Eggs aren’t just delicious, they’re incredibly nutritious. There’s a good reason eggs are often referred to as nature’s multivitamin – they’re one of the healthiest foods you can eat!
Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, rich in amino acids, calcium, sodium, iodine, selenium, choline and vitamins A, B, D & E. The outstanding health benefits and versatility of eggs are now well researched and documented. We are regularly advised on how important it is to have a healthy lifestyle and that we need a daily diet of protein and plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Eggs, fruit, vegetables and other proteins can combine to provide a balanced diet.
Eggs contain essential vitamins and minerals you need and health organisations around the world are actively encouraging people to eat more eggs to ensure that they benefit from nature’s super natural vitamin pill.
Every time you crack open an egg you’re receiving the natural goodness of all these essential vitamins and minerals;
|Protein||Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle, organs, skin, hair and other body tissues. It is needed to produce hormones, enzymes and antibodies.|
|Vitamin A||Vitamin A is needed for the healthy development of cells; it helps maintain healthy skin and eye tissue and assists in night vision. Vitamin A also boosts the immune system.|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||B5 is important for the body’s metabolism, for releasing energy from food and for mental performance.|
|Vitamin B12||Vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. It is important for the immune system to function properly and helps protect against heart disease.|
|Vitamin D||Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones and teeth; it is essential for the absorption of calcium in the body. Vitamin D also helps to protect against some cancers and auto-immune diseases.|
|Vitamin E||Vitamin E helps to maintain our reproductive system, nerves and muscles. It helps to maintain good health and prevent disease|
|Iron||Iron is necessary for carrying oxygen throughout the body, and helping to produce energy. Iron helps prevent anaemia.|
|Folate||Folate is necessary for the development and maintenance of new cells. It helps protect against serious birth defects and is therefore especially important for pregnant women.|
|Selenium||Selenium helps prevent the breakdown of body tissues; it protects the DNA, proteins and fats in cells against damage. Selenium is important for a healthy immune system and functioning thyroid gland.|
|Lutein & Zeaxanthin||As well as helping to maintain good vision, Lutein & Zeaxanthin can help reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.|
|Choline||Choline is vital for nerves and muscles to function correctly and also helps brain development and memory functioning.|
|Iodine||Iodine is needed for producing the thyroid hormones and is vital for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland.|
|Phosphorous||Phosphorous helps build strong bones and teeth|
|Thiamine||Thiamine helps to turn carbohydrates into energy our body can use|
|Zinc||Zinc helps in growth, wound healing, blood formation and maintenance of tissues|
|Biotin||Biotin helps cell metabolism and the utilisation of fats, proteins and carbohydrates|
Healthy eating is a good idea regardless of how old you are and what else you do. It helps reduce the risk of lifestyle-related health conditions and boosts energy levels, helping you get the most out of each and every day.
To meet your daily nutrient requirements, it’s important to include a variety of foods from the key food groups. You should also be active, take time out to enjoy life and make sure you get enough sleep.
While diet trends come and go, the basics of healthy eating don’t. And unlike the latest food fads, eggs are relatively inexpensive – making them a valuable inclusion in your healthy, well-balanced diet.
Eggs are also a convenient way for pregnant women, children, athletes, the elderly, and others with restricted diets or increased nutrient requirements to top up their intake.
Eggs have the highest nutritional quality protein of all food sources = 6.7g per size 6 egg
Protein is a source of energy, but its main role in the body is growth and repair.It helps in the formation of muscles, hair, nails, skin and organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver. The protein found in eggs is considered to be of the highest quality, providing the right amount and balance of essential amino acids to match human requirements.
What is the nutritional analysis of raw New Zealand hen eggs?
Two medium eggs (120g)
% Recommended Daily Intake
|Energy (kJ)||548||4% Male 5% Female|
|Protein (g)||13.4||20% Male 29% Female|
|Saturated fat (g)||2.2|
|Monounsaturated fat (g)||3.8|
|Polyunsaturated fat (g)||0.8|
|Iron (mg)||1.8||22% Male 10% Female|
|Selenium (ug)||24||34% Male 40% Female|
|Zinc (mg)||1.0||7% Male 12.50% Female|
|Vitamin B12 (ug)||1.6||66% Male 66% Female|
|Folate (ug)||128||32% Male 32% Female|
|Vitamin A (ug) (Retinol)||228||25% Male 32% Female|
|Vitamin D (ug)||1.6|
Food composition ref: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 12 th Edition 2017. 2. Food composition. 3. Databases. 4. New Zealand. I. Sivakumaran, Subathira. II. Huffman, Lee. III. Sivakumaran, Sivalingam IV. The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited. V. Ministry of Health.%RDI
RDI ref: National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, New Zealand Ministry of Health. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2006. Male; 31 – 50 years (PAL 1.8,ht 1.8m, wt 71.3kg). Female; 31 – 50 years (PAL 1.8, ht – 1.7m, wt 63.6kg)
Please refer to the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation website for more detailed nutritional information on eggs and many other health related subjects on this link;
What is a ‘whole food’?
Eggs are a natural whole food, packed full of protein, vitamins and nutrients that are essential for maintaining every day good health. Whole foods are foods that are closest to their natural state, including unprocessed fruit, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, whole fish skinless poultry and lean red meat. Research shows that dietary patterns that include more whole foods results in higher nutrient intake and an increased quantity of antioxidants.
What is the NZ MInistry of Health agreed statement on eggs?
Eggs are a healthy, natural whole food that the New Zealand Ministry of Health Eating and Activity Guidelines state can be enjoyed by most people every day of the week
What does “most people can enjoy eggs every day “ mean – how do you define most?
It is difficult to state a universal guideline for all people as individuals have a wide array of health conditions and diets.The guideline covers the majority of the population ,ie most people can enjoy eggs every day. The key exceptions to this are;
- For those at increased risk of heart disease the NZ Heart Foundation recommends no more than six to seven eggs per week (ref 2). This means an egg a day is fine.
- The small percentage of the population classed as hyper-responders are particularly susceptible to dietary cholesterol having an impact. People concerned about this should consult with their health care professional
What are the Ministry of Health Eating Guidelines?
Agreed guidelines by a panel of New Zealand experts outlining the best diet for maintaining health based on current evidence. Within the guidelines there is plenty of flexibility to meet most people’s specific needs. For good health, the NZ Ministry of Health recommends at least 2 servings of legumes, nuts or seeds a day or at least one serving of fish/seafood, eggs, poultry or red meat a day.(ref 1)
The guidelines define one egg as one serving so at least an egg a day can be enjoyed by most people every day as part of a variety of food choices from this food group
Why are eggs so good for us?
Eggs are a highly nutritious food that can make an important contribution to a healthy, well balanced diet. They are a natural source of at least 11 different vitamins and minerals as well as high quality protein, omega-3 fats and antioxidants. (ref 7). An egg on average contains 6 .7 grams of protein, 274 kJ (65 calories) of energy and 1.1 grams of saturated fat (59.7 g egg . Ref 7 )
What about Cholesterol?
Studies conducted in healthy people show no effect of daily egg intake on blood cholesterol levels. (ref 3- 5). In addition, the latest scientific evidence shows no association between increased intake of dietary cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease or stroke (ref 6)
The NZ Heart Foundation advise “A prudent recommendation is a limit of six to seven eggs per week for people at increased risk of heart disease.” (ref 2)
What about Saturated Fat?
The NZ Ministry of Health Guidelines recommend limiting foods high in saturated fat (ref 1). Eggs contain only 1.1 grams of saturated fat per egg (59.7 g egg; ref 7)
Can kids and older people eat eggs every day?
Due to their high quality protein and 11 vitamins and minerals, eggs are a great choice for kids and those over 60 and can be enjoyed by most people every day
- Ministry of Health. 2015. Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
- Heart Foundation. 2015. Evidence Paper: Eggs and the Heart. Auckland, New Zealand: Heart Foundation.
- Katz, D.L., et al., Egg consumption and endothelial function: a randomized controlled crossover trial. Int J Cardiol, 2005. 99(1): p. 65-70.
- Rueda, J.M. and P. Khosla, Impact of breakfasts (with or without eggs) on body weight regulation and blood lipids in university students over a 14-week semester. Nutrients, 2013. 5(12): p. 5097-113
- Clayton, Z.S., et al., Influence of Resistance Training Combined with Daily Consumption of an Egg-based or Bagel-based Breakfast on Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases in Healthy Untrained Individuals. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2015. 34(2): p. 113-9.
- Berger, S., et al., Dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015. 102(2): p. 276-94.
- SIVAKUMARAN, Subathira The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 12 th Edition 2017. S. Sivakumaran, L Huffman, S. Sivakumaran, Palmerston North, New Zealand. The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited and Ministry of Health, 2017.