Protein is an essential nutrient for all diets. It’s found in a variety of foods, including both meat and plants, but some sources are better than others.
One of the highest quality, yet low-cost sources of protein are eggs. Despite their diminutive size, eggs are a nutritional colossal. Extremely versatile when cooking and packing all kinds of benefits, they shouldn’t be taken for granted. Here’s why they should be top of your shopping list.
The top health benefits of eggs
- Protein – a medium sized egg contains around 6g of protein, larger eggs will be closer to 8g. Starting your day with a three egg omelette means you’ll already be hitting close to 20g of protein.
- Complete protein profile – eggs contain all nine essential amino acids (EAAs), which our bodies can only obtain from our diet. Any food source with all nine EAAs is said to have a complete protein profile.
- Low calories – a medium hard-boiled egg contains just 77 calories. It’s hard to find a more nutritious food source for this amount of calories.
- Plenty of vitamins and minerals – From one egg you’ll get a whole host of vitamins and minerals(1), including essential micronutrients such as choline and betaine (for healthy heart and eyes), vitamin A, B2 and B12, zinc and plenty more. Most of these nutrients are retained in the yolk as opposed to the white, which is primarily protein.
Why do our bodies need protein?
Protein isn’t just a nutrient to satisfy the cravings of bodybuilders and gym-goers, in fact, protein is essential to almost every structure and functioning of the human body (2).
Alongside fats and carbohydrates, protein is a macronutrient, meaning large amounts are required by the body. Contrast this to micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, which are only needed in small quantities.
Once eaten, all protein gets broken down into its building blocks – amino acids – the body’s usable form of protein. From here amino acids do almost every job imaginable – tissue repair and growth (including muscles, bone, skin, hair and nails) and enzyme production. Unlike fats and carbs, the body doesn’t store proteins for use at a later date. Any excess either gets excreted or burned for energy. If these calories don’t get used they’ll be then stored as fat.
It’s essential to eat good sources of protein every day, and eggs are an excellent, high-quality source. Not only do eggs have a great macronutrient profile – low carbs, healthy fats and high protein – they pack a whole bunch of additional health benefits thanks to their excellent blend of important nutrients.