Smart Fuel: Eggs

Remember in the movie Runaway Bride when Julia Roberts’ character could never decide how she liked her eggs? We say, don’t worry about it Ms. Roberts, with so many health benefits associated with the consumption of eggs, you should eat ’em however you can get ’em!

On the most superficial level, eggs are an excellent source of protein, providing 5.5 grams per 68 calorie serving and all 9 essential amino acids (all for less than 0.5 grams of carbs!)

Digging deeper, eggs are perhaps best known for supplying choline, an “unofficial” B vitamin that our bodies can only produce in limited quantities (often too limited for optimal health, with one study indicating that 90% of Americans are currently choline deficient. Among choline’s many benefits, it is considered a key component of fat-containing structures in cell membranes, particularly those associated with the brain, making them particularly important for fetal brain development as well as overall brain function and health.

In the mineral department, eggs are an excellent source of selenium, which is thought to prevent cancer, particularly tumors affecting the prostate (although researchers are currently going back and forth on this one!) Eggs are also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two types of carotenoids important for eye health (with several studies indicating that these compounds may prevent macular degeneration as well as reduce the risk of developing cataracts). Additionally, eggs are thought to be one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D, providing roughly 10% of the recommended daily intake per serving.

Still need convincing? A 2005 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that eggs keep hunger at bay longer than bagels (or “dietary disasters” as they should be renamed!). In addition, eggs’ high sulfur content and wide variety of vitamins and minerals can promote healthy hair – and may even speed up growth rate in those with such deficiencies – as well as help nails grow.

And now to address the bad press. In recent years, eggs have come under considerable fire for their high cholesterol content, with many suggesting that they could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a 1999 Harvard School of Public Health study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined no such link and even went as far to say that regular egg consumption may actually prevent blood clots, stroke and heart attack. Not bad, eh?

So, there you have it. Eggs really are egg-ceptional. Some might even consider them egg-cellent and still others would even go as far to call them eggs-quisite (ok, we promise we’ll stop now!)

sir chalky Flickr Photo (CC)

Drop us a line with your favorite egg dish!

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Cholesterol

Duck Eggs

Best Brain Foods (hint: eggs are one of them)

Conditioning Research: Make Sure You Have Eggs in Your Low Carb Diet!

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