No longer the demon of the grocery cooler, eggs are now recognized to have plenty of nutritional benefits. Here are five reasons to crack one open today

By Ali Hale

5 reasons to eat more eggs

Eating more eggs is a fantastic way to give yourself a health boost. Eating whole eggs is vital: the goodness of eggs is found in the yolk (containing over 90 percent of an egg’s calcium and iron) and the white (containing almost half the egg’s protein). If you’re not eating eggs regularly, here are five reasons why you should.

1. Get your vitamins

One little egg is packed with several vitamins essential to your health:

• Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which helps your body to break down food into energy
• Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vital for producing red blood cells
• Vitamin A (retinol), which is great for your eyesight
• Vitamin E (tocopherol), which fights off the free radicals that can cause tissue and cellular damage, which may lead to cancer

Vitamins A and B2 are also important for growth—so make sure your kids are eating eggs regularly, too.

2. Boost your weight loss

Did you know that eating eggs can help you lose weight? This might come as a surprise to those who think of eggs as “fattening” or “unhealthy”—but a study carried out by the Rochester Center for Obesity Research found that eating eggs for breakfast helps limit your calorie intake all day, by more than 400 calories. That means you could lose three pounds or more per month.

This is probably because eggs keep you full for longer—meaning you’re less likely to succumb to a mid-morning snack or stuff yourself at lunchtime. And although eggs contain cholesterol, this is “dietary cholesterol”—different from the “blood cholesterol” in your body. Despite the health recommendations of the past, there's no evidence that eating eggs will increase your blood cholesterol levels.

3. Take in essential minerals

Eggs are packed with iron, zinc and phosphorus—minerals that are vital for your body. Women need plenty of iron due to menstruation, and not getting enough could leave you feeling tired, run down and grumpy. Zinc keeps your immune system in top form and helps your body turn food into energy. Phosphorus is important for healthy bones and teeth.

And, as a bonus, there are some trace elements (minerals you need in small amounts) in eggs: iodine, required to make thyroid hormones, and selenium, an antioxidant that can help cut your risk of cancer.

4. Indulge in low-calorie protein

One medium egg contains just 70 to 85 calories—and about 6.5 grams of protein. That means three eggs (210 to 255 calories) provide 19.5 grams of protein: the average woman needs about 50 grams a day, so that’s almost half of your daily intake. (Actual protein needs depend on your weight and level of activity; talk to your doctor to get specific requirements for you.)

Eating a three-egg Spanish omelette, or three scrambled or poached eggs on toast, will keep you full for hours.

5. Prevent breast cancer

Research by Harvard University in 2003 found that eating eggs as an adolescent could help prevent breast cancer as an adult. In 2005, another study showed that women eating at least six eggs per week had a 44 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who ate two or fewer eggs each week.

In April 2008, researchers from the University of North Carolina found that choline (present in egg yolks) can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24 percent. An egg yolk contains 125.5 milligrams of choline, about a quarter of the recommended daily intake, so just two poached eggs for breakfast provies half your choline for the day.

Try these healthy egg recipes:

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Florentine
Frittata Florentine
Guacamole, Egg & Arugula on Crackers
Frittata Sandwich
Green Eggs and Ham Sandwich

Ali Hale runs The Office Diet, a blog packed with tips and advice on healthy living for busy people.

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