When you need a boost of protein but don’t feel like eating a piece of chicken, what do you usually reach for? A protein bar? Nut butter? Maybe a smoothie? While these are sufficient ways to get protein into your diet, one of the best (and cleanest) ways to get a protein boost is from eating eggs. Did you know that a large egg has 5 grams of protein in it? If you eat two hard-boiled eggs as an afternoon snack, that’s 10 whole grams of protein in one go.
Beyond the boost in protein, eggs can actually do a lot for your body. In fact, the different nutrients in that egg can provide your body with all kinds of health benefits that you would have never expected from such a small package. Here are a few other reasons you should be eating eggs right now, and for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
“Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients! They provide protein, vitamin B-12, iron, and more, but maybe one of the best benefits of an egg is its choline content,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. “This nutrient is essential for brain development and helps with memory and cognition.”
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“Eggs are a complete protein meaning they contain all the amino acids the body needs to build and repair body tissues,” says Jamie Feit, MS, RD and expert at Testing.com. “Eggs contain fat-soluble vitamins, B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.”
Protein feeds the muscles you are trying to build from your workout routine, which in return creates a faster metabolism and helps you lose weight, according to a study published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. The amino acids in the egg can help provide your body with the protein it needs to build that muscle you desire!
“One great benefit is that eggs are a great source of protein, so eggs are an easy way to incorporate protein in your diet which helps with muscle health, strong skin, and nails, and can help with your immune system,” says Ricci-Lee Holtz, RD and expert at Testing.com. “In addition, eggs provide a lot of great micronutrients such as B-vitamins, choline, vitamin D, Vitamin A, and more, which can help with your energy, your nerve function, bone strength, and even cell health and function.”
“Eggs offer a good source of B vitamins, choline, and iron. Choline is an essential nutrient and plays a role in memory, mood, and muscle control. During pregnancy, choline helps in the development of the brain and spinal cord. Iron is essential for moving oxygen throughout the body,” says Jenna Gorham, RDN, of Egglife Foods.
“Women, in particular, can be deficient in iron due to their menstrual cycles,” Gorham continues. “Having low iron can cause fatigue, weakness, and headaches, among other symptoms. B vitamins play a role in the immune system, brain health, heart health, and more. While many of the nutrients are found in the yolks, egg whites carry 60% of the protein found in eggs. Egg whites are low in calories and saturated fat and offer a great source of lean protein. Eggs are incredibly nutritious and are recommended for most diets.”
“Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein, but they have many more nutritional attributes. Eggs are packed with B vitamins and vitamin D; in fact, whole eggs contain 6% of your daily intake of vitamin D which is difficult to find in food products,” says Meghan Sedivy, RD, LDN, Fresh Thyme Market‘s Corporate Registered Dietitian and Health & Wellness Strategy Manager. “Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption as well as bone and immune health.”
Here’s why vitamin D is The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone To Take Right Now.
“Egg yolks, on the other hand, contain a nutrient called choline which supports brain development and health, liver function, muscle movement, mood, and memory,” says Sedivy. “For those with little ones, choline is especially important for kids as it helps with learning in infants and children.”
“Eggs are terrific for eye health,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim. “They are rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.”
Contrary to popular belief, eggs can actually help the cholesterol levels in your body.
“Eggs are really high in quality protein, choline, and have even been shown to help raise the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in our bloodstream,” says Byrd. Megan Byrd, RD from The Oregon Dietitian. “Because eggs are really high in quality protein, they are extremely healthy, filling, and can be great for weight loss, too.”
Research has actually shown that eggs do include both the good “HDL” cholesterol in the body, as well as the bad “LDL” cholesterol. However, Harvard Health points out that eating eggs does help to increase the good kind of cholesterol. It’s important to eat eggs in moderation because according to Young, studies have shown that eating too many eggs can increase your risk of heart disease. Here’s How Many Eggs You Should Eat A Day, According to a Dietitian.