Eggs are produced by females of species such as birds and fish. Chicken, quail, duck, roe and caviar are amongst the preferred varieties of eggs that are consumed by humans. Of these, chicken eggs are the most widely consumed.
The egg shell is usually discarded while the egg white known as albumen and egg yolk are fit for consumption. It is to be noted that eggs have to be cooked well before being eaten in order to prevent diseases associated with salmonella. Eggs are popularly consumed in the form of boiled eggs, omelets, fried eggs and scrambled.
Eggs are considered to be the only food source that consists of all the proteins required by the human body. Apart from protein, the nutrients present in a chicken egg are:
- Vitamins – Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B9, Choline, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. Eggs have the distinction of being one of the few food sources of Vitamin D.
- Minerals – Iron, Calcium, Potassium and Phosphorus.
- Anti-oxidants – Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Eggs benefit the body in the following ways:
- The presence of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, albeit in small quantities, makes eggs useful in maintaining eye health by inhibiting the onset of macular degeneration.
- The rich protein content aids in the strengthening of muscles and reduces muscle loss in adults.
- Pregnant women benefit from consumption of the eggs, especially the yolk, as the choline present in the yolk is beneficial for the brain development in the fetus and also prevents occurrence of birth defects.
- Eggs also prove beneficial in weight management as their rich protein content can keep one sated and energized for a longer period.
Inspite of their health benefits, eggs are considered to be a source of dietary cholesterol. Though various research studies have yielded contradictory results, it is advised to restrict the consumption of eggs in those with high levels of cholesterol.
Disclaimer: Any advice or information provided in this page should not be seen as a substitute for medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Your family physician knows better about your medical history and only they can provide you with personalized advice keeping in mind your unique needs.