Eggs are a brilliant choice as part of a healthy, balanced diet. As well as being a source of protein, they also contain vitamins and minerals.
The South African Poultry Association share six egg-cellent reasons why should start your day with an egg:
- Vitamin A
Fighting like soldiers on a battlefield, our immune system is the body’s defence against invading viruses, bacteria, and other illness-causing pathogens. Eggs are high in vitamin A, important for normal immune function, as well as skin health and vision. Tossing the egg yolk? Don’t! This may mean you are missing out on zinc and selenium, two other nutrients important for supporting your immune system.
- Vitamin D
Scientists think that vitamin D may reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections, and also the flu. We also know that a vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and cancers. With almost one-third of our daily needs in one large egg, eggs are a source of vitamin D. Did you know that most of the vitamin D is found in the egg yolk, one of the few food sources of vitamin D? All the more reason why we should eat the whole egg.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin
At the centre of the retina (the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye) are high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients which may lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older people. Lutein and zeaxanthin work by protecting the macular (the pigmented area in the centre of the eye that helps with sharp vision) from absorbing damaging UV radiation, and also help to improve visual sharpness.
- Vitamin B12
Plant-based eating like vegetarianism is on the rise. Vegetarians are encouraged to supplement their diets with vitamin B12. One large egg contains almost 44 per cent of our B12 needs, as well as protein to help meet the vegetarian’s protein needs.
As part of all of the body’s cell membranes, the body cells cannot function without choline which forms part of the building blocks for the important brain chemical, acetylcholine. This makes choline important for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions, too. Our bodies can make some choline, but not enough, which is why including eggs in your diet is important to help meet our choline needs.
Protein provides the building blocks for muscle building, recovery and repair. Eggs are a source of high-quality protein: one large egg contains 7g of protein.