Why an Egg a Day Can Fight Heart Disease
8 minute read
Chances are growing up you heard that eggs had a lot of cholesterol in them and cholesterol is bad for you. While it is true that egg yolks do contain cholesterol, they can still be a beneficial part of your diet.
As the gold standard of protein measurement, along with numerous other benefits, eating eggs every day can provide you with a stomach full of nutrients and protection against heart disease.
More Eggs Means Better Health
That’s right, eggs are good for you. Research has shown that eating one egg daily can help protect your heart, despite containing cholesterol.
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Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, and high cholesterol levels have been found to contribute to cardiovascular problems. However, cardiovascular deaths are primarily related to ischemic (poor blood flow) strokes and heart disease, which seem to have nothing to do with cholesterol.
As it happens, there is something about eggs that can help with ischemic heart problems. A certain amount of cholesterol is actually beneficial for you, and, in addition to this, eggs also have other nutrients that promote heart health.
Full of high-quality protein, vitamins, and bioactive components like phospholipids and carotenoids, eggs may be your new best friend when it comes to boosting your heart and overall health.
A recent study in China looked into the frequency of egg consumption and morbidity and mortality rates. When specifically looking at deaths related to cardiovascular diseases, the study showed that participants who ate eggs more frequently had a significantly lower risk of developing heart disease.
There was also a lower risk for ischemic stroke recorded, which tells us that an egg a day is a good step towards optimal heart health.
It is thought that the heart healthy benefits of eggs come from selenium. This compound is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
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With inflammation being a major contributor to heart disease as well as several other serious illnesses, a daily dose of a selenium-filled egg could be a natural heart protectant.
In fact, selenium combined with CoQ10 has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of death by cardiovascular disease in older adults.
The Many Benefits of Eggs
Outside of the potential to boost heart health, there are a number of reasons to get a daily serving of eggs. Despite the bad reputation they may have had, views are shifting as the health potential hidden within eggs is discovered.
Eggs are essentially nature’s superfood, delivering high-quality protein and pretty much every vitamin and nutrient your body needs.
Good cholesterol: We get so fixated on the word cholesterol that we can fail to see that eggs are full of the good type. Not all cholesterol is created equally and when it comes to health we need to eat HDL and want to avoid LDL.
While eggs contain both types of cholesterol, eating them results in maintaining whatever ratio you currently have of good to bad. Eggs won’t reduce cholesterol, but the real problem for heart health is often the high-fat, salty foods, like bacon, we often eat alongside our eggs.
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All cholesterol in an egg is contained in the yolk, along with other beneficial nutrients. That said, eating the egg whites is extremely healthy, though certainly pricier and more wasteful.
Eye protection: Macular degeneration is an unavoidable part of the aging process, but eggs can help you keep your vision longer. Egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which have the ability to stop macular degeneration.
Get your choline: Choline is necessary for muscle control, nerve function, metabolism, and neurological development. Eggs are luckily one of the richest food sources for choline, and daily intake will ensure that the most important physiological functions remain in optimal working condition.
In addition, choline is essential for optimal neurological function, meaning eggs help keep you physically and mentally sharp.
Perfect protein: Eggs contain the perfect components to make high-quality protein. Proteins are made from amino acids. Of the 29 amino acids, 9 are not produced by your body.
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Fortunately, these essential amino acids can all be found in eggs, which makes it a perfect source of protein.
Cancer protection: With no definitive cure for cancer, many have turned to dietary changes as a means of preventing cancer and tumor development. The foods most associated with reduced cancer risk are fruits and vegetables.
Endless energy: We all hit that afternoon slump where we reach for the energy drink, sugary snack, or cup of joe. Even if these do perk you up, it won’t be long before that crash and fatigue sets in.
Avoid the endless cycle of energy spikes and crashes and add eggs to your daily routine. Both egg whites and the yolk contain B vitamins which give you natural, longer lasting energy without the crash and fatigue.
Boost physical performance: The vitamin B content of eggs is a great way to provide sustained energy for the day. In addition to this, the perfect proteins ensure your muscles are in prime condition.
The combination of energy and optimal muscle health naturally improves your physical performance, strength, and endurance.
Weight loss: Those essential amino acids help to fill you up, so you don’t crave those afternoon snacks. Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. If you start your day with eggs instead of grains, you will be more satiated and eat less throughout the course of the day.
Strong bones: Without vitamin D, your bone health would deteriorate. We do get some vitamin D every day from the sun, but food sources are limited.
As far as these sources go, eggs are at the top of the list for vitamin D content, so make sure you eat one or two extra on those cloudy days.
The Bottom Line
There is a lot going on inside an egg. They may be small, but they pack a big nutritional punch. Don’t get hung up on the cholesterol content, because it turns out that some of it is good for you.
Missing out on eggs could mean you’re missing out on essential nutrients and abundant health benefits. There is no need to count your chickens, just be sure to count the eggs, and make sure you have one for each day.