Many are still surprised when they’re told that eggs are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. This is because eggs are a rich protein and the yolk is packed with unique antioxidants that are effective at lowering inflammation and improving a variety of health markers. They also contain a large number of vitamins that support everything from bone health to brain function.
Studies have also shown that eggs play an important role in weight management due to their effect on satiety and are a positive influence on insulin and glucose metabolism. There has been much confusion and fear over eating eggs however, due to the cholesterol levels in the food that affect us negatively.
Eggs are entirely excluded from this. Blood cholesterol levels are the result of a combination of carbs and fat consumed, and not the amount of cholesterol you get from food. Eating eggs with other foods can be unhealthy such as toast and processed meats like sausage or bacon. They are also commonly used in baked goods that are packed with refined carbs and trans fat.
These issues can be avoided if you include eggs in a well-designed diet that contains plenty of plant-based foods (especially green vegetables), dairy, meat, and fish. With all this noted, here are six of the most important benefits of including eggs in your diet.
1. Lose Body Fat
We all know that to elicit fat loss, we have to create a caloric deficit. Eggs help by providing a complete protein that leads to greater satiety so that you ultimately find it easier to eat less.
In one study individuals who had eggs for breakfast daily for eight weeks had enhanced the reduction in body fat and weight, compared to those who had bagels. The same parameters were applied so that two separate groups had 1000 calories cut from their diet and another two who ate normally except for the difference of starting the day with eggs and the other a bagel. Subjects on the egg diet reported as having more energy and being less tired.
Other fat-loss related benefits include the fact that eggs are one of the richest leucine-containing foods. Leucine is the amino acid responsible for maximally triggering protein synthesis, and it can influence hypothalamic regulation of food intake and insulin intake for a better functioning metabolism. Eggs are the perfect food for breakfast because they set your metabolism up for the day.
2. Improve Cholesterol Markers
A large percentage of people are confused about cholesterol. The fact is, cholesterol in foods, such as eggs, and the cholesterol found in your blood is not the same thing. In fact, a number of recent studies show that despite containing a hefty 200 mg of cholesterol in your average large egg, frequently eating eggs will improve your cholesterol markers more than something as well-acclaimed as oatmeal.
Eggs have been shown to increase subjects’ “good” HDL cholesterol levels. Researchers believe cholesterol levels are improved due to the fact that daily egg consumption raises levels of adiponectin. Adiponectin is a hormone involved in fat burning that reduces circulating triglycerides, which correlate with heart disease risk.
3. Reduce Inflammation
Eggs are a super anti-inflammatory food, helping to lower various markers of dangerous inflammation. A recent study showed that an egg breakfast improved inflammatory markers more than an oatmeal breakfast. Cholesterol markers also improved to the same degree in both breakfast conditions. This is important because oatmeal is widely recommended as a heart-healthy breakfast. Researchers think that the fact that eggs are rich in a number of highly bioavailable antioxidants, lutein, zeaxanthin, and selenium, led to the favourable cholesterol and inflammatory outcomes.
4. Improve muscle mass
Eggs have always been the go to protein source since before protein powders were on the menu. They are rich in protein and leucine, which is the most important amino acid for building muscle.
There has also been shown evidence that the cholesterol in eggs supports hormone production for higher levels of muscle-building hormones such as testosterone. A study showed that a higher intake of dietary cholesterol improved the anabolic response to weight training.
Also, if you have thought about going raw, or have already done it before, note that cooked eggs are in fact better digested because the protein in eggs is more bioavailable when heated. Cooked egg protein is 94 percent digestible compared to 55-64 percent when raw.
5. Supports athletic performance
It confuses well-informed nutritionists that most people view egg whites as the only way to eat eggs. It’s the egg yolk that provides all the hard to get nutrients that make the egg the most affordable superfood on the planet, providing us with vitamin D, B vitamins, choline, minerals, carotenoids, and fatty acids.
Some sports scientists write that this blend of micronutrients go hand in hand with elite performance and could have a currently unreached ergogenic effect.
6. Better cognition and a healthy brain
Eggs have a rich source of choline, an essential nutrient involved in cognitive function. Choline is used to make a critical neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which improves motivation and mental focus.
Scientists are now testing the role of eggs in protecting against Alzheimer’s Disease and preserving cognitive function during aging. Early studies show the combination of easily assimilated nutrients in whole eggs can improve working memory and recall in the elderly.
The bottom line: don’t skimp out on this easily affordable and precious superfood that can be not only easy to enjoy, but help you with your progress in living a healthy lifestyle.