Humans have been eating eggs for thousands of years and today they’re widely regarded as one of the best natural whole foods available. But as with any food there are conflicting opinions; people may believe they need to limit their consumption of eggs or that they’re bad for your cholesterol etc.
HOW MANY EGGS SHOULD YOU EAT?
The truth is that eating eggs on a daily basis isn’t a problem. In fact it’s an excellent way of keeping up your intake of essential vitamins, minerals and protein without the saturated fat content that’s present in many foods.
Dr Carrie Ruxton is an award-winning dietitian, health writer and television nutritionist and has worked with a wide range of organisations including the National Health Service in Britain, the Food Standards Agency and the European Commission. She has extensively researched the health benefits of eggs and believes they are such a potent superfood she eats two to three a day.
“I have an omelette every day for lunch, and I’ve been doing that for the last five years,” she says. “That’s because eggs are basically nature’s multi-vitamin.” She believes the beauty of eggs is that they pack so many nutrients into one small portion. “If you wanted to get the same nutrients you find in an egg elsewhere, you would need to eat a lot of different foods.”
Ruxton has reviewed 71 studies into the nutritional composition of eggs and confirms they are an excellent source of high quality protein containing a rich mix of essential amino acids, which are required for proper growth and repair of the body.
Experts agree globally that it’s what’s in an egg that makes it such a healthy, natural food choice. The Ministry of Health Eating and Activity Guidelines state that eggs can be enjoyed by most people as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Dr Pamela von Hurst of Massey University notes that healthy New Zealanders of all ages should include eggs in their daily diet. She says that the guidelines are further support and evidence that eggs can be enjoyed by most people every day of the week. Eggs contain small amounts of cholesterol but research has now proven that dietary cholesterol does not negatively affect blood cholesterol.
SO MANY NATURAL NUTRIENTS IN EVERY EGG
As well as being extremely versatile, the nutritional benefits of eggs are amazing. They benefit our eyes, bones, heart, brain and even our stomachs. Two eggs for breakfast delivers 20 per cent of your recommended daily iron needs which makes them ideal for growing kids. They are a natural source of at least 11 different vitamins and minerals, high quality protein (6 g per average size egg), omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
Eggs are a great source of complete proteins that contain essential amino acids that your body doesn’t produce, so you need to ensure it comes from your daily diet. Eating eggs is an excellent choice for vegetarians who can struggle with amino acids in their diets.
Another little known fact is iodine is deficient in our soil – eggs are one of the few foods containing iodine for thyroid glands to produce hormones that control our metabolism.
Eating two eggs a day will provide your daily recommended intake of vitamin B12, essential for keeping metabolic and nervous systems healthy and a great source of vitamin D, which the body needs for absorbing calcium to keep bones healthy and strong.
Widely available, extremely versatile and such great value, eggs truly deserve to be on our plates every day. And, everybody loves eggs!