It’s heart health month, and one of the most popular foods to shame in the world of heart health has long been the egg.
It’s been touted as being too high in cholesterol and saturated fat, and therefore unhealthful for heart health. However, in the last few years the outlook on eggs has changed (thank goodness, because I’ve always promoted them!), and I want to share with you reasons why (if they work for you), you should think about including them more often. So let’s dive in!
Because of their somewhat high cholesterol content, egg yolks have been on the “only eat on occasion” list in the eyes of many. Instead, we’ve been eating egg whites mostly and in many cases filling in the space with bacon, cheese and other similar breakfast foods (if consumed for breakfast). Research (some of it more recent than others) is finding that in most people who are healthy, eating 1 egg yolk daily does not cause a concurrent increase in risk of heart disease , nor an increase in blood cholesterol . These findings don’t suggest that we should drastically increase how many yolks we eat, but the findings suggest that we should be including them—and according to research about 1 egg daily is totally safe.
Here’s six reasons to eat the whole egg (and more eggs in general!):
6 reasons to eat more eggs:
- Eggs are good for your eyes. The yolk contains eye-healthy nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin that may help to prevent age related macular degeneration, and are also healthy antioxidants good for the entire body as well.
- Eggs are good for your brain. Eggs contain choline- an important nutrient involved in both cognitive (brain) function, and also in the health of your brain tissue . Choline may also help to reduce breast cancer risk for women; research suggests that getting enough of the nutrient may help to reduce risk by up to 24% (one yolk contains 27% of your daily requirement ladies- get the rest from fish, beans and greens) .
- Eggs may help boost your weight loss. Research suggests that eating eggs for breakfast versus other breakfast foods (like bagels) may help curb appetite during the rest of the day. Researchers found that appetite and intake may be curbed by up to 400 calories (that’s a lot!)- due to their protein content. .
- Eggs are a source of the important heart-healthy antioxidant, coenzyme CoQ10. Any of you taking a statin should be taking a CoQ10 supplement as these medications can deplete the heart muscle of this key antioxidant. CoQ10 may be involved in various key processes for heart health- including potentially helping to raise good cholesterol levels and may be healthful for blood pressure amongst other things.
- Eggs may help boost your mood. Eggs contain mood-boosting nutrients like b12 and omega 3 fatty acids (pasture raised contain more omega 3’s). For vegetarians, eggs can be a great source of getting in their B12- a nutrient that can be tough to get when we’re meat free.
- Eggs are good for thyroid function. Last but certainly not least, eggs contain thyroid- healthy nutrients zinc, selenium and iodide. All three of these nutrients help the thyroid to function better, and can help boost natural production of thyroid hormones, T3 and T4.
Check out this recipe that we love! Healthy Breakfast Scramble