This Easter we have decided to highlight how incredible eggs are, and we’re not talking about the chocolate variety!
Protein is in a lot of foods, but for many reasons the humble egg is an ideal package of nutrition. Eggs provide all 9 essential amino acids (known as the building blocks of protein) and, because of this, are known as “complete proteins”. Eggs are an effective food for maintaining, building and repairing muscles. They are filled with so much goodness that they are often referred to as ‘nature’s multivitamin’. Every egg contains a small amount of a huge variety of vitamins and minerals that are needed by the human body, including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Folate and many others. Eggs also contain choline, a lesser-known vitamin important for healthy brain function and reducing inflammation.
The yolks are rich in two antioxidants called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which have powerful protective functions for the eyes, reducing the risk of Cataracts and Macular Degeneration, the leading causes of blindness in the elderly. Lutein also helps to maintain the skin’s elasticity and hydration, has shown to prevent plaque build-up in the arteries and could also have cognitive boosting capabilities, improving academic performance.
It’s hard to believe that all these essential nutrients are packed into just one egg, containing around 75 calories, six grams of protein and five grams of fat, and with only trace amounts of carbohydrates. It’s crucial to know that most of the vitamins and minerals come from the yolk, as many people assume that the yolk just contains fat, whereas the white of the egg consists of pure protein. This is a common misconception.
ARE EGGS HIGH IN CHOLESTEROL?
Eggs can get a bad reputation because they contain cholesterol, which people think is harmful to their bodies. One large egg contains around 212 mg of cholesterol which is a large amount compared to other foods – however this doesn’t mean that it will create bad cholesterol in the blood.
Our liver actually creates cholesterol on a daily basis, so the less cholesterol you eat, the more your body produces itself. Studies have shown that eating eggs actually improves the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood and changes the bad cholesterol (LDL) into a large subtype which isn’t associated with a risk of heart disease. In addition to this, studies have analysed the risk of eating large amounts of eggs and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and found no association between the two.
EGGS AND EXERCISE
Fasting before exercise can make you dizzy and lightheaded. You need to fuel your body with healthy carbohydrates and/or protein to provide your body with lots of energy to generate your best performance.
Studies show consuming protein before and after exercise improves recovery, promotes growth of lean body mass, enhances athletic performance and boosts immune system functions. Eating adequate protein can also help with weight loss, lower blood pressure and optimise bone health. Most people who exercise regularly need 1.4-2g of protein per kilo of body weight. We recommend spreading your protein intake out throughout the day into several meals and snacks rather than all at once.
Experts recommend pairing high quality proteins (like eggs) and easily digested carbohydrates (fruits, potatoes, crackers and breads) for pre and/or post workout fuel. The protein builds and repairs muscle and the carbohydrates replenish the body’s glycogen. Eggs are highly versatile, they can be in sweet baked foods, stir fries, omelettes, salads or just on their own. In fact, we found so many delicious recipes whilst researching eggs that we decided to do a separate blog featuring our favourite egg recipes. Check it out!