Unlike most foods, eggs contain at least a little of nearly every vitamin and mineral our bodies need. Of course some of these are present in quite low amounts, others are not. Some of the B-vitamins for instance, which are directly involved in the production of energy, are pretty high.
Another significant nutrient, in this case, mineral, is selenium. First of all, selenium is essential for proper thyroid function. Your thyroid controls the production and release of some hormones, particularly those involved in metabolism. You may have known people with thyroid problems and noticed that they are always pretty overweight. This is why.
Choline is also found in eggs and is a very important nutrient for every cell in your body. In fact, the ‘outer layer of every cell is built of fats, some of which require choline in their structure to function properly. This is especially true for brain cells; you really want these to work at their best!
This may seem incorrect to you at first, but eggs are high in cholesterol and that’s a good thing. Science seems to always be ahead of peoples’ perceptions and cholesterol is no exception. We were once taught that cholesterol is “bad,” but we have since learned it’s not. Still, the ‘old science’ persists. First of all, if you don’t eat cholesterol, your liver will just make it anyway. Besides, cholesterol is an essential part of every cell in your body. Without it, your cells wouldn’t be solid enough to stay together.
Omega-3 fats are also important. They are “good” fats that decrease heart disease risk, boost brain performance and fight inflammation.1,2 While eggs are not particularly high in omega-3’s, they do contain a decent amount.
Eggs as an immune booster
Let’s be clear, if you eat tons of eggs when you’re sick, it won’t magically cure you. But eggs do have some albeit, moderate immune boosting qualities. Selenium for one helps with immune function by eliminating free radicals (waste products) that normally could cause damage to cells.3 Ordinarily your immune system would have to deal with all of these, plus everything else. But antioxidants free it up a bit, and selenium is a very strong antioxidant, so that the immune system has a greater capacity to handle other threats.
Should I eat them every day?
When was the last time that you heard about someone overdosing on eggs? Me either. That’s because you pretty much can’t. In theory you could eat so many that you build up a selenium toxicity but the amount required for this is probably more than several dozen a day. Good luck even trying to eat that many!
What about eggs reducing inflammation?
Eggs can reduce inflammation, again, because of their selenium content.4 All antioxidants have at least some positive effect on chronic inflammation. Also, the omega-3’s in found in them are known to reduce inflammation.5 However, selenium and some omega-3’s (eggs aren’t particularly high in them) aren’t the most effective prescription for attacking inflammation. They maybe aren’t the best option out there but eggs will certainly help.
Haven’t we been taught that eggs are bad?
Like I mentioned earlier; sometimes what the public believes can be based on old science. Current research paints a different picture. We used to think that if you ate cholesterol, the amount in your blood would go up. That seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Of course it does but we didn’t realize at the time that your liver makes as much as your body thinks it needs. So if you don’t eat much, it makes more and vice versa. So changing your cholesterol level through diet is just not reasonable.
However, eggs do affect LDL and HDL levels but not like most people think. The old science tells us that HDL is “good” and LDL is “bad.” But these “types” of lipoproteins and there are several subtypes that are not all created equal. It turns out that only most HDL is “good” and only most LDL is “bad.” It turns out that eggs actually increase both, with a positive net effect.6
What about weight loss? Do they help?
If weight loss is your goal, don’t expect to shed the pounds just because you start eating more eggs. That being said, they are a good choice. As I described above, they provide some positive health benefits. They are also a pretty good source of protein, which is essential for dieting. If you want to lose weight, then you’ll probably need to increase your protein consumption and eggs are a good way to do it.
Eggs for energy
Eggs for energy are like eggs for weight loss. They’re a good choice but not a magic bullet. Any source of carbs, fats or protein can potentially provide energy and they contain all three to some degree.