Eggs are one of nature's most nutritious foods. Each serving of 2 eggs (105 g) contains 15 essential vitamins and minerals, only 160 calories and an incredible amount of nutrition. The nutrition tables speak for themselves! So include eggs as part of your healthy diet!
Two Grade A large eggs (105 g) provides* the following:
- Calories 160
- Fat 11 g 15 %
- Saturated 3.5 g 18 %
- + Trans 0 g
- Cholesterol 400 mg
- Sodium 130 mg 6 %
- Carbohydrate 1 g 0 %
- Fibre 0 g
- Sugars 0 g
- Protein 13 g
- Vitamin A 22 %
- Vitamin C 0 %
- Calcium 4 %
- Iron 10 %
- Vitamin D 8 %
- Vitamin E 27 %
- Thiamine 8 %
- Riboflavin 36 %
- Niacin 1 %
- Vitamin B6 4 %
- Folate 18 %
- Vitamin B12 65 %
- Pantothenate 44 %
- Phosphorus 12 %
- Magnesium 2 %
- Zinc 11 %
- Selenium 56 %
Protein is essential for building and repairing tissue. Muscles, organs, skin, hair as well as antibodies, enzymes, and hormones are all made from protein.
Protein is composed of 20 different amino acids. There are 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot make, and so they must come from foods. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they provide all nine essential amino acids.
The nine essential amino acids are:
Eggs Provide High Quality Protein
Eggs contain all nine essential amino acids making them an excellent source of high quality protein. Scientists frequently use eggs as a standard for measuring the protein quality of other foods. Protein quality is expressed as biological value which measures the rate of efficiency that protein is used for growth. At 93.7% eggs score higher than any other food and are considered the gold standard for high quality protein. Eggs are an affordable protein source and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks without affecting their quality. According to Canada's Food Guide, two eggs are considered a serving from the Meat and Alternatives food group.
Eggs are good for your eyes
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids (pigments in plant and animal foods) that have been shown to protect against macular degeneration, a serious age-related eye disease. Both lutein and zeaxanthin are found in egg yolks. According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, because of the egg yolk's fats, the carotenoids in egg yolks are better absorbed than those from plant sources, such as carrots and spinach.
Recognized as an essential nutrient by Health Canada, choline has been shown to play a strong role in brain development and function. One egg provides half your daily requirement of choline.
Cholesterol is a natural, waxy, fat-like substance. It has many uses, including insulating nerve fibres, maintaining cell walls as well as producing vitamin D, digestive juices and certain hormones.
High blood cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease. However, dietary cholesterol found in foods of animal origin such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs and milk products has little effect on blood cholesterol levels in most people. Most blood cholesterol is made by the liver. Many foods that contain cholesterol are included in Canada's Food Guide. Eliminating them from your diet would limit your intake of vitamins and minerals. The best way to achieve healthy blood cholesterol levels is to eat a healthy diet low in saturated and trans-fats, be active and manage your weight. Eggs are low in saturated fat and have no trans-fat. Research shows that healthy adults can enjoy an egg a day without increasing their risk of heart disease or stroke.
People tend to forget that fat is an essential nutrient. It provides energy (calories) and essential fatty acids. Fat is needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and helps us recognize feelings of fullness so we do not overeat.
On average, Canadians consume about 31% of total calories from fat which is within current recommendations; however some individuals do consume too much fat.
Health Canada recommends that Canadian adults limit their total fat intake to 20 to 35% of their total energy intake for the day. Experts often suggest that saturated fat intake be no more than 10% of daily energy intake. Research links a high saturated fat intake with heart disease, cancer and obesity.
One large egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of saturated fat. Eggs can easily fit into your daily total fat budget, which is generally about 90 grams for men and 65 grams for women.
Recognizing the nutritional value of eggs, Canada's Food Guide includes a serving of 2 eggs as part of the Meat and Alternatives food group.
Omega-3 fats play important roles in cell membranes and may help to reduce inflammation throughout your body. In the early years, the omega-3 fat, DHA supports the normal development of children’s brain, eyes and nerves. Omega-3 fats may also help to promote healthy blood vessels and protect heart health. That is why foods rich in omega-3 fats are recommended as part of a healthy diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that our bodies depend on for good health throughout life. There are three main types of omega-3 fats in foods: the short-chain omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Dietitians of Canada suggest that healthy adults aim for a daily DHA + EPA omega-3 intake of 500 mg. Many people don’t get enough of these long-chain omega-3 fats found primarily in fatty fish like salmon. Sources of EPA and DHA are found primarily in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, swordfish, mackerel, sardines and herring, fish oil supplements, omega-3 enhanced eggs like Island Gold Free Run Omega 3, Naturegg Omega 3 and other foods enhanced with EPA and DHA. Common plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as flax, walnuts and canola and soybean oils provide no EPA or DHA, only the short-chain omega-3, ALA. As you age, omega-3 fats, specifically DHA omega-3, may help to protect mental health and because omega-3s are anti-inflammatory they are viewed increasingly important for immune health.
Vitamins and Minerals
Why are they important?
- Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin and eye tissue. Aids with night vision.
- Vitamin D helps keep bones and teeth strong and regulates calcium absorption.
- Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant.
- Thiamine helps the body release energy from carbohydrates.
- Riboflavin is needed to metabolize proteins.
- Niacin helps release energy and promotes normal nerve function.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is needed to metabolize protein and form tissues.
- Folate and Vitamin B12 aid in red blood cell formation.
- Pantothenic acid helps metabolize energy and form tissues.
- Calcium and phosphorus are used to make strong bones and teeth.
- Magnesium helps metabolize energy and form tissues and bones.
- Iron carries oxygen to the cells and keeps blood healthy.
- Zinc helps the body metabolize energy and form tissues.
- Iodine helps the thyroid gland function properly.