An egg a day… keeps many-a-disease away! Packed with minerals and nutrients, this food should definitely be included in your diet.
The humble egg is not just a symbol of creation, it is a wonder food. It contains nearly all the proteins, vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
Nutrients in an egg
Full of protein: Egg is known to be the best natural protein food for humans after mother’s milk. One egg contains about 6.3 grams of protein. The white contains 3.5 grams of protein while the yolk contains 2.8 grams. The white contains more than half the egg’s total protein, niacin and riboflavin.
Vitamins and minerals in abundance: The nutrient density of egg is very high. It provides high amounts of vitamins and minerals along with high quality protein. On average, an egg contains between 70 to 100 calories. It is a complete protein food and has all nine essential amino acids, which cannot be produced by the body but are essential for growth and development. Amino acids are important as they are the building blocks of the body.
Eggs are an excellent source of 11 important minerals including chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulphur and zinc, which are all present in the white of the egg.
The yolk contains approximately 190 mg of cholesterol and 5 gms of fat and 1.5 gms of saturated fat. Egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. The yolk also provides vitamin B 12 and folic acid.
Egg yolk contains carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D and K and thiamin, B6, folate and B12.
Health benefits of eggs
- Eggs are good for the eyes and egg eaters have been found to have a lower risk of cataracts.
- Choline present in eggs gives a boost to the brain, nervous system and the heart.
- New research shows that regular consumption of an egg per day in fact, improves the good cholesterol in the blood. However, it should be noted that all the cholesterol in the egg is in the yolk of the egg. So if you’re already suffering from high cholesterol, it might be a good idea to eat only the egg white.
- Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
- Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.
- Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals.
Watch for this
- Consuming raw eggs can lead to salmonella infection.
- Salmonella bacteria from the chicken’s intestines may be found even in clean, uncracked eggs. To destroy the bacteria, eggs must be cooked at high enough temperatures for a sufficient length of time.
- Raw egg also contains avidin which prevents the absorption of B vitamins.
Truth about egg yolk and whites
While egg whites may be considered a bodybuilder’s best friend, the truth is that the minerals and vitamins are in the yolk. So to get real benefit from eggs it is best to eat it whole.
Photograph by Deepak Malhotra, via sxc.hu
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