By Ginger Cochran, MS, RDN, CPE, CDCES
This month we’re celebrating the egg-cellent benefits of eggs. Eggs are naturally one of the most nutrient-dense, lean protein superfoods out there containing a whopping eight essential nutrients needed for optimal health and performance. In this blog, we’re diving deep into what makes eggs so egg-cellent.
The Old Egg Misconception
In the 1970’s, eggs got a bad rep due to its cholesterol content. What professionals didn’t take into consideration was that eggs contain a lower amount of saturated fat compared to other high cholesterol foods, such as cheese, pork and beef. As nutrition research has advanced, professionals have discovered that it is actually the high saturated fat content in food that is strongly correlated with elevated cholesterol – not as much the food’s cholesterol content.
The Egg Benefits
- The Perfect Protein
Eggs are one of the few complete vegetarian proteins out there. This means it contains all essential amino acids needed for your body to continuously rebuild and repair itself. Eggs contain essential amino acid, leucine, which is critical for triggering muscle-building in the body. The protein found in eggs are 100% absorbed, while protein found in other vegetarian protein foods, such as peas or beans, are not as well absorbed.
- Essential for Mood and Memory
Eggs are one of the few high sources of choline in the diet. Choline is needed in the body to make acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter involved in many functions in the body including mood, muscle control, performance and memory.
About 90-94% of the population has been found to be deficient in choline, which means most people are not getting in enough nutrients to promote proper brain function and performance. We need approximately 450 mg a day of choline. One egg contains about ~150 mg of choline. Designer Egg contains 40 mg of choline making it an incredibly easy way to add in extra choline in the diet. Other great food sources of choline include of 3 ounces of tofu (~100 mg), 1 cup broccoli, (~60 mg), salmon (~90 mg), and beef liver (414 mg).
- Eye on Health
Eggs are rich in carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which is associated with eye health and cognition. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the yolk of eggs and protect the eye from damaging blue light. The lutein we consume accumulates in the eye and brain and has been shown to be positively associated with cognitive functions and reduce the risk for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Mega on Omega-3 (DHA)
Eggs are one of the few non-seafood sources of omega-3 in the form of DHA. DHA works synergistically with choline for brain health, memory, and cognition. Omega-3 in the form of DHA is much better absorbed than plant sourced Omega-3 in the form of ALA. This can come from foods like chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts. ALA must be converted in the body to DHA to be used by the brain or eyes. The conversion success rate from ALA to DHA is only 3.8%. For this reason, eggs are an egg-cellent vegetarian nutrient source. Omega-3’s in the body have many benefits including the reduction of inflammation, joint health, skin health, increased HDL (“good cholesterol”) and brain function.
- Plant Forward Eating Essential
Eggs and Designer Egg are a great nutrient-dense complimentary food to plant-forward eating. They're easy to pair with vegetables and/or fruit in a smoothie, frittata or scramble. You can even boost the protein in baked goods by adding a few scoops of Designer Egg.
Fat is needed to help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins, ADEK. Eggs supply the perfect amount to of fat to help increase fat soluble vitamins found in your vegetables and fruits. Eggs themselves are also rich in fat-soluble nutrients vitamin A, vitamin D and the beta-carotene lutein further increasing nutrient destiny in a plant-forward diet.
What Makes Designer Egg Different Than Other Egg Powders?
What I love about Designer Egg is that it includes the yolk and not only egg whites. Egg whites are what supply us with the excellent source of 100% absorbable complete protein. The yolk is where the health-promoting nutrients are, including folate, B-vitamins, lutein and zeaxanthin, DHA, choline, vitamin-A, D, E, K, iodine and selenium are held. The fact that Designer Egg includes the perfect balance of both egg whites and eggs yolks make this powder a dietitians’ superstar.
Eggs are a nutrient powerhouse and the benefits are endless. Including both whole eggs and Designer Protein’s Designer Egg in your diet makes adding these incredible nutrients into your diet simple.
- Today’s Dietitian: Sunny Side Up — Eggs Can Be a Part of a Healthy Diet: https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/062810p22.shtml
- Egg Nutrition Center: A Dozen Ways to Become an Eggspert: https://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/downloads/toolkits/ENC-DozenWays-June2019-Interactive.pdf
- Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols
- National Institute of Health: Choline Fact Sheet :https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/
- WebMD: Top Foods in Choline :https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-choline#1