With Easter right around the corner, it’s a great opportunity to talk about how nutritious - and delicious - eggs can be. A staple protein source since the beginning of time, eggs are highly versatile and pack in a lot of nutrition. Sadly, eggs often get a bad rap because many think they need to be avoided due to containing too much cholesterol.
The truth there is that as long as you’re eating eggs in moderation and aren’t already suffering from a pre-existing health condition, there’s no reason you can’t add some eggs to the picture.
One a day shouldn’t pose a problem for most healthy individuals but if you’re really concerned, try one every other day. Some people may even be able to eat two a day without cause for concern.
So what’s so great about eggs and how can you integrate them into your diet? Let’s take a look.
Benefits Of Eggs
The first great benefit of eggs is the fact that they’re calorie controlled. Already packaged up inside the shell, eggs contain around 70-100 calories each depending on the size of the egg. This is a perfectly reasonable amount and is an easy add to just about any diet plan.
Eggs also contain a nice balanced mix of proteins and fats and remain carb-free. With more and more people starting low carb or ketogenic diets, eggs can be a great addition to those plans. Per medium sized egg you’ll take in around 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. Overall, this means eggs are about 40% protein and 60% fat, making them nearly ketogenic-friendly all on their own.
While it is true that eggs do contain saturated fat and cholesterol, keep in mind that you need both of these in order to properly manufacture hormones in the body. If you cut out all your saturated fat, you’d soon run into greater problems associated with hormonal imbalances.
Eggs are a fantastic source of choline as well, which is important for overall brain growth and development.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are also important nutrients found in eggs that will help reduce your risk of macular degeneration, keeping your eyes in top shape.
Eggs are also a source of vitamin D, which is hard to come by in the human diet, so also critical to be taking in regularly.
Iron is the next mineral you’ll get when you take in eggs for breakfast (or any other meal of the day for that matter!), which can help reduce your risk of suffering from iron-deficiency anemia as well as lower your incidence rate of chronically low energy levels.
Because eggs contain protein, this will help you retain lean muscle mass better while stabilizing blood glucose levels and combating hunger. The fact eggs contain a protein-fat combination makes them even more powerful for this reason.
Finally eggs also supply you with zinc, which is an important mineral for keeping your immune system strong and warding off the common cold bug. Many people often think that vitamin C is the best cold suppressing vitamin and it certainly helps, but it’s not the only one.
A Look At The Different Varieties
When most of us speak of ‘eggs’, we automatically assume we’re talking about the classic white chicken variety. But there are other types of eggs that are edible as well you should know.
First note that chicken eggs can come in white and brown and that there is very little nutrition difference between the two. So eat a white one or brown one in confidence you’re still reaping the same benefits.
Some people also choose to eat quail eggs, which are smaller than normal chicken eggs and are a powerful source of vitamin D and B12 comparatively speaking.
Duck eggs are another egg variety that’s sometimes seen popping up in the diets of some and are equally delicious but do have higher amounts of total fat content. They also have a thick shell therefore the shelf life of this egg variety is typically longer.
Goose eggs, as you might have guessed, are very large, doubling the size of the average chicken egg. Goose eggs have a higher protein content as well, so if protein is what you’re hoping to get in, they’re the ones to turn to. A single goose egg contains 19.97 grams of protein. Goose eggs are harder to come by and typically pricier when you do because geese simply don’t lay nearly as many eggs per year as chickens do.
Ostrich eggs are the largest eggs that can be found as they come from the largest birds on the planet. They’re incredibly hard to crack into, but if you do, you’ll find a similar nutrition content to that of chicken eggs. Weighing approximately 2 kg, they’re enough to feed a very large crowd.
Cooking Your Eggs
Finally, remember to get creative when it comes to eggs. It’s easy to fall into the trap of always making them the same way you usually do, but there is really so many things you can do with eggs.
Poach them, hard oil, over easy, scrambled, sunny side up, and it goes on and on. With so many different manners of preparing them, you should never find yourself bored. Keep in mind they can also be a great snack during the day as well. A hard-boiled egg is quick and easy and keeps in the fridge for multiple days at once.
Here’s one fun recipe to get you started.
Healthy Devilled Eggs
1 ripe avocado
¼ cup light mayonnaise
Small amount of chopped cilantro
Dash of cayenne pepper
½ lemon juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a pot of water over medium heat. Prior to boiling, add in the five eggs. Continue to bring to a boil and then turn the temperature down, and cook for 8-9 minutes. Drench in cold water to stop the cooking process and then peel. Slice and remove the egg yolks. Next, combine with the avocado, mayonnaise, cilantro, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Once mixed spoon back into the egg white shell and then top with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately or place in the fridge.