Lately, I have been craving eggs like crazy! But I either never have time in the morning to make them before work, or I’m to lazy to deal with all the dishes afterwards. I love eggs because they are so nutritious and high in protein, and you can pair them up with almost anything! Its also a very easy way to add some greens into your breakfast without noticing!
Health Benefits of Eggs
- Growth and Development: The high concentration of protein, as well as other essential vitamins, means that are bodies can develop at a normal rate and get all the necessary nutrients to grow properly (maybe that is why i am so short, i never ate eggs as a kid haha!). Protein is necessary for cell creation, which means that every part of our body, ever organ, every muscle, hair, blood vessel, and bone in some way relies on protein to exist. Also, protein is necessary for repair and regrowth.
- Heart Health: For a while eggs got a bad rep, because they were believed to increase cholesterol. But most studies have shown eggs to protect against stroke and improve heart health as the “good cholesterol” (HDL) increase, which helps eliminate the “bad cholesterol” (LDL) in the body. By lowering LDL cholesterol levels, eggs help to avoid blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and other serious cardiovascular conditions!
- Weight Loss Efforts: Since eggs are so full of important proteins that are body needs for development, they also tend to be a very satisfying and filling form of food. They provide energy and nutrient stability in our body and satisfies our hunger. Eggs can be a great way to get the healthy balance you need without the excess calories.
- Cognitive Effects: One of the lesser known benefits of eggs is its impact on cognitive health, primarily due to the high levels of choline present. Choline is often grouped with B-vitamins, but in fact, it is a somewhat unknown nutrient that helps to create critical neural pathways in the brain. About 90% of the population is estimated to get less choline than the body requires, but luckily eggs supply it in large!
- Antioxidant Activity: It seems that any food with antioxidant capacity is considered healthy, but most people don’t realize that eggs contain various antioxidants, including vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Vitamin A works as an antioxidant in a number of areas in the body, but works particularly well with lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes to protect against macular degeneration and the development of cataracts. Antioxidants are able to seek out free radicals and neutralize those dangerous particles (formed as byproducts of cellular metabolism) before they can cause oxidative stress on body organs, resulting in chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
- Rare Minerals: The mineral composition of eggs is wonderful, but it is also unique, in that it can be difficult to obtain certain minerals, like iodine and selenium, in our diets. They are so versatile and universal that we can almost unconsciously stay balanced by eating eggs, ensuring that the those rare minerals keep our antioxidant activity up (selenium) and maintain healthy hormonal functioning in our thyroid (iodine).
Importance of Cage-Free and Free Range Eggs
All of these important health benefits are derived, in part, from the condition in which the hen was raised. The diet that the mother hen has will obviously be reflected in the nutrient content of the egg. For that reason, it is a far better choice to consume pasture-fed eggs, as they have consistently been shown to have higher omega-3 content, vitamin E content, tend to be larger, and are more densely packed with nutrients.
While the price tag might be slightly higher for organic, free-range, or cage-free eggs, if you are serious about getting the most health benefits out of eggs that you can, dig a bit deeper in your pockets for those extra coins.
Egg Cupcake Recipe
A perfect easy, on-the-go breakfast, snack, or dinner to prep on the weekends and have to fuel your busy week ahead!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes about: 12 cups (depending on cupcake tray size)
What you’ll need:
6 whole pasture-raised, cage-free eggs
6 egg whites
Veggies of choice! (I used cilantro, onions, tomatoes, avocado, and spinach)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prep muffin tins with avocado or olive oil
Add to the muffin trays your choice of veggies (get creative!)
Beat together your whole eggs and egg whites
Pour eggs into the muffin tins over your veggies of choice
Top with any spices, cheese, or salsa you’d like! (I added red pepper flakes)
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or maybe a little (until you can tell the inside looks cooked)
Store in an air-tight container for about 5 days!