg contains around 115mg of choline. Choline is a nutrient that's important for supporting liver function and contributing to cognitive function. This includes memory, concentration, learning and problem solving!
Eggs may help to maintain a healthy eyesight
Eggs contain Vitamin A and zeaxanthin, two nutrients which play an important part in eye health.
Studies have shown that zeaxanthin may protect against eye conditions which could cause problems with your vision. What’s more, vitamin A deficiency is the world’s most common cause of blindness.
How do you like your eggs?
They may be easy to cook, but preparing and eating them in certain ways helps to get the best out of them. Here’s how to make sure you’re maximising their nutritional benefits.
Cooked eggs provide more protein than raw eggs
Boxers are known to gulp down glasses of raw eggs for an instant protein hit. But evidence suggests that although drinking them raw may be quicker, you can’t beat cooked eggs for nutritional value.
One study found that our bodies only use half of the protein found in raw eggs versus almost all of the protein contained in cooked eggs.
Keep it speedy and simple
Based on scientific research, cooking or baking slowly destroys their nutrients. After being baked for 40 minutes, over 60% of eggs’ vitamins and minerals were lost, compared to less than 20% when they were boiled or fried quickly.
Save calories by boiling and poaching
Fried eggs are a vital component of a full English breakfast. However, frying or scrambling in oil or butter adds lots of calories. This could mean you pile on the pounds in the long-run.
To cut down on calories, boil or poach your eggs instead.
Boost eggs with fibre-packed vegetables
If you’re looking for protein and fibre, eat eggs with fibrous vegetables like broccoli and kale. Frittatas or omelettes are great balanced meal ideas conveniently made with whatever you’ve got lying around in your fridge.
Try vegan-friendly alternatives
Whether you have an egg allergy or have adopted vegan eating habits, there are several substitutes available to use in baking and everyday cooking.
Perfect for cakes or omelettes, Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg provide the texture and taste of eggs and are also gluten and dairy free. Dress salads with creamy Plamil Egg Free Mayonnaise or make your own eggless mayonnaise or meringues in minutes with Orgran No Egg.
If you need an extra boost of protein, try our range of high protein products or shop our range of egg free foods for tasty egg alternatives.
Handpicked content: How to get your protein if you don’t eat meatFind more recipes and health and wellbeing ideas in our Health Hub.