Easter was last weekend and even though my kids are older they still enjoy the tradition of coloring eggs. So all this week I have been eating hard boiled eggs because we dyed 2 & 1/2 dozen eggs but of course the kids don't like to eat them. I got to wondering about the nutrition content of eggs and how they stack up to other sources of protein.
One large eggs has about 70 calories. They are a good source of protein, containing around 6 grams of complete protein and 5 grams of fat. Because their high protein content helps you feel full they tend to be good for weight loss. They contain no sugar and very little carbohydratess (about 1gm).
In the past people were told to avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content but we now know that eggs raise HDL (the good cholesterol) and have little to no effect on LDL (the bad cholesterol). Most of the cholesterol is found in the yolks, but skipping eating the yolks means you miss out on many of the health benefits of eggs.
Eggs are a good source of iron, containing 0.6mg which is about 10% of your recommended daily allowance. The iron is found in the yolk and is present as heme iron which is more easily digested than nonheme iron. Since about 17% of premenopausal women and 10% of children in the U.S. population are now considered iron-deficient under the current thresholds eggs can be an important addition to diet.
An egg contains 44IU of Vitamin D, which is about 5% of your RDA. The Vitamin D is also found in the yolk. Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the United States, with a prevalence of over 40%. Having an adequate level of vitamin D helps to maintain strong bones and strengthen your immune and cardiovascular system.
Eggs are also high in B vitamins, with B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin) found in the white and B5 (panthotenic acid) and B12 (cyanocobalmin) found in the yolk. B vitamins are important for converting food into energy and also help form red blood cells.
Eggs are also a great source of selenium, which is a nutrient that helps the body fight infllammation and is important for good cardiovascular health. Along with selenium the yolks also contain choline, which is vital for neurological function and control of muscles, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which help fight macular degeneration, reduce the risk of developing catracts and protect the eyes from UV light. In addition to this eggs also contain Vitamin A, Calcium and Zinc.
With a relatively high amount of protein, vitamins and nutrients in a relatively low calorie package eggs can be an important addition to your diet. So add one to a salad or just snack on a hard boiled one at any time to help promote healthy skin and nails, support weight loss and maintain good cardiovascular health!