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A Dozen Ways Egg Nutrients Benefit the Body

Updated: Aug 29, 2018

Eggs contain many important nutrients. From our brain to our bones, the impact of these nutrients are wide-ranging. Learn how the nutrient package of eggs can benefit the body.



  1. Brain Function: One large egg is an excellent source of choline – an essential nutrient critical for fetal brain development and brain function. Eating eggs may also be associated with improved cognitive performance in adults.[i]

  2. Eye Health: Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants found in egg yolks that can promote eye health, especially as we get older.[ii]

  3. Muscle Growth & Repair: Eating 20-30 grams of protein, from foods like eggs, promotes muscle recovery following exercise.[iii] Adequate protein intake also helps prevent muscle loss during aging.

  4. Lowered Stroke Risk: Research suggests eggs can be part of a heart-healthy diet. A recent review showed eating eggs may reduce the risk of stroke by 12 percent.[iv]

  5. Strong Bones: Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D, a nutrient critical for bone health.[v]

  6. Provides Important Nutrients: One large egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein, varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals plus the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all for 70 calories.[vi]

  7. In the Womb: Eggs are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient during pregnancy. It contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent some birth defects like spina bifida.[vii]

  8. Weight Loss: Research has shown eating eggs for breakfast compared to eating a bagel breakfast helped overweight dieters lose 65% more weight, reduce their BMI by 61% and feel more energetic.[viii]

  9. Reduced Hunger: Eating eggs at breakfast can keep one energized until lunch without the annoying hunger pangs. Researchers suspect that the protein in eggs keeps people feeling satisfied.[ix]

  10. Absorption of Nutrients: Adding eggs to a salad increases absorption of powerful antioxidants including vitamin E and lutein.[x],[xi]

  11. Increased “Good” Cholesterol: Research studies have shown dietary cholesterol (say, from eggs) does not negatively impact blood cholesterol. In fact, eating eggs may increase HDL “good” cholesterol.[xii]

  12. Muscle Loss Prevention: Muscle losses due to aging results in frailty and increased risk for falling. Research suggests that exercise, along with optimal protein intake, can minimize muscle loss.[xiii]

Check out the following infographic, from the Egg Nutrition Center and Incredible Egg, for more information on how egg nutrients benefit the body.



Resources

[i] Ylilauri MPT, et al. Association of dietary cholesterol and egg intakes with the risk of incident dementia or Alzheimer disease: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;105:476-484.

[ii] Vishwanathan R, et al. Consumption of 2 and 4 egg yolks/d for 5 wk increases macular pigment concentrations in older adults with low macular pigment taking cholesterol-lowering statins. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:1272-9

[iii] Nutrition and Athletic Performance. A joint position paper between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116:3.

[iv] Alexander DD, et al. Meta-analysis of Egg Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016. 6:1-13.

[v] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.

[vi] US Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. Basic Report: 01123

[vii] US Department of Health & Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Choline Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.

[viii] Vander Wal JS. Egg breakfast enhnaces weight loss. Int J Obes. 2008;32:1545-51

[ix] Vander Wal JS, et al. Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Clin Nutr. 2005.24;6:510-5.

[x] Kim JE, Ferruzzi MG, Campbell WW. Egg Consumption Increases Vitamin E Absorption from Co-Consumed Raw Mixed Vegetables in Healthy Young Men. J Nutr. 2016;146:2199-2205.

[xi] Kim JE, et al. Effects of egg consumption on carotenoid absorption from co-consumed, raw vegetables. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102:75-83.

[xii] DiMarco DM, et al. Intake of up to 3 Eggs/Day Increases HDL Cholesterol and Plasma Choline While Plasma Trimethylamine-N-oxide is Unchanged in a Healthy Population. Lipids.2017;52:255-263.

[xiii] Paddon-Jones D, et al. Role of dietary protein in the sarcopenia of aging. Am J Clin Nutr.2008;87:562S-6S.




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