Eggs – A Nutrient PowerhousePresident's Blog
At breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack time, I love adding eggs to my menu because they are delicious and versatile. But there’s one more big bonus – eggs are filled with a variety of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants which contribute to overall health. So, today I’ll share why I consider eggs to be a nutrient powerhouse based on the abundance of nutrients that are packed into this amazing food.
Source of protein
Two eggs contain 13 grams of protein , a nutrient that’s vital for maintaining and repairing muscle, building cells all over the body, and ensuring that the immune system functions normally. While many people think that all of the protein is found in egg whites, that’s a well-held myth that I’d like to set straight. In fact, in every egg about half of the protein is found in the egg white, and the other half is in the egg yolk. Eat the whole egg to get the full compliment of protein!
In addition to the amount of protein, it’s also important to note the quality of egg protein. All proteins are made up of a series of 20 amino acids. Nine of the 20 amino acids are considered “essential,” which means that the body can’t make them and we must get them from foods in our diet. Eggs earn the reputation of being a “high quality protein,” since they contain all nine essential amino acids. Canada’s Food Guide recommends filling a quarter of your plate with protein-rich foods, and two eggs are the perfect choice.
Source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Beyond protein, another great reason to eat the whole egg is because many of the nutrients are found in the yolk. Eggs contain the minerals iron and selenium. Interestingly, selenium is both a mineral and an antioxidant, and is known to partner with vitamin E to prevent breakdown of body tissues.
Eggs are also a source of vitamins A, D, E, B12 and folate, which are all factors in the maintenance of good health. Vitamin A and E also act as antioxidants in the body. Vitamin D is well-known for its role in helping to maintain strong bones and teeth. And vitamin B12 is vital for healthy blood cells.
Eggs contain lesser-known nutrients including choline, lutein and zeaxanthin. Choline is part of cell membranes, and is a building block for acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter that helps control memory and mood. It’s also part of muscle control and nervous system functioning. Lutein and zeaxanthin play an important role in good eyesight , and help decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration , which is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment.
Source of healthy fats
Two egg yolks contain 11 grams of fat, of which only 3.5 grams are saturated fats. The rest are poly- and monounsaturated fats. Some eggs, such as our Naturegg Omega Plus eggs, are laid by hens that are fed a diet including flax seed and omega oils to increase the levels of polyunsaturated fat known as omega-3, which is known for many health benefits .
Interestingly, the yolk also contains the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin – and there’s a good reason why these are paired together. The healthy fats in the egg yolk help our bodies absorb these nutrients.
Here are just a few of the ways I love to add this nutrient powerhouse to our family’s meals:
Whether you scramble eggs and enjoy them on a slice of grainy toast, enjoy a cheesy quiche, or snack on hard-boiled eggs after a workout, know that you are fueling your body with many essential nutrients with each delicious bite.
President & CEO, Burnbrae Farms
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