You've probably consumed eggs most of your life, and you'll find them in most types of cuisine. But have you ever stopped for a minute to ponder what makes hens'eggs such a healthy snack and a beneficial part of your meal plan?
Previously thought to be bad and the cause of high cholesterol, recent studies have shown that eggs
actually lower the risk of heart diseases.
In a study by researchers from China, it was found that people who ate an average of one egg per day had an 11% lower risk of heart disease and an 18% lower risk of dying from heart disease during the study period compared to people who did not eat eggs. The benefit seemed to be strongest for stroke; daily egg-eaters had a 26% lower risk of bleeding-related stroke and a 10% lower risk of clot-based stroke (1).
Meanwhile, a new study in 2018 by researchers from the University of Sydney concluded that eating up to 12 eggs per week for a year did not increase one's risk of cardiovascular disease, specially in people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes (2).
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers can benefit tremendously from choline, an essential nutrient found in egg yolks, as choline has been shown to play an important role in fetal and infant's brain development, affecting the areas of the brain responsible for memory and life-long learning ability (3). Choline is also deemed beneficial for cognitive function, heart health, and liver health.
It is interesting to note that several studies have been done to show to advantages of eggs in preventing
breast cancer. A study in 2008 suggested that choline found in eggs is associated with a 24% reduced
risk of breast cancer among women (4).
Two previously published studies have also shown that women who eat eggs have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. In 2003, researchers at Harvard University found that women who reported higher consumption of eggs, vegetable fat and fibre during adolescence had a smaller risk of developing breast cancer as adults. Specifically, eating one egg per day was associated with an 18% reduced risk of breast cancer (5).
Meanwhile, a study on Chinese women published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarks & Prevention in 2005 showed that those who consumed the most fruit, vegetables, and eggs were significantly less likely to have breast cancer. For those that reported eating at least six eggs per week, the risk of developing breast cancer was 44% lower than for those who ate two or fewer eggs per week (6).
Evidence has shown that the two antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin in your diet play an important role in protecting against age-related macular degeneration (7). Meanwhile, in Australia, researchers found that in a study of 2,322 people 40 years and older, whom they followed for five years, the subjects were found to have a 40% lower rate of cataracts occuring at the center of the lens for every 1 mg increase in their daily intake of lutein and zeaxanthin (8).
Every healthy body needs protein. And eggs happen to be an excellent source of protein as well as essential amino acids. Protein is important to build stronger bones, increase muscle mass, build tissue and cells, as well as making hormones and anti-bodies. For sports enthusiasts who do weight training and endurance sports, an increase in protein intake is also deemed to be beneficial for increasing muscle mass. Studies also suggest that as we get older we may benefit from eating more protein because it helps minimise the muscle loss associated with aging (9).
It's no secret that eggs are good for brain health. Eggs are packed with vitamins and minerals such as
selenium, folate, iodine, iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E and much more
that is needed for regular functioning of cells, including the brain, nervous system, memory, and
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