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Why Eggs are the Healthiest Protein on the Planet

Eggs are highly nutritious. They are so healthy that they are referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.”

Eggs are enriched with potent brain nutrients and antioxidants that many people are deficient in.

This article discusses five reasons why eggs are the best and healthiest protein on the planet.

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1. Vitamin C may reduce your risk of chronic disease

Grocery shelves are usually filled with free-range, and cage-free eggs. A relatively new term has joined the market: pasture-raised eggs. The term is so new that even health professionals may confuse it with others. What’s even more confusing is that pasture-raised hens may be given a different level of care depending on the farm.

Here are the differences between these terms:

  • Cage-raised: Caged hens are usually confined to cages with a space of 67-square inches. Caged hens are constantly kept in the cage. They never see the light of the day. Their diet is primarily soy- or corn-based. In fact, studies have shown that over 90 percent of eggs in the United States are harvested from cage-raised hens.
  • Free-range: Each free-range hen is usually allotted less than 2 square feet. Their space is larger than caged-raise and cage-free hens. Their feed is mainly soy-based or corn-based. What’s more, they seldom see the daylight.
  • Cage-free: They have wider rooms than cage-raised hens because each hen occupies less than a square foot. Of course, they’re not completely free because they are restricted to barns and are fed mainly a soy or corn diet.
  • Pasture-raised: Each hen is given at least 108 square feet. Their diet comprises feed, bugs, grass, worms, and anything their beak touches. They are released from the barns early in the morning and return just before nightfall.

A 2003 study by the Pennsylvania State University showed that pasture-raised hens produce the healthiest eggs. Each pasture-raised egg contains three times more vitamin D, two times as much omega-3 fat, seven-time more beta carotene, and four times more vitamin E than cage-free, free-range, or cage-raised eggs.

1. Eggs are highly nutritious

There are lots of excellent nutrients in one whole egg. In addition, studies have shown that the nutrients contained in one egg can support the development of an entire baby chicken.

Eggs contain many minerals, vitamins, good fats, high-quality protein, and other nutrients.

One egg contains the following nutrients (1):

  • Vitamin B12: 9 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
  • Vitamin B2: 15 percent of the RDA
  • Vitamin A: 6 percent of the RDA
  • Selenium: 22 percent of the RDA
  • Vitamin B5: 7 percent of the RDA

Eggs also have small amounts of every micronutrient required by the body, such as iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, folate, vitamin, manganese, etc.

One egg contains 6 grams of protein, 77 calories, trace amounts of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fat.

And here’s an important point to note: the protein in an egg is contained in only the egg white.

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2. Eggs improve the body’s cholesterol profile

Eggs are loaded with cholesterol. There is over 212 mg of cholesterol in one large egg, which is on the high side compared to other foods.

But on the other hand, dietary sources of cholesterol have very little influence on cholesterol levels in the blood (2).

The liver produces cholesterol daily. The amount of cholesterol produced by the liver depends on how much you eat.

If your dietary cholesterol is high, your liver will produce very little of it. On the other hand, if you take in enough cholesterol from your diet, your liver will have more of it.

Many studies have shown that eggs have the potential to improve the body’s cholesterol profile.

Eggs raise HDL cholesterol. They also convert LDL cholesterol to a subtype that is not strongly associated with an increased risk of heart disease (345).

Many studies have examined the risk of heart disease due to egg consumption. But, of course, no link was found between the two (678).

Instead, eggs have been linked with a lot of health benefits. For example, a particular study discovered that eating up to three whole eggs a day raised HDL cholesterol, reduced insulin resistance, and increased the size of LDL particles in people experiencing metabolic syndrome (9).

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3. Eggs are rich in choline, an essential brain nutrient

Choline is not a popular nutrient. Many people have never heard of it, but it is often grouped with B vitamins.

Choline is essential for human health. It is involved in various processes in the body.

Choline plays a vital role in the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Choline is also an essential component of cell membranes.

Low choline intake contributes to neurological disorders, heart disease, and liver diseases (10).

Choline is essential for pregnant women. Research shows that a low choline intake can raise the baby’s risk of cognitive dysfunction and neural tube defects (11).

Many people are deficient in choline. For example, a prospective cohort study involving 600 pregnant Canadian women found that no more than 23 percent achieved adequate choline intake (12).

Choline is best obtained from beef liver and egg yolks. One egg contains 113 mg of choline.

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4. Eggs have an excellent amino acid profile

Proteins are the primary building blocks of the body. Proteins serve both functional and structural processes.

The amino acids of proteins are linked together, like stringed beads, and then folded into shapes.

The body’s proteins are built from 21 amino acids. Out of these, nine have to be obtained from the diet as the body cannot produce them. They are called essential amino acids.

The quality of a protein depends on the amounts of these essential amino acids. Therefore, a high-quality protein source will contain all essential amino acids in the proper ratios.

Eggs are the richest source of protein in the human diet. Therefore, other foods’ protein quality (biological value) is often evaluated by comparing them to eggs (13).

5. Eggs are rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin

Eggs contain two powerful antioxidants — lutein and zeaxanthin. Both have very potent protective effects on the eyes.

Lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the retina and protect the eyes from the harmful effect of sunlight (14).

These antioxidants reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are significant causes of blindness and vision impairment in the elderly (151617).

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Takeaway: pastured eggs are better than caged or grain-based eggs

Eggs differ in nutritional composition depending on how the hen was raised.

Hens are usually raised caged in factories and fed grain-based feed. This feed usually alters their nutrient composition. You’re better off with pastured-raised eggs. They are healthier and much more nutritious.

Unfortunately, cage-free and free-range are nowhere near as good as pasture-raised eggs. Look for the magic word pasture-raised next time you’re grocery shopping. You will notice not only darker yolks but a much better flavor profile. Let me know in the comments below which eggs you buy.

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Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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