Eggs have been given a bad reputation by many scientists and nutritionists over the last few decades.
However, they are actually a superfood and beneficial to the body in many ways.
In this article we detail the 11 health benefits of eggs, according to science.
And stay tuned to the end for some healthy egg recipes to make any breakfast too amazing to pass up.
1. Eggs Keep You Fuller Longer
Eggs are one of the foods that we eat that are naturally filling thanks to all the protein that are packed into them.
Eggs are one of the foods that rates pretty high on the Satiety Index. This is the index that measures how well different foods satisfy us and keeps us full. It also measures the food’s ability to keep us from consuming more calories. (1)
There was a study done that took 30 overweight women and had one group eat a bagel for breakfast and the other group ate eggs for breakfast. (2)
They found that the group who ate the eggs had less for subsequent meals for the next 36 hours after eating the eggs.
Another study took over 150 overweight men and women and split them into two groups.
Again, one group ate eggs, while the other ate bagels with meals being equal in calories.
During an eight week period, they discovered that the group that ate eggs had the following results:
· 65% more weight loss than the bagel group
· 61% greater reduction in their BMI
· 34% greater reduction in their waist measurements
· 16% greater reduction in body fat percentage
While the differences weren’t enormous, the results clearly show that eating eggs has benefits when it comes to losing weight. (3)
Bottom Line: Studies show that eating eggs can help you stay fuller longer, which can lead to eating less throughout the day.
2. Eggs Don’t Raise Your Bad Cholesterol
We’ve been told for decades that eggs were bad for you because they raised your cholesterol, or more specifically, they raised your bad cholesterol.
While, yes, eggs do contain cholesterol, 185 milligrams, or 62% of your maximum daily intake, to be exact, studies have shown they don’t really raise your cholesterol levels in your blood. (4)
It is the cholesterol in your blood that can lead to heart disease, and that doesn’t equate to cholesterol in your diet for most people.
What raises the risk of heart disease is saturated fat, which eggs are very low in. They only contain about 1.5 grams in the yolk of the egg. (5)
Eggs do raise the HDL, or good cholesterol, which is what we want, but they also change the LDL, or bad cholesterol, to a different type of LDL that isn’t shown to be a risk for heart disease. (6)
There was a study done that showed that eating three whole eggs each day can have a positive effect on insulin resistance. It can also help in raising the level of HDL in the body for both men and women who have metabolic syndrome. (7)
Studies have also been done that examined the effects of eating eggs on the risk of cardiovascular disease and surprisingly found no actual association between them.
Having said that, studies have shown that eating eggs does show an increased risk of cardiovascular disease is patients who have diabetes. While this may not apply to those eating a low-carb diet along with the eggs, further research and tests need to be done. (8)
Bottom Line: Eating one egg a day has more benefits to your health that outweigh the small effect, if any, it may have on your cholesterol.
3. Eggs Are Packed With Nutrients
In comparison to other foods, eggs really can’t be beat when it comes to overall nutritional content. (9)
One egg holds all the nutrients your body needs to thrive, some of these nutrients include:
· Folate – 5% of the RDA
· Vitamin B2 (also known as Riboflavin) – 15% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Amount)
· Vitamin B12 (also known as Cobalamin) – 9% of the RDA
· Vitamin B5 (also known as Pantothenic Acid) – 7% of the RDA
· Vitamin A – 6% of the RDA
· Selenium – 22% of the RDA
· There is also a decent size amount of other vitamins such as Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Zinc and Calcium. (10)
It is important to know, however, that all of these nutrients are contained in the yolk of the egg only; egg whites contain only protein. (11)
Bottom Line: Eggs are a great source of vitamins and other nutrients, especially when you eat the whole egg. They contain the right amount of everything you need to keep your body in good shape and, not to mention, healthy.
4. Eggs Contain Carotenoids, Which Help in Fighting Off Diseases
Whole eggs contain the nutrients Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids, or antioxidants, that help your body fight off diseases. They are found strictly in the yolk.
Both Lutein and Zeaxanthin both will accumulate in the retina part of the eye, which is the sensory portion of the eye. (12)
They are known to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of blindness in again adults. It also helps to reduce the risk of cataracts. (13)
A study was done that discovered that consuming 1.3 egg yolks a day for four and a half weeks can increase the levels of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in the blood by 28-50% and 114-142% respectively. (14)
Other sources of these important nutrients include: spinach, broccoli, corn, and other leafy green vegetables. (15)
Bottom Line: Eggs contain antioxidants that help your eyes stay healthy and help to reduce the risk of getting age-related macular degeneration as well as other eye conditions.
5. Eggs Contain Choline, a Much Needed Vitamin for the Brain
Choline is one of the lesser-known vitamins that is typically grouped with the B vitamins.
The body uses this nutrient to build cell membranes as well as to synthesize the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. (16)
Studies have been done that link the intake of choline with improved brain function, better memory, short and long-term, and processing. (17)
If you aren’t getting enough choline in your diet, then it can lead to liver diseases, neurological disorders and cardiovascular disease.
It is especially important for pregnant women to eat eggs to get choline in their diet because low levels can put them at risk of neural tube defects and the possibility of decreased cognitive function of the baby. (18)
Dietary surveys done in the United States show that as much as 90% of people aren’t getting the recommended amount of choline. The average adult needs between 400 and 500 mg per day.
Bottom Line: Choline is a nutrient that helps with brain development, memory and overall brain function. Most people aren’t getting enough of this much needed nutrient.
6. Eggs Provide the Highest Quality Complete Proteins
It is well-known that protein is an essential element to our diet. Protein is used by our bodies to build new tissue and repair old tissue.
Protein is made up of amino acids. Our bodies aren’t capable of creating nine of these amino acids naturally, so we need to find our sources for them. (20)
The best source is a food that contains complete protein, which is food that has enough of these nine amino acids to allow for growth and body tissue maintenance.
Eggs are an excellent source of complete protein for our diet, and it is a high quality form of protein at that. It has a rating of 100, whole milk only has a rating of 93. Beef only has 75 rating.
While many people consider beef and other meats to be a good source of protein, eggs are actually much better. One egg has the same amount of protein as a 30g piece of cooked meat. (21)
So if you have two eggs for breakfast, you’re pretty much set for protein.
Another positive for eggs is that it is the least expensive form of protein and readily available at any grocery store.
Bottom Line: Eggs are an amazing source of complete protein with the right amount of the essential amino acids your body needs.
7. Eggs Are Capable of Protecting Your Bones
Not many people realize that eggs are a good source of vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin because our main source of the vitamin is the sun.
Vitamin D is important to the absorption of calcium, which we need for bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. (22)
This vitamin is found only in the yolk of the egg. Out of one egg, you can get between 18 and 39 IU of vitamin D. This, unfortunately, isn’t a whole lot.
However, if you get eggs taken from a pasture-raised hen that got a lot of sunlight, you can get amounts three to four times that number out of one egg yolk.
Even better still, if you get eggs from hens that were fed food that was packed with vitamin D, you can get amounts reaching as much as 6,000 IU per egg. (23)
Bottom Line: Eggs are a good source of vitamin D, which aids the body in absorbing calcium and building strong bones.
8. Eggs Promote Healthy Hair and Nails
Eggs are something you should add to your diet if you are trying to make your hair and nails grow nice and long. It also helps your hair become strong, shiny, and less likely to split.
It has this effect because egg yolks contain sulfur, which is found in the essential amino acids. The sulfur helps with vitamin B absorption, liver function, and is needed for the production of collagen and keratin.
Eggs also contain biotin, also known as vitamin H. One interesting thing is that vitamin H was so named because of the German phrase, “haar and haut,” which stands for hair and nails.
Biotin helps to improve hair that is thinning or splitting at the ends. It also helps to thicken it and strengthen it as well.
Biotin also helps to strengthen weakened nails and provide your skin with a healthy glow. (25)
It is important to note that raw egg whites contain a biotin inhibitor that makes it harder to use the biotin you consume.
So, it is best to eat either the whole egg or just the yolk when you want to take advantage of the biotin properties of the egg. (26)
Bottom Line: Eggs contain sulfur and biotin, which can help to keep your hair, nails and skin looking and feeling healthy.
9. Egg White: Eat Them or Not?
For a while, all we heard was that we should be eating the egg whites only because the yolks had so much cholesterol. But are the egg whites that good for you?
As I mentioned before, in reality, egg whites only carry protein in them for nutrition. So, while they are good for those wanting to lose weight, they aren’t very nutritious.
In reality, egg whites have a compound in them that is the cause of the bad reactions people sometimes have to eggs.
This is especially true for those individuals who have an autoimmune disorder.
Unfortunately, cooking the egg whites doesn’t get rid of the reaction causing proteins.
It needs to be said that this, of course, isn’t true for everyone.
Some people can eat egg whites and be perfectly fine, but there are some who have a low tolerance for these proteins.
For these people it is best to stay away from the egg whites and only eat the yolks. (27)
Bottom Line: While egg whites have protein in them, there isn’t much else in terms of nutrition. And some people can’t handle the proteins that they contain.
10. Not All Eggs Are Equal
When it comes to eggs, it is important to remember that not all eggs are created equal in terms of nutrition.
When you go the supermarket, you will notice that there are different types of eggs that you can purchase.
While some ponder over if they should be buying brown-shelled eggs or white-shelled eggs or one of the other types, it is more important to choose based off of how the hen was raised and how the eggs are farmed.
Hens that are raised in factories in cages and are only fed grain-based food have eggs that are less nutritious.
A study was done by the National Institute of Animal Sciences in Korea that analyzed egg quality between eggs from three different housing environments: conventional raised hens, barn raised and aviary raised.
They found that the eggs coming from the aviary were thicker and of a higher quality. The eggs coming from the conventional cages were dirty and had a much lower quality. The barn eggs were somewhere in between. (20)
Bottom Line: Eggs aren’t all created equal and where the hen was raised can have an impact on have an effect on the quality of her eggs.
11. How to Choose Eggs for the Best Nutritional Value
There are several different types of eggs that can be found in the supermarkets.
The only things these types of eggs have in common is the fact that they all come from chickens. The differences are in how they were raised as well as what kind of food they were given.
· Conventional Eggs: These are your traditional eggs that you can find in a grocery store that come from hens that were raised in small cages or overstuffed hen houses.
These hens were fed grain-based food and supplemented with vitamins, mineral and were probably treated with hormones and antibiotics.
· Organic Eggs: Organic eggs come from hens who have similar living conditions to hens raised in the conventional cages, but they may have limited access to the outside.
The main difference is that these hens were not treated with antibiotics or hormones. So, they are slightly better for you.
· Pastured Eggs: The hens are allowed to roam free on a pasture. There aren’t corralled anywhere and are allowed to go anywhere they please.
They live on a diet of grass, plants and insects, which is their natural diet. They are also given commercial feed to supplement what they get from nature.
· Omega-3 Enriched Eggs: The last type of eggs is the omega-3 enriched eggs. These eggs come from hens that live in a similar manner to the conventional hens.
The main difference is that these hens were also supplemented with omega-3 through flax seeds. They may have limited access to the outdoors. (28)
A study was done on the nutritional value of pastured eggs. They did this test on eggs from fourteen different farms. They then compared their results with the USDA conventional eggs.
Bottom Line: The hens that the eggs come from and how they live can have an effect on the nutritional value of the eggs. Your best bet is to eat pastured eggs as they give the best nutritional value, but if you don’t have access to them, the omega-3 eggs would be the next best type.
Healthy Egg Recipes
Now that we have gone over a lot of facts as well as the benefits of eggs, here are 12 healthy recipes that I have come across to help you get the most nutrition out of your eggs.
1. Baby Spinach Omelet
For people that are health conscious this is the meal for you. This recipe is an omelet made with baby spinach, Parmesan cheese and a tiny amount of nutmeg for flavor. The flavor of the nutmeg together with the Parmesan cheese makes the perfect breakfast. (30)
· 2 eggs
· 1 1/2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
· 1 tablespoon of low-fat milk
· 1 cup of torn baby spinach
· 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
· ¼ teaspoon of onion powder
· Salt and black pepper
Whisk the eggs, low-fat milk, nutmeg and onion powder until well combined.
Grab a small skillet and spray the bottom with nonstick cooking spray and place it on medium low heat.
Let the pan get warm before pouring the egg mixture into the pan.
Let it cook for 3 minutes or until the egg starts to set.
Carefully flip it over and continue cooking for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Add in the baby spinach and the Parmesan cheese to one half of the omelet. Take the other half and fold over the spinach and cheese.
Remove and then salt and pepper to taste
2. Pesto Scrambled Eggs
Italian lovers will enjoy this recipe. Pesto scrambled eggs are a delicious way of getting your nutrition at the beginning of the day. For people who are rushed in the morning, it also makes a great dinner if you like to breakfast in the evening. (31)
· 2 large eggs
· 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
· 1 tablespoon low-fat milk
· 1/2 teaspoon pesto
· Salt and black pepper
Lightly beat the eggs and low-fat milk in a small bowl. Add the salt and pepper.
Spray a small skillet with a non-stick cooking spray and heat it on medium heat.
Pour the egg mixture in the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cheese to the scrambled eggs, cover and continue cooking for one minute or until the cheese starts to melt
Remove the scrambled eggs from the heat and top with the pesto. Serve immediately.
3. Scrambled Egg Muffins
These scrambled egg muffins include sausage, milk, peppers, plus other ingredients. They make for a great breakfast, lunch or snack at any time of day. They are also great when you need to dash out for school or work as they carry well. (32)
· 12 eggs
· 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
· 1/2 pound of bulk pork sausage
· 1/2 cup of chopped red onions
· 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
· 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
· 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or red pepper flakes
· 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
Line your muffin tin with muffin cups or lightly grease each muffin cup.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Over medium heat brown the sausage in a large skillet.
Cook the sausage until you don’t see any pink. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. Drain the meat and then set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy. Add in the onions, green pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Once these ingredients are combined, add in the sausage and cheddar cheese to the bowl and mix.
Fill the muffin cups about half full.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
4. Irish Eggs
These Irish eggs can be a family tradition that gets passed down through the generations. This recipe combines potatoes, onion, green peppers and eggs to make the ultimate comfort food. (33)
· 6 eggs
· 6 potatoes
· 6 slices of bacon
· 2 tablespoons of butter
· 1 green pepper
· 1 onion
Start by cooking up the bacon until it is crispy. Break up into small pieces and then set aside.
Peel the potatoes and chop them up along with the green pepper. Size the pieces to your liking. You will also need to mince the onion. Set aside.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
Melt the butter and coat the bottom of the skillet.
Add the potatoes, green peppers, and the onion to the pan. Cook everything until the potatoes are just beginning to get a little tender.
Add in the eggs and cook everything until the eggs are firm.
All cooking should take about 20 minutes.
Plate the eggs and sprinkle the bacon pieces over top. Serve warm.
5. Loaded Scrambled Eggs
These loaded scrambled eggs would make an excellent filling breakfast, brunch or dinner. When making this dish, you will be eating in 20 minutes or less. (34)
· 8 large eggs
· 3/4 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
· 1 red pepper
· 1 red onion
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
· 1/3 cup of finely chopped parsley leaves
· Salt and black pepper
Pour the olive oil into a large skillet and heat on the medium setting. Once it is hot, add in the red pepper, onion, salt and pepper.
Cover and cook, making sure to stir occasionally, until everything is tender. This should take about 12 to 14 minutes.
Beat the eggs until fluffy and add to the skillet, cook while continuing to stir frequently. Stop once the eggs are set, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add in the cheese and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Remove from the heat and add in the tomatoes and parsley, stirring until combined.
6. Skillet Souffle
This meal combines goat cheese, bag salad, tomatoes and much more to make an amazing meal you’ll be asked to make again. This soufflé takes about 15 minutes to make. (35)
· 6 large eggs, divided into the yolks and the whites
· 4 ounces of goat cheese
· 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
· 1/4 cup of chopped fresh chives
· 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
· 1/2 teaspoon of salt
First, you need to heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl and stir together the chives, egg yolks, and the pepper and salt.
In a second bowl, use a hand mixer that’s on medium-high speed and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the first mixture.
Use a large skillet to melt the butter; coating the bottom.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and sprinkle the cheese on top.
Cook everything until the eggs are puffy and the cheese is melted. This takes about 10 minutes.
Cut the final product into wedges and serve.
7. Eggs With Herbs
This recipe uses classic herbs to make these eggs taste amazing. This dish takes only 10 minutes to make for a quick and easy breakfast any day of the week. (36)
· 10 eggs
· 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
· 2 tablespoons milk
· 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley and tarragon
· 1/4 cup of scallions, the green parts only
· Salt and red pepper, use black pepper for a milder taste.
Take the butter and melt it over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet.
Once done, take a large bowl and mix together the milk, eggs, and the salt and red pepper.
Add this into the pan and cook while stirring so it doesn’t burn. Cook until the eggs are nice and fluffy. This usually takes about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add in the herbs and scallion greens. Serve while warm.
8. Fried Eggs With Broiled Tomatoes
This dish combines tomatoes, eggs, grated parmesan cheese and scallions to make a delicious meal that can fill you up for a day at the office. And it only takes 10 minutes to make for a quick meal before work or school. (37)
· 4 large eggs
· 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese
· 2 medium tomatoes, halved
· 1 teaspoon of olive oil
· 2 scallions, sliced
· Salt and black pepper
The first thing you need to do is heat the broiler. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle the oil and the salt and pepper over the tomatoes before placing them in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
Spray a nonstick spray over a large skillet placed on medium heat. Cook the eggs in the prepared skillet until they are fluffy, cover. Usually takes 2 to 4 minutes.
Plate the eggs and add the scallions and cheese and your desired taste of salt and pepper.
Serve hot with the tomatoes on the side.
9. Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Spinach Omelet
The tomato, goat cheese and the spinach go great together with the eggs to make this great breakfast omelet. It takes a bit of time to make, so it’s best done for a Sunday brunch. (38)
· 3 eggs
· 1 tablespoon of butter
· 3 tablespoons of milk
· 2 oz. log goat cheese, broken into pieces
· ¼ cup of tomatoes
· ¼ cup of spinach leaves
· Salt and black pepper
In a small bowl, whip the eggs with a fork until they are foamy.
Next, add the milk as well as the salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet on medium heat and melt the butter.
Pour the egg mixture in the pan.
When you notice that the edges are pulling away from the pan, it is ready for you to sprinkle half of the omelet with the spinach and cover.
When the top of the omelet is firm, sprinkle half of the tomatoes and cheese over the spinach.
With a utensil, flip the empty side of the omelet over the side with the fillings.
Sprinkle with the rest of the tomatoes and cheese.
10. Zucchini and Red Pepper Frittata
This recipe uses eggs, red bell pepper, zucchini and white cheddar cheese to make a frittata dish that would make a great Sunday brunch. It takes just over an hour to make this meal and serves six easily. (39)
· 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
· 1 large zucchini
· 1 large red bell pepper
· 1 cup of shredded white cheddar cheese
· 3/4 cup of milk
· 1 tablespoon of olive oil
· 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
· 1/4 teaspoon of salt
First preheat the broiler of the oven to high.
Cut the bell pepper in half and scoop out the inners of the pepper.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the peppers skin side up on the sheet and press down on them with your hand.
Broil the peppers for 8 minutes.
Wrap the pepper in fresh foil and let sit for 15 minutes. Take off the foil and cut them into slices.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a medium sized skillet that is oven-safe over medium-high heat.
Add the oil to the pan followed by the zucchini and cook on the stove top for 6 minutes.
Stir in the bell pepper and turn down the heat to medium.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and add to the previous mixture.
Cook for 2 minutes on the stove top or until the edges are firm.
Immediately place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 16 minutes or until the center is firm.
Let stand for 15 minutes and then cut into wedges.
11. Soft Boiled Eggs and Toast
Soft boiled eggs and buttery toast is a classic breakfast that can’t be beat. The toasted bread allows you to get every drop of the egg’s yolk. Better yet, it only takes a few minutes to whip together. (40)
· 6 large eggs
· 6 slices of firm white bread
· 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
· 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
· 1/2 teaspoon of salt
When preparing the bread, the first thing you should do is preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the bread slices on a baking sheet, making sure not to overlap.
Apply half of the butter to the bread with a brush and as well as half of the salt and pepper.
Flip the bread slices over and do the same thing to the other side with the rest of the butter, salt, and pepper.
Bake in the oven for 3 minutes, flip over, and continue baking for an additional 3 minutes or until golden.
Remove the bread from the oven, cut into strips, and set aside.
Once the bread is complete, it is time to cook the eggs.
Fill a saucepan with 3 inches of water and heat until boiling.
Place the eggs in the water very carefully.
Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.
Remove the eggs from the water.
While still hot, carefully cut off the tips of each egg and serve with the toast strips.
12. Parmesan Egg-in-a-Hole
Egg-in-a-hole is a classic breakfast that is timeless. This recipe gives it a bit of a facelift by adding in parmesan cheese and hot sauce. It only takes 20 or so minutes to cook, so you’ll be eating in no time. (41)
· 6 large eggs
· 6 slices of toasted bread
· ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
· 1/3 cup of plain yogurt
· Salt and black pepper
· Hot sauce, optional
First thing you need to do is mix together the yogurt and the cheese in a bowl.
Spread over both sides of each bread slice.
Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut a circle from the center of each bread slice.
Over medium heat, cook a couple of slices of bread on one side until they are brown, usually takes 1 to 2 minutes.
Flip them over and crack an egg in the hole that you created earlier. Do this for each slice and then season with salt and pepper.
At this point reduce the heat and cover the pan. Let them cook until the eggs are set, which usually takes about 3 to 4 minutes.
Repeat these steps for the rest of the bread and eggs.
Plate the meal and add hot sauce as desired.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.