Considered as one of the most powerful superfoods, eggs are proven to provide a wide variety of health benefits. They’re a superb source of protein, fats, and essential micronutrients our bodies need. Eggs not only satisfy hunger and fill our need for nutrients, but they’re also proven to prevent nutrition-related diseases.
But how about if you’re into a vegan lifestyle? This topic is always up for debate even in the vegetarian/vegan community. However, knowing about the wonderful benefits of eating eggs may make us think twice. In this article, we’re letting you decide as we write about the health benefits of eggs.
Do Vegetarians Eat Eggs?
For vegetarians, these foods are not allowed in their diet—pork, poultry, beef, seafood, lamb, and other animal meats. There are different types of vegetarianism, lacto-ovo vegetarians are those that include milk and eggs in their diet. So to answer the question, it really depends on who you’re talking to as it is at your own discretion if you want to eat eggs or not.
Why Some Vegans Now Eat Eggs
As vegetarians differ from vegans, it’s no surprise why vegans won’t go near an egg. They steer clear from any animal meat as well as its byproducts such as eggs. Nowadays, veganism has become diverse to include types such as flegan (flexible vegan) and veggans (eggs included in their diet).
Some vegans are now eating eggs after realizing that a strictly vegan diet can be lacking. Some have found that eggs are more satiating than other plant-based protein alternatives. What’s considered by experts as complete protein can be found in eggs.
In addition, most of the eggs that you buy from the store have not been fertilized, meaning, they aren’t laid with the help of a rooster. They won’t be hatching into baby chickens anytime soon. So in effect, you won’t be killing animals when you eat an egg.
Health Benefits of Eating Eggs
Whether you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, the health benefits of eggs are undeniable. You may choose to add them to your menu or not, the choice is really up to you. Here are the top benefits of eating eggs to guide you in making your decision.
Eggs Are Loaded
Small in size and packing a caloric count of just 77, eggs are loaded with nutrients. An egg has the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
- Folate: 5% of the RDA
- Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
- Selenium: 22% of the RDA
- Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA
- Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
- Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
- Calcium, Zinc, Vitamins B6, D, E, and K
A single egg also contains 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and a little amount of almost every nutrient your body needs.
Full of Good Cholesterol
It’s true that eggs are high in cholesterol, one egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol which is more than half of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg. But did you know that they are also filled with high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the “good cholesterol?” A high HDL level in your body lowers your risk of having a stroke or heart disease.
Also, it’s important to note that cholesterol in your diet doesn’t equate to raised cholesterol levels in your blood. And since our liver is the organ that produces cholesterol for us every day, it is also clever enough to reduce its production when it senses an increase in our cholesterol intake.
Food for the Brain
Eggs are also loaded with choline, a chemical compound that keeps our brains healthy. Most of us aren’t aware of this compound but it plays a huge role in building cell membranes and keeping their structure strong. If you want your brain to remain sharp and healthy for a long time, eating eggs is the way to go.
Good for the Eyes
Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, powerful antioxidants that prevent you from getting cataracts and macular degeneration. As we age, our eyesight tends to worsen, and consumption of eggs can help offset the effects of aging in our eyes. Eating whole eggs (especially the yolks) can help increase your intake of lutein by up to 50% and zeaxanthin by 114–142%.
Eggs are also a good source of Vitamin A, providing you with 6% of the recommended daily average. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common causes of blindness and eating eggs can help you reduce the risk.
Builds Muscles and Bones
One of the best sources of protein, eggs can help you build muscle mass and maintain our bones’ health. Protein is what stimulates our bodies to create tissues and give us strength. Getting enough protein is a must if you want to lower your blood pressure, help with weight loss, and maintain skin, blood, and cartilage health.
Eggs are also rich in amino acids that help our bodies get the most from our protein intake. These two compounds are the building blocks of life. They both play critical roles in our overall health.
Helps in Weight Loss
Everyone who has eaten an egg knows that they are very filling. And you don’t have to eat a lot of eggs to give you that full feeling. If you’re trying to lose weight or manage it, adding eggs to your menu can greatly help.
You don’t have to eat a lot to feel satiated, just an egg can help you lessen your portions without feeling deprived. Less food intake means fewer calories.
In the days gone by, eggs were under fire for being linked to an increase in risks of heart diseases and strokes. Eggs were previously believed to be bad for our heart because of the amount of cholesterol found in them. Today, studies show that there are no associations with egg intake and these conditions.
As mentioned earlier, the high levels of HDL in eggs are proven to reduce the risk of strokes. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as the bad cholesterol, form small, dense particles in your blood. Eggs help our bodies turn these small particles into larger ones which have a lower chance of causing heart problems.
On the other hand, eggs can increase the risk of heart health issues if you have type 2 diabetes. Although still in need of further research, it doesn’t hurt to play on the safe side by limiting your egg intake.
Triglycerides are a type of fat or lipid found in our blood. When we have an excess of calories in our system, our bodies convert them into triglycerides which are then stored in our fat cells. Having high levels of these in our bodies may up our risk of heart problems.
Eggs that are enriched with Omega-3 can help lower triglycerides in our bodies. Eggs that come from chickens that are fed with feeds that are laden with omega-3 provide more fatty acids than those that are not. Although fish, nuts, and seeds are naturally rich with Omega-3, preferring enriched eggs can give you a substantial amount of it.
If you’re a vegan and don’t want to partake of Omega-3 as they come from fish, you can forego them and opt for those that are not fortified.