Eggs have been demonized by so many nutritionists and health advocates, it’s hard to imagine there’s any benefit in eating them. However, buried deep inside the shell are some amazing health benefits. Here’s the science no one’s told you.
Cholesterol is often made the villain in nutrition, but it’s healthy for you. What’s not healthy for you are specific kinds of lipoproteins (proteins that carry cholesterol through your body). Most doctors and nutritionists lump cholesterol and lipoproteins together.
This is why you often hear things like “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol,” or “HDL is good cholesterol” and “LDL is bad cholesterol.”
The truth is, all cholesterol is good because it’s the raw material used to make many different hormones in your body. All of your steroid hormones are made from it, and every cell in your body is made from it. This includes sex and adrenal hormones.
Without cholesterol, you wouldn’t be able to function. In fact, low-cholesterol diets and cholesterol-lowering drugs are associated with the inhibition of hormone synthesis. What you want to avoid are foods like sugar and alcohol, which contribute to the formation of LDL and vLDL (very low density lipoproteins). Those small LDL particles are associated with plaque formation in arteries.
Egg yolks contribute to a healthy cholesterol and lipoprotein profile, so eat up.
Improved Bone Density
Most people aren’t familiar with vitamin K2. It’s a little-known vitamin responsible for directing calcium out of soft tissues and into bone. In other words, it prevents hardening of the arteries. In some studies, high dose K2 therapy has even been shown to reverse hardening of the arteries, improve cholesterol and lipoprotein profiles, and improve overall health.
There are several different kinds of vitamin K2, each with its own number. The most popular types include K2 MK-4 and MK-7. MK-4 is found in egg yolks and is thought to be one of the most beneficial forms. To get the most benefit from MK-4 in eggs, try to get eggs from pasture-raised chickens.
The reason you want eggs sourced from pasture-raised chickens is because K2 is made by the fermentation of K1 in the chicken’s digestive system. Vitamin K1 is most abundant in green grass and grass seeds. Pasture-raised chickens will naturally be eating more grass, bugs, and seeds than chickens raised on soy meal or other mass-produced chicken feed.
Mental Focus And Clarity
Choline is a nutrient that’s difficult to obtain, yet is necessary for proper brain development and functioning. Choline also acts as a precursor to acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter. The two best sources of choline are beef liver and egg yolks.
Unlike some nutrients, choline is necessary for proper health and must be obtained from food. A choline deficiency is known to cause fatty liver disease. Likewise, a diet high in choline is known to clear fat from the liver.
While eggs have often been thought of as an unhealthy, high-cholesterol food, the reality is that they’re probably one of the most nutritious foods available. Best of all, they’re relatively inexpensive. Don’t be afraid of them.