If you’ve heard eggs are bad for you because of the cholesterol found in their yolks, the yolk may be on you. Researchers are finding eggs are more than what they’ve been cracked up to be when it comes to good health. In fact, numerous studies have shown eggs offer some exciting health benefits and may be a key component in total physical health.
- Brain Health. Egg yolks are one of the best sources of the essential nutrient called choline, and choline is necessary for fat-containing structures found in cell membranes. Two fat-like molecules found in the brain—sphingomyelin and phosphatidylcholine—make up much of the brain’s total mass, which means without choline the brain would not function properly.
- Breast Health. Egg yolks are one of the best sources of the essential nutrient choline, and in a study published in June 2008 in PubMed Central, researchers found “breast cancer risk was reduced 24% among women with a high dietary intake of choline.”
- Eye Health. Egg yolks help reduce your risk of macular degeneration because they contain two key antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—needed for good eye health. For other sources of lutein and zeaxanthin read The Eyes Have it When You Eat Your Greens.
- Heart Health. As with all things, eggs are neither “good” nor “bad” and can be part of an overall heart-healthy diet. This is indicated by a Greek study where choline was linked to better heart health. It seems eggs aid in the production of lipotropic agents which then increase HDL “good” cholesterol levels.
- Sleep Aid. Eggs are high in tryptophan providing more than 20 percent of your daily requirements. Tryptophan functions as a mild anti-depressent and a pain reliver. It also helps with serotonin production, and serotonin is what regulates your moods and helps you sleep.
- Weight Loss. Eggs are a great source of natural, high-quality protein and that’s why they keep you satisfied longer and aid in weight loss. A study conducted by Louisiana State University researchers found subjects who ate two eggs for breakfast at least five times a week lost 65 percent more weight than those who dined on a carbohydrate breakfast of bagels.
If you like eggs, so does the director of nutrition at WebMD’s website, Kathleen Zelman. However, she suggests you don’t eat more than one a day and asserts, “I’m a huge fan of eggs…[and if you want to have more than one egg a day then] have them less often or try adding more egg whites and fewer egg yolks….By and large, eggs are super nutritious, good-for-you foods. You just need to make sure you don’t overdo it.”
To learn more about eggs, read Which Eggs to Buy?