«Don’t eat eggs every day. It’ll raise your cholesterol!» Those of you who love eating eggs have probably heard this too many times to remember. Eggs are also seen as a no-go if you want to lose weight. However, a number of studies have shown that there’s actually no reason to give up your breakfast boiled egg or favorite omelet. Indeed, eating two or three eggs a day can work wonders for your health. Hard to believe, right?
Take a look at these nine facts and never feel bad about eating eggs again:
1. You’re lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
A hen’s egg contains 400 mg of cholesterol – quite a high amount. High cholesterol levels greatly increase the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases. Contrary to popular opinion, however, eggs don’t increase cholesterol levels. This is because your body slows down its own cholesterol production when large amounts of cholesterol are consumed. It’s also important to know that only a third of the cholesterol deposited in our blood vessels comes from the food we eat. Most of it is actually produced by the body itself.
This has been demonstrated in a study by the Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For the experiment, 152 overweight subjects were split up into three groups. Those in the first group could eat anything they wanted for breakfast, subjects in the second group were served two eggs, and subjects in the third group ate bagels every morning. The results left scientists astounded: in addition to losing 65% more weight and 35% more belly fat than those in the bagel group, the egg-eaters saw no change to their cholesterol levels.
The high number of omega-3 fatty acids found in eggs also lowers triglyceride levels in your blood. As higher triglyceride values increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, consuming eggs can also decrease the likelihood of suffering from these diseases.
2. You’re lowering the risk of birth defects from a lack of folic acid.
An egg contains 0.7 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin B9, also known as folic acid. A lack of folic acid during pregnancy could cause serious damage to an unborn child’s central nervous system. In the worst case scenario, spinal cord and brain are left deformed. That’s why eating eggs is a good way to keep your folic acid levels up.
3. You’re slowing down the aging process.
A study at Charité, a medical center in Berlin, has shown that eating free-range eggs can slow down the aging process and prevent skin cancer. Researchers Dr. Karoline Hesterberg and Professor Jürgen Lademann found that free-range hens’ eggs contain high levels of yellow organic pigments. These pigments are rich in carotenoids (antioxidants), which can slow down the aging process. The body can’t produce carotenoids itself, so we need to get them from our food. They have a very important role in capturing free radicals and making them harmless.
But first you need to know how to prepare the eggs correctly before you can benefit from their rejuvenating effect: «A cooked egg contains more valuable carotenoids than a raw one due to chemical changes when it’s heated up,» said Professor Lademann.
4. You’re lowering the risk of cancer.
A study published in «Breast Cancer Research» has shown that eating eggs every day can reduce a teenage girl’s risk of later developing breast cancer by 18%. As well as being abundant in amino acids, minerals, and vitamins, eggs bind together the female hormone estrogen in the body. With increased estrogen levels seen as a possible trigger for breast cancer, this could explain why eggs may help in preventing the disease.
5. You’re doing your skin, hair, and liver a favor.
Eggs are rich in biotin, vitamin B12, and protein. These nutrients are key to healthy hair and radiant skin. It’s also good to know that protein and sulfur bonds found in egg yolks play a particularly important hand in revitalizing dull and fragile hair.
Eggs also contain high amounts of lecithin, which helps protect your bowels and assists your liver to detox your body.
6. You’re making sure your eyes stay healthy.
Did you know that eating eggs can be highly beneficial to your sight? High amounts of vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin are found in eggs. Vitamin A is important for light/dark vision, while lutein and zeaxanthin protect the eye from free radicals and play a significant role in your color and daytime vision.
Low levels of lutein and zeaxanthin increase the risk of suffering from eye tissue damage and conditions such as macular degeneration or cataracts.
7. You’re losing weight more quickly.
Carbohydrates have a higher glycemic index than proteins. Foods with a high glycemic index make your blood sugar level skyrocket. Your raised blood sugar level then drops very quickly, leaving you feeling very hungry. Those of you wishing to lose weight should therefore opt for foods that have a low glycemic index. This is where eggs come in, as they have a glycemic index of 0 – perfect for filling yourself up and losing weight. It’s also worth knowing that the body needs considerably more energy to digest proteins than it does for carbohydrates and fats.
8. You’re protecting your brain and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that is necessary for various metabolic processes in the body, including those involving fats. Choline is transformed into the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, responsible for transmitting stimuli in your brain and nervous system. As well as having a detrimental effect on your memory, a lack of choline may result in pregnant women giving birth prematurely or the unborn child not weighing enough at birth. Eating two eggs a day is the simple way to ensure that you’re getting enough choline in your diet.
9. You’re keeping your bones healthy and calcium levels up.
Most people know that vitamin D and calcium are very important for your bones and teeth. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland has now also confirmed this. Researchers found that calcium and proteins work together closely to maintain calcium levels and ensure that metabolic processes in your bones are kept healthy. Eggs are also rich in vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium in a more efficient way.
As you can see, eggs are in no way hazardous to your health. However, you need to make sure that you buy eggs from free-range farms because eggs from caged hens often contain drug residues. The federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that eating an egg a day does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels, nor does it increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy people. However, a healthy person can even eat two or three eggs a day without worrying about any adverse effects to their health. This excludes diabetics and people suffering from heart problems, who should limit their intake to three eggs a week.