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15 things that happen to your body when you eat eggs

By Grant Stoddard & Olivia Tarantino

If you don’t want to play chicken with infections, viruses, and diseases, add an egg or two to your diet daily. Just one large egg contains almost a quarter (22%) of your RDA of selenium, a nutrient that helps support your immune system and regulate thyroid hormones. Kids should eat eggs, especially. If children and adolescents don’t get enough selenium, they could develop Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease, two conditions that can affect the heart, bones, and joints.

There are three ideas about cholesterol that practically everyone knows: 1) High cholesterol is a bad thing; 2) There are good and bad kinds of cholesterol; 3) Eggs contain plenty of it. Doctors are generally most concerned with the ratio of “good” cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol (LDL). One large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, but this doesn’t mean that eggs will raise the “bad” kind in the blood. The body constantly produces cholesterol on its own, and a large body of evidence indicates that eggs can actually improve your cholesterol profile. How? Eggs seem to raise HDL (good) cholesterol while increasing the size of LDL particles (which are thought to be less dangerous than small particles).

Not only have eggs been found to not increase risk of coronary heart disease, but they might actually decrease your risk. LDL cholesterol became known as “bad” cholesterol because LDL particles transport their fat molecules into artery walls, and drive atherosclerosis: basically, the gumming up of the arteries. (HDL particles, by contrast, can remove fat molecules from artery walls.) But not all LDL particles are made equal, and there are various subtypes that differ in size. Bigger is definitely better — many studies have shown that people who have predominantly small, dense LDL particles have a higher risk of heart disease than people who have mostly large LDL particles. Here’s the best part: Even if eggs tend to raise LDL cholesterol in some people, studies show that the LDL particles change from small and dense to large, slashing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Just one egg contains about 15% of your RDA of vitamin B2, also called riboflavin. It’s just one of eight B vitamins, which all help the body to convert food into fuel, which in turn is used to produce energy

B-complex vitamins are also necessary for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. (In addition to vitamin B2, eggs are also rich in B5 and B12.) They also help to ensure the proper function of the nervous system. For more foods full of B vitamins

 

Eggs are brain food. That’s largely because of an essential nutrient called choline. It’s a component of cell membranes and is required to synthesize acetylcholine: a neurotransmitter. Studies show that a lack of choline has been linked to neurological disorders and decreased cognitive function. Shockingly, more than 90% of Americans eat less than the daily recommended amount of choline, according to a U.S. dietary survey.

Among the lesser-known amazing things the body can do: It can make 11 essential amino acids, which are necessary to sustain life. Thing is, there are 20 essential amino acids that your body needs. Guess where the other 9 can be found? That’s right. A lack of those 9 amino acids can lead to muscle wasting, decreased immune response, weakness, fatigue, and changes to the texture of your skin and hair.

If you’re deficient in the 9 amino acids that can be found in an egg, it can have mental effects. A 2004 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences described how supplementing a population’s diet with lysine significantly reduced anxiety and stress levels, possibly by modulating serotonin in the nervous system.

Two antioxidants found in eggs — lutein and zeaxanthin — have powerful protective effects on the eyes. You won’t find them in a carton of Egg Beaters — they only exist in the yolk. The antioxidants significantly reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, which are among the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the elderly. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who ate 1.3 egg yolks per day for four-and-a-half weeks saw increased blood levels of zeaxanthin by 114-142% and lutein by 28-50%!

Eggs are one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D, which is important for the health and strength of bones and teeth. It does this primarily by aiding the absorption of calcium. (Calcium, incidentally, is important for a healthy heart, colon and metabolism.)

Eggs are such a good source of quality protein that all other sources of protein are measured against them. (Eggs get a perfect score of 100.) Many studies have demonstrated the effect of high-protein foods on appetite. Simply put, they take the edge off. You might not be surprised to learn that eggs score high on a scale called the Satiety Index: a measure of how much foods contribute to the feeling of fullness.

B-vitamins aren’t the only ovular micronutrients that contribute to eggs’ beneficial effects on liver health. Eggs are also rich in the nutrient choline. (One large egg contains between 117 and 147 milligrams of the nutrient, depending on your cooking method of choice). A recent review explained that choline deficiency is linked to the accumulation of hepatic lipid, which can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Luckily, a Journal of Nutrition study found that a higher dietary choline intake may be associated with a lower risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver in women

Another side effect of choline deficiency and the subsequent accumulation of hepatic lipid is an increase in your risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Eggs are a major source of dietary phospholipids: bioactive compounds which studies show have widespread effects on inflammation. A recent review published in the journal Nutrients connected dietary intake of egg phospholipids and choline with a reduction in countless biomarkers of inflammation. Lowering inflammation has widespread health benefits that range from lowering risk of cardiovascular disease to improving the body’s ability to break down fat. If you’re looking to lower inflammation

Source: Eat this, not that

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