Eggs may seem like a plain kitchen staple, but they contain a huge amount of nutrients and support health in a variety of ways. Not only that, they are extremely versatile and easy to include in your diet through plenty of different recipes.
Good Source of Choline
Choline is an essential nutrient which many people do not get enough of in their diets. 1 Eggs are rich in choline, which is necessary for multiple processes within the body, including regulating memory, muscle control, and fetal development. 2 Add eggs to your diet regularly to help reach the recommended intake of this nutrient.
Support Eye Health
Egg yolks are a good source of zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants that may help to significantly lower the risk of developing degenerative eye conditions, including cataracts and macular degeneration. 3 4 5 One study found that eating one egg per day for five weeks resulted in a 26% blood-level increase in lutein and a 38% blood-level increase in zeaxanthin in older adults. 6 Eggs are also rich in vitamin A, which is essential to maintaining eye health. 7
Increase Healthy Cholesterol
You may have heard that eggs are bad for your heart due to cholesterol, but this is a common misconception and many studies have shown that the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. 8 9
There are two different categories of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL cholesterol is known as “unhealthy” or “bad” cholesterol because it takes cholesterol to the arteries, where it can build up and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. HDL cholesterol transports cholesterol to your liver, where it is then removed from your bloodstream. 10 It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol compared to other foods, but they raise HDL (healthy) cholesterol levels as opposed to LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol, which is why they do not increase the risk of cardiovascular health problems. 11
There are many delicious ways to add more eggs to your regular eating habits, from a simple poached egg to zesty egg salad to hearty shakshuka. What is your favorite way to eat eggs?
Shakshuka is a traditional North African stew that is now commonplace in cafes throughout the Middle East. Comprised of eggs poached in spiced tomato stew, Shakshuka is extremely versatile and popular due to its simplicity, its flavorful and healthful properties and its affordability. Eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner served alone or with whole grain bread.
Recipe courtesy of Bastyr University.
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ⅛ tsp cayenne, or to taste
- 1 cup dark leafy greens, roughly chopped (optional)
- 15 oz can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
- 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained (optional)
- ¾ tsp salt, more as needed
- ¼ tsp black pepper, more as needed
- 1 pinch cinnamon (small pinch, just a hint)
- ¾ tsp honey
- 6 large eggs
- To taste garnish: chopped cilantro, parsley, basil, chili pepper, or za’atar
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika, and cayenne, and cook for 1 minute.
Add dark leafy greens at this point if desired. Cook until wilted before adding tomatoes.
Pour in tomatoes and garbanzo beans if using; season with ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, honey, and a small pinch of cinnamon. Simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes.
Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with your chosen garnish before serving.