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Eggs are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins, and proteins. Since a long time, eggs have been recommended as an ideal nutritional supplement. The most commonly eaten eggs are that of chicken, however, eggs of birds like ducks, turkey, and ostrich are also eaten in many parts of the world. The nutritional value of chicken eggs is lesser than that of other birds' eggs in terms of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, chicken eggs contain less cholesterol than duck eggs (and eggs of other large birds). This makes them an essential constituent of our diet.

Yolk and albumen are the two parts of an egg. While yolk is the inner yellowish part of an egg, albumen is the external white part. Various proteins, minerals, and vitamins that are present in the egg white or the albumen make it nutritious. Albumen is made up of 99% water, and constitutes nearly two-third of the entire egg's weight. The yolk of an egg also consists of proteins and minerals, however, it is found to have higher cholesterol levels.

Hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs surprisingly have different nutritional values. Eggs lose some of their nutrients when cooked. Raw eggs contain more vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, biotin, choline, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), lutein, and zeaxanthin. However, raw eggs are more likely to be contaminated by bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis.

Nutritional Value of Chicken Eggs


1 Large (50 g) Egg, Raw, Whole, Fresh
Calories72 kcal
Water38.08 g
Total fat4.76 g
Carbohydrate0.36 g
Protein6.28 g
Total Dietary Fiber0.0 g
Total Sugars0.18 g
Minerals
Calcium28 mg
Sodium71 mg
Potassium69 mg
Magnesium6 mg
Zinc0.64 mg
Iron0.88 mg
Phosphorus99 mg
Vitamins
Vitamin A, RAE80 µg
Vitamin A, IU270 IU
Vitamin B60.085 mg
Vitamin B120.44 mg
Niacin0.038 mg
Riboflavin0.228 mg
Thiamin0.020 mg
Folate24 µg
Vitamin C0.0 mg
Vitamin D (D2+D3)1.0 µg
Vitamin D41.0 IU
Vitamin E0.52 mg
Vitamin K0.2 µg
Lipids
Total Saturated Fatty Acids1.563 g
Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids1.829 g
Total Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids0.956 g
Total Trans Fatty Acids0.019 g
Cholesterol186 mg

Source: USDA

Nutrition Facts About Eggs

Energy Value
The energy value of a food is calculated from the knowledge of the macro-nutrient composition of the food. This energy value is expressed as calories or kilojoules. A large egg has an energy value of 72 kilo-calories. Consuming one egg per day, contributes to 3-4% of the average energy requirements for an adult.

Protein Content
Eggs are one of the best sources of proteins. The biological value of proteins in eggs is very high, owing to the number of amino acids present in them. It has been found that one egg consists of about 6 grams of protein and at least 9 amino acids. Proteins constitute nearly 13% of the weight of an egg. Proteins are found in both, the albumen and yolk, however, they are more prominent in the albumen part. Proteins increase the eggs nutritional value significantly. People who want to gain weight and build strong muscles always include eggs in their diet.

Vitamin Content
With the sole exception of vitamin C, eggs contain almost all vitamins. In particular, eggs are a rich source of vitamin B, especially B12 and B2 (called riboflavin). Vitamin A, vitamin D, and some amounts of vitamins E and K make eggs nutritious. Vitamin A plays an important role in eye health. All vitamins and minerals ensure proper functioning of bodily systems.

Minerals in Eggs
For a healthy body, many important minerals are required. Eggs, in particular, are a rich source of iodine and phosphorus. Iodine as we all know, is very useful for regulating the function of the thyroid gland. Along with calcium and magnesium, phosphorus also helps strengthen the bones. Zinc, magnesium, and potassium play an important role in various metabolic activities. They are essential for proper functioning of heart and circulatory system, strong bones, production of new cells and enzymes, fast healing of wounds, etc.

Fat and Cholesterol in Eggs
Nearly 12% of the content of an egg is fat. Fat is found mostly in the yolk, and very less percentage of the fat is contained in the albumen. A large chicken egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, while a large duck egg (70 g) contains 619 mg of cholesterol. Cholesterol content in eggs is considered to be a debating point in today's time. Cholesterol is mainly contained in the yolk part, therefore, dietitians nowadays suggest inclusion of three white eggs in the diet, instead of two eggs with the yolk. The eggs nutritional value is considered to be lessened by the cholesterol levels, however, when we look at various other benefits, this issue is not a big factor.

Health Benefits

Some of the important nutritional benefits of eggs are as follows.
  • Eating eggs on a regular basis strengthens the immune system.
  • Eggs are good for eyes and they prevent macular degeneration.
  • Including egg in our diets lowers the risk of developing cataracts.
  • It is believed that eggs help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Eggs foster healthy growth of hair and nails, because they contain high amounts of sulfur, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Eggs contain the naturally occurring vitamin D, and are beneficial for skin.
  • Eggs contain a nutrient called choline, that is useful in the regulation of the nervous system, brain, and cardiovascular system.
Eggs are one of the best poultry foods for bodybuilding supplements. They are recommended by almost every gym trainer and expert. Those who don't want to consume cholesterol can consume only the white part of an egg. Eggs should be incorporated in balanced diet programs as they are beneficial for our health.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a physician/nutritionist.