Today is World Egg Day! World Egg Day is celebrated every year on the second Friday in October. On World Egg Day, events are held across the world celebrating the egg such as the omlette cook off competition.
However egg day also gives us opportunity to acknowledge the wide range of health benefits eggs offer.
The nutrition in eggs gives them their illustrious label as the bodybuilding staple food. Packed with vitamins A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and choline, you would wonder why there were any health gurus demoting the nutritional benefits of eggs.
Natural News outlines these benefits in close relation to pregnant women and the difference between free range and cage eggs.
The Choline Connection shows us how choline is one of the hidden nutrients in eggs many of us are unaware of. Choline was discovered by Andreas Strecker in 1862, but it was not until 1998 that it was recognized as an essential nutrient
Choline has a strong link with brains and babies. One egg supplies 20% of the daily recommended intake of choline, and it is used as a building block for phospholipids used in all cell membranes and is particularly integral in brain and nerve health. For pregnant women, choline from eggs is essential for proper fetal brain development and decreased neural tube defects, and it is a necessary constituent in breast milk. In addition, choline proves important in: memory function, reducing breast cancer risk, and maintaining normal homocysteine levels. It also lowers: plasma C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin 6. In fact, in one study, lack of dietary choline resulted in fatty liver, muscle damage and some organ dysfunction.
Free range vs cage
Many claim egg yolks are bad because they are high in saturated fat. However this is not the reason to avoid egg yolk. Caged eggs contain a higher risk of salmonella. In natural choices, caged eggs had 5x higher risk of salmonella compared to free range eggs.
According to Mother Earth News, Free hens lay eggs have 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta-carotene, 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, and 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
Lowers bad cholesterol
In a study by Mutungi G, Ratliff, three eggs per day over a 12-week period for 28 overweight/obese male subjects on a carbohydrate restricted diet actually lowered the bad LDL cholesterol and raised the good HDL. When comparing the obese adults to other subjects, all subjects irrespective of their assigned group had reduced body weight and waist circumference.
The weight loss benefits of a protein breakfast are vast. So eggs for breakfast may be the best choice for those who can’t stomach a protein shake or a serving of meat for their first dose of protein in the morning.
Lutein is a carotenoid that colours the bright sunshine to the yolk. When we think of lutein levels, think of eye health. USDA explains the lutein levels from eggs beat both cooked spinach and lutein supplements by three times in blood serum, and 12 weeks of eating eggs increased subjects’ zeaxanthin serum levels and macular pigment.
In a nutshell, eggs are a convenient and affordable source of protein and essential nutrients for long term health. The bodybuilding and strength performance effects were not mentioned in this article. This shows the range of nutritional benefits anybody can get from eggs, whether it is for training, weight loss or prioritizing breakfast in the morning. It’s world egg day, so lets go out and cook up an omlette storm!
Mutungi G, Ratliff J, Puglisi M, et al. Dietary cholesterol from eggs increases plasma HDL cholesterol in overweight men consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet. J Nutr 2008;138:272-6.