Why eating eggs are so important

ONE LARGE EGG 0.6 GRAMS OF CARBS

Both the white and yolk of an egg are rich in nutrients - proteins, vitamins and minerals with the yolk also containing cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. 

Eggs are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat. They are the source of cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin - the compound that enables emulsification in recipes such as hollandaise or mayonnaise.

Some brands of egg now contain omega-3 fatty acids, depending on what the chickens have been fed (always check the box). Eggs are regarded a 'complete' source of protein as they contain all eight essential amino acids; the ones we cannot synthesise in our bodies and must obtain from our diet.

Just one egg contains about 15% of your Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin B2, also called riboflavin. It's just one of eight B vitamins, which all help the body to convert food into fuel, which in turn is used to produce energy.

SOURCE BBE FOOD GUIDE

1. Eggs help to improve performance
Eggs have a high satiety index, meaning they make you feel full for longer. One large egg supplies 6g of high quality protein and a large variety of essential nutrients, with the exception of vitamin C. 

2. Eggs can help to iron out problems
Many people with mild iron deficiency experience vague symptoms of tiredness, headaches and irritability. Iron is the carrier of oxygen in the blood and plays an important role in immunity, energy metabolism and many other functions in the body. The iron in egg yolk is in the form of heme iron, the most readily absorbable and usable form of iron in food and more absorbable than the form of iron in most supplements.

3. Eggs improve nutrient adequacy of the diet
The nutrient density of eggs makes them a valuable contributor to a nutritious diet. A study among egg vs. non-egg consumers revealed that the diets of the non-egg consumers were more likely to fall short of vitamins A, E and B12. Eggs contributed 10-20% of folate and 20-30% of vitamins A, E and B12 among egg consumers. This study demonstrates the important role one food can play in ensuring nutrient adequacy.

4. Eggs do not increase blood cholesterol
In the 1990s, eggs received a lot of bad publicity due to their cholesterol content of 210mg per egg yolk. Numerous studies have clearly demonstrated the lack of a relationship between egg intake and coronary heart disease.

To put things into perspective, it is important to realise that foods high in fat, especially saturated and trans fatty acids have a far greater impact on heart health than cholesterol in food. Eggs should be recognised as an inexpensive, versatile and easily digestible source of protein.

 

 

5. Eggs help to prevent cataracts and to protect eye sight
A good dietary intake of eggs, spinach and broccoli is associated with a significant decrease in cataracts (up to a 20% decrease) and age-related lens and retinal degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly (up to a 40% decrease).

Eggs are a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthine, which play an important role in keeping the eyes healthy. It accumulates in the eye where these nutrients protect against some types of harmful, high-energy wavelengths of light. Getting enough lutein and zeaxanthine is therefore very important from childhood onwards throughout the life cycle.

6. Eggs provide the best quality protein
Protein is one of the most important elements of our diet. Our bodies use protein to build new and repair old tissue. Eggs are champions at providing high quality protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Nine of these amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body and must be derived from the diet. A complete protein food contains enough of these nine essential amino acids to promote growth and maintain body tissue.

7. Eggs can help to protect our bones
Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, our sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and for maintaining optimum bone health. Eggs therefore play a supporting role in the prevention of osteoporosis together with dairy products, our main source of calcium.

8. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails
The hair and nails reflect many biochemical imbalances and shortages in the body. Eggs can help to promote healthy hair and nails because of their high content of sulphur-containing amino acids and the wide array of vitamins and minerals.

Many people report faster growing hair after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing zinc, sulphur, vitamin B12 and vitamin A.

(Madeleine de Villiers, Registered Dietician)


If you are concerned about your cholesterol or are unsure whether it is safe for you to consume eggs please consult your GP.

Some great egg recipes try!

Eggs Scrambled with Asparagus, Bacon and Swiss Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium rashes of Bacon
  • 1 large Egg (Whole)
  • 20 grams Swiss Cheese
  • 2 spear medium  Asparagus
  • Instructions:

    Cook bacon in a small skillet over medium high heat. Reserve some of the bacon fat in the skillet and discard the rest or save for another use. Chop bacon into small pieces and set aside.
      Cook asparagus in skillet with reserved bacon grease until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove and cut into bite-size pieces.
        Add eggs, bacon, cheese and asparagus back to pan and scramble together until egg is cooked and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Or omit the cheese and instead sprinkle over the eggs after they are cooked. 
          Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  

           

          Eggs and Vegetables, Fried in Coconut Oil

          Ingredients:

          3 -4 eggs
          Coconut oil,
          Spinach,
          Frozen Vegetable Mix (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans) and
          Spices.

          Instructions:

          1. Add coconut oil to frying pan and turn up the heat.
          2. Add vegetables
          3. Add eggs
          4. Add spices.
          5. Stir fry until ready.

           

          Bacon and Eggs done differently

          Ingredients:

          100 g full-fat cream cheese 
          1/4 teaspoon thyme
          6 hard-cooked extra large eggs
          12 slices  bacon

          Instructions:

          1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C
          2. Prepare first the cream cheese filling: Combine the cream cheese and thyme in a small bowl and mix with a spoon until well mixed. Cover and set aside.
          3. Peel the eggs and cut them lengthwise with a sharp knife.
          4. Remove carefully the yolks and save them for to use in another recipe 
          5. Fill 6 egg white halves with the cream cheese filling. Cover with the remaining 6 egg white halves.
          6. Take 2 bacon slices per filled egg and wrap the eggs tightly in the bacon slices.
          7. Place the wrapped eggs on a shallow ceramic or glass baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
          8. Remove from the oven and serve.

          Cream Cheese Pancakes

          Ingredients:
          • 60 grams cream cheese
          • 2 eggs
          • 1 tsp granulated Stevia
          • ½ tsp cinnamon
          Instructions:
          1. Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Let rest for 2 minutes so the bubbles can settle.
          2. Pour ¼ of the batter into a hot pan greased with butter or pam spray. Cook for 2 minutes until golden, flip and cook 1 minute on the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
          3. Serve with sugar free syrup and fresh berries.

           

          Bacon, Egg, Avocado and Tomato Salad

          Ingredients:

          • 1 ripe avocado, chopped into chunks
          • 2 boiled eggs, chopped into chunks
          • 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped into chunks
          • Juice from one lemon wedge
          • 2-4 cooked pieces of bacon, 
          • Salt and pepper to taste

          Instructions:

          Mix all ingredients together, stirring not too much, but just enough to make some of the avocado and egg into mush.

          One-Pan Salmon And Egg Bake

          Ingredients:

          170 grams fillet of salmon
          1 egg
          1 tablespoon olive oil
          3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
          1 clove garlic, minced
          1 lemon, cut into wedges
          Salt and pepper, to taste

          Intructions:

          1. Preheat oven to 160°C.

          2. Pour oil into a small, oven-safe skillet. Place the spinach and garlic in the skillet, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix well so that everything is evenly coated.

          3. Place the salmon on 1 side of the pan, then form a well on the other side and crack an egg, making sure it stays intact.

          4. Season the tops of the salmon and the egg with another pinch of salt and pepper.

          5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 60°C. (The temperature will continue to rise above 62°C once it rests out of the oven.)

          6. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the salmon fillet for more flavor and let the salmon rest for 5 minutes before serving.