Vitamins, also vitamin B12 that is lacking in vegetarians, but also mineral salts, antioxidants, proteins, the lecithin contained in the egg yolk limits the absorption of cholesterol.
Eggs are well known and eaten all over the world, they are constituted by a protective shell, the yellow egg yolk and the egg white. The most common eggs are the chicken eggs but you can find also other types of eggs such as duck or quail eggs. It has been long debated whether or not eggs should be considered a nutritious food that cannot miss in a healthy diet. Some people in fact claim that eggs can cause high cholesterol and therefore cardiovascular diseases. Scientists are studying eggs in order to understand their role and the latest researches show that eggs are a very healthy food. According to scientists, eggs, if inserted in a healthy diet without saturated fats, have a protective role also on the cardiovascular system (Chenxi Qin et al, Heart, 2018, Fuller et al, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,2018). But let’s see more in detail the characteristics of eggs. Eggs bring mineral salts such as selenium, iodine, zinch and iron. However, iron is in a form that is not easily absorbed by the body, for this reason, in order to improve the iron absorption a good choice is to eat eggs together with foods rich in vitamin C, for example watercress or a fruit at the end of the meal such as orange or kiwi fruit. Eggs are also a source of vitamins such as vitamin D, E and all group B, in particular they contain vitamin B12. This is very important for vegetarian people because they are at a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 play a pivotal role in the proper functioning of the nervous system, in red blood cell formation and against stress. Eggs are a high proteic food and can be inserted in the diet of older people, students and sporty people. Eggs contain cholesterol, in fact one egg brings 212 mg cholesterol, more than half of the recommended daily quantity 300 mg. However, in eggs there is an amino acid, the choline, that is a lecithin able to limit the absorption of cholesterol. But, in order to let lecithin act against cholesterol, the eggs should be lightly cooked, as in the case of soft boiled eggs, pached eggs or half done eggs. In fact, if the egg yolk, that contains lecithin, is cooked too much, lecithin is inactivated. In addition to this, the cholesterol that we introduce with diet has a marginal role in determining the amount of cholesterol in blood. In fact, the most quantity of cholesterol, 70%, is endogenous, this means that it is produced by the body itself, that produces spontaneously less cholesterol if the cholesterol is introduced with diet. So, this shows that eggs should not be banned for their content in cholesterol. And how many eggs can be eaten in a week? A healthy adult can eaten up to 3-4 eggs per week. There are some contraindications, avoid eggs if you suffer from gallstones because eggs can stimulate the gallbladder to contract and this may cause colics. Be careful in case of allergies to egg proteins, in this case avoid eating eggs. Finally, prefer organic free range eggs, that contain a higher quantity in beta carotene, a powerful antioxidants.