Did you know that eggs are one of the most versatile foods? Not many foods can be the feature ingredient in a variety dishes, from souffles to baked goods and more. Adding to its versatility, eggs can easily be enjoyed any time of day.
Eggs are highly nutritious. One large egg contains about:
- 70 calories
- 5 grams fat
- 6 grams protein
- All 9 essential amino acids
- Iron, selenium, and B vitamins
- Antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin (which protect your eyes from harmful light)
They are an unique food source of vitamin D. Many Americans are vitamin D deficient because not many foods contain vitamin D, which is crucial for mineral absorption tied to bone health. When you spend time in the sunlight, vitamin D is activated in your body. Regularly including eggs in your diet is a great way to obtain this nutrient.
Eggs are also an excellent source of choline, a nutrient that’s important for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Choline plays a role in metabolism and early brain development. Consuming two eggs per day helps you meet nearly 75% of your daily choline needs when you’re pregnant.
Keep in mind that most of the nutrients in an egg are in the egg yolk, as the egg white is largely protein. Many shy away from the yolk because they think it’s unhealthy, but eggs do not raise your cholesterol levels and are safe to eat, even if you have heart disease. Although eggs contain dietary cholesterol, scientists have discovered that dietary cholesterol does not raise your blood cholesterol levels.
Types of Eggs
Now that you know why eggs are a nutritious powerhouses, let’s talk about the different types of eggs!
Approaching the egg section of the supermarket can feel like sailing into uncharted territory. What do those labels, “free range,” “cage free,” “pasture-raised,” really mean?
Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs: The shell of an egg depends on the color of the chicken that laid it. If a chicken has brown feathers, the eggs will be brown. On the other hand, if the feathers are white, the eggs will be white. The color of the eggs has nothing to do with their level of nutrition or the type of environment in which the chickens were raised.
Free-range Eggs: According to the USDA, “free-range” eggs are produced by hens with outdoor access.
Cage-free Eggs: “Cage-free” is defined by the USDA as eggs laid by hens that are allowed to roam in an open area, but not necessarily outside. For instance, these hens may be able to roam within a barn.
Organic Eggs: These eggs come from uncaged hens that can roam freely and have access to the outdoors, like hens that produce free-range eggs. In addition, they are fed organic feed.
How to Enjoy Eggs
Eggs can be prepared in dozens of ways and included in countless dishes. Try some of our top favorites!
A variation on poached eggs. Instead of poaching them in water, you poach them in a savory tomato sauce with olives and herbed cow’s cheese. It’s a Mediterranean-inspired dish you can enjoy any time of day.
Mini frittatas with a flavorful Southwest spin, baked with cheese, beans, peppers, and onions, with chili powder for a punch of heat.
Eggs in a yeast-free dough that doesn’t require any time to rise. Adding the eggs to this viral, two-ingredient dough made with yogurt and flour turns the dough into a fluffy bread that will satisfy every bit of your cinnamon roll craving without hours in the kitchen.
Whether you enjoy a simple scramble or something more complex, eggs are a great addition to your meal repertoire!