Updated Nov. 19, 2020
If you enjoy breakfast food, you’re probably a fan of eggs. They’re cheap, delicious, and can be prepared in dozens of ways. Beyond their convenience, eggs also pack a powerful punch of nutrients.
What’s in an Egg?
A single egg delivers 6 grams of protein and several essential vitamins. While clocking in at under 80 calories, eggs have important vitamins:
- Choline, which promotes a healthy pregnancy and a healthy brain.
- Biotin powers your body by converting nutrients into energy.
- Vitamin B helps maintain healthy energy levels, brain function, and metabolism.
Within the shell, eggs divide into two parts: the egg white and egg yolk. While most crack an egg and consume both parts together, some opt to separate the two parts. An egg white contains large amounts of vitamin B3 while the egg yolk can be fortified with omega-3s. Even separated both include many important nutrients.
If you aren’t already enjoying eggs, it might be time to give them a try.
Egg-cellent Health Benefits
Did you know that the humble egg can add a major boost of nutrition to your diet? Eggs pack a powerful punch of protein while remaining wallet-friendly and easily accessible. As part of a balanced diet, eggs can provide many health benefits.
Eggs and Weight Management
Almost half of all Americans are struggling with their weight. The number on the scale can impact your health. One of the simplest ways to lose weight is to lower your intake of calories, and adding eggs to your diet may help. A large hard-boiled egg contains just 78 calories and can be incredibly filling. Eggs can help you feel fuller, and feeling fuller longer lessens the temptation to snack throughout the day.
Be mindful about cooking your eggs in oil and fat, as butter can quickly spike your caloric intake. Eggs make a great addition to a high-protein diet, which has been found to boost metabolism.
Eggs and Pregnancy
You’re probably aware that pregnancy comes with a strict diet for the protection of the mother and unborn baby. Eggs are safe to eat while pregnant as long as they are prepared properly. The eggs must be pasteurized and cooked thoroughly.
If you’re expecting, you need to avoid raw egg. Pregnant women should avoid all unpasteurized or undercooked foods. Eggs carry the risk of foodborne illnesses like salmonella. That means no eggs with a runny yolk. Pregnant women should also avoid homemade foods that contain undercooked eggs, such as:
- Raw cookie dough
- Ice cream
Purchased these items from the store? No need to toss them. These foods are generally fine if purchased from the supermarket because manufacturers typically use pasteurized eggs. Always check the label before consuming.
Eggs and Heart Disease
While we know eggs contain many nutrients, they are also quite high in cholesterol. However, this doesn’t mean that eggs are bad for your heart’s health.
The American Heart Association recommends about one egg per day for people following a healthy eating pattern.
What may put your heart most seriously at risk is not eggs, but what else is on your plate. Common breakfast ingredients such as butter, cheese, bacon, and sausage all contain saturated fat that can raise your cholesterol much more than an egg.
Eggs and Eye Health
Move over, carrots. Eggs are great for maintaining eye health. Eggs contain many nutrients and antioxidants that are essential for healthy eyes.
- Vitamin A protects the cornea, or the surface of the eye.
- Lutein helps fight macular degeneration and is found in egg yolks. This antioxidant protects our eyes internally like sunglasses protect our eyes externally.
Eggs and Brain Function
Is your memory not as sharp as it used to be? Get your brain health back on track by including eggs in your balanced diet. Eggs are a good source of many brain-boosting nutrients.
- Choline is a powerful micronutrient that can improve memory and mental function. Many people don’t get enough choline in their diet. Eating eggs is an easy way to get choline, as egg yolks are a rich source of this micronutrient.
- B vitamins, folate and B12, can help minimize age-related mental decline. Being deficient in these vitamins has been linked to depression. Low levels of folate is common in elderly people with dementia.
Eggs and Muscle Growth
Pack on the muscles with eggs. The high levels of protein in eggs help strengthen and build muscles, preventing muscle loss later in life. Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and important nutrients.
Eggs are a protein-rich source and their amino acid structure helps with muscle gain. B vitamins are essential when bumping up your exercise routine, as they help with energy production.
Health Benefits & Egg Preparation
You can prepare eggs in multiple ways – think omelets, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, and scrambled. No matter which way you choose to prepare your eggs, the nutrients remain the same. Whether they’re sunny-side up or scrambled, you will still receive all the health benefits eggs can provide.
While which way they’re prepared has no impact on their nutrition content, be mindful of their cooking method. Adding a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil can quickly wrack up the calories.
Health Concerns of Eggs
Though eggs pack a major punch health benefits in their tiny shell, they carry some health concerns as well.
For those who are allergic, eggs can cause a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylactic shock if ingested. Other symptoms of an egg allergy include a mild rash or stomach pains after consumption.
A common health concern with eggs is their cholesterol level. Most adults can eat eggs without increasing their risk for heart disease. Eggs are not bad for your heart’s health. However, if you have diabetes, have or are at high risk for heart disease, try to limit your consumption to three eggs per week.
Health Benefits of Eggs Infographic
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