How do you like your eggs? Scrambled? Poached? Whatever your preference, you’ll be glad to know that the health benefits of eggs are numerous. As an easily available, versatile and affordable food source, eggs can make up an important part of your diet and ensure you get the protein, unsaturated fats and nutrients your body needs to make it through the day.
5 health benefits of eggs
1. They are packed with protein
Remember that Rocky training montage where Rocky drinks eggs? That’s because they are packed with protein which helps build lean, strong muscle and is a vital energy source for our bodies. Egg whites in particular are full of protein, as well as amino acids, which help our bodies to use the protein fuel effectively. If you’re looking to slim down or are trying to get fitter through exercise, eggs can be an essential part of your daily diet.
2. They can help lower cholesterol
For years, eggs were believed to be bad for cholesterol, but as research in the area has developed, and as different types of cholesterol have been discovered, eggs have been found to actually reduce levels of bad cholesterol. Eggs have a healthy level of High Density Lipoprotein too – a type of cholesterol which helps to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, whilst also reducing the levels of Low Density Lipoproteins, the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
3. They can boost your heart health
Eggs are rich in nutrients, including choline which is not only important for heart health, but is also important for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Many people miss out on their recommended daily intake of choline, which can be helped with eating eggs regularly throughout the week. If you are pregnant, it’s important to remember to cook eggs thoroughly, making sure that both the egg white and yolk are cooked through.
4. Some eggs contain omega-3s
Omega-3s are important for a number of reasons, helping to improve brain health as well as our bones and joints. Whilst omega-3 fatty acids usually come from oily fish, some eggs now contain them too, which will usually be on the label (it depends on how the chickens were fed). If you’re not a fan of fish, eating eggs regularly could be an alternative way to help you get those vital omega-3s into your diet.
5. They can help you lose weight
Eggs are a low-calorie source of food that help you to feel fuller and stop you snacking throughout the day. As they are full of protein, they contribute toward satiety, which will stop you wanting sugary snacks when that usual mid-morning hunger would set in. They make a great accompaniment to many meals as well in place of carbohydrates if you’re looking to lose weight.
Boosting your intake of eggs
There are many ways in which you can add eggs to your diet to reap their benefits. Having eggs for breakfast is one of the easiest and most popular ways of consumption, and there are many different ways of having them to keep things from getting dull. If you insist on having a fried egg – use a light fry oil spray instead of a heavy oil which will make them healthier and bring their calorie content down (putting a spoonful of water in the pan and covering it with a lid will help cook the tops easier). Eggs are great in salads, and hard-boiled eggs will also keep if you prepare them in advance for a snack or sandwich. If you’re a fan of stir-fries and similar dishes, cracking an egg into your mix will add some additional flavour and make your dish more authentic! You could also swap your meat source for eggs instead – with baked eggs in tomato-based dishes becoming a popular meal for those watching their weight without compromising on tasty evening meals.
If you are at all concerned about your cholesterol levels, it’s important that you see your doctor to discuss and find ways of bringing it down. You’ll find a lot of information on cholesterol on the NHS Choices website, including foods to eat to reduce it, as well as advice for getting healthier through diet and exercise. Remember that eating well is an important part of self-care, so take the steps to eat more foods like eggs and eliminate the saturated fats and sugars which could be damaging your health.