Many Americans were raised on the theory that eggs were loaded with artery-clogging cholesterol and that eating them was a surefire way to promote coronary heart disease. But when Wake Forest University researchers reviewed some of the top scientific studies, they found no link between eating eggs and heart disease. In fact, many leading health experts call eggs the perfect food. The white part and the yolk work together to bring you an ample serving of important vitamins, healthy fats, trace minerals, and other nutrients—all in one convenient, low-calorie package. Click through the slideshow to see seven more reasons to put eggs back on your menu.
The Good News: Eggs contain a beneficial blend of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, B vitamins, and iodide—nutrients that work together to battle fatigue and reverse bad moods.
Bonus Tip: Don’t be tricked by “free-range” eggs. The hens may still be housed inside of warehouses (but at least not in tiny cages)
Related: 11 Instant Mood-Boosting Foods
The Good News: Eggs are one of nature’s best food sources, packaging muscle-protecting protein in a low-calorie food. The B12 in eggs also aids in muscle contraction—a must for avid gardeners!
Bonus Tip: Don’t be fooled by the word natural on your egg carton. “Natural” eggs could come from hens fed antibiotics and genetically engineered feed, two things banned in organic eggs.
Related: How To Raise Backyard Chickens
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The Good News: Women who eat higher levels of choline—a nutrient found in eggs—are 24 percent less likely to develop breast cancer according to a recent study. One large egg boasts about 30 percent of your Recommended Dietary Allowance of choline.
Bonus Tip: Most of the choline is concentrated in the yolk so be sure to include the whole egg in your omelet.
Related: How Organic Are Those Eggs?
The Good News: The choline in eggs helps keep your memory sharp while increasing the release of acetylcholine—a neurotransmitter that helps your brain store and recall information better. Eggs from hens raised outside on grass pastures also contain more omega-3 fatty acids that help power your brain.
Bonus Tip: Find a farmer who raises birds on pasture and supplements with organic feed. Eggs from chickens raised on grass produce eggs with much vitamin E—which scientists believe could help protect you from developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Related: 11 Foods That Make You Smarter
The Good News: Eggs are a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin—antioxidants that help stave off macular degeneration and cataracts—just be sure to eat the yolks!
Bonus Tip: For an even more potent eye-protecting meal, mix lutein- and zeaxanthin-rich kale or spinach into your omelet.
Related: 6 Healthy Fats You Should Eat
The Good News: Here’s a delicious way to lose weight! Researchers from Louisiana State University found that when obese people choose an egg breakfast over bagels at least five times a week, they lost 65 percent more weight. And Saint Louis University scientists discovered that eating eggs in the morning led to eating fewer calories throughout the rest of the day, too.
Bonus Tip: Organic, Animal Welfare Approved, and Certified Humane eggs ban the practice of routinely feeding antibiotics to hens.
Related: 7 Slim-Down Food Swaps
The Good News: You can help preserve old-school chicken breeds based on the eggs you choose to eat. Industrial farming generally uses one or two different hen breeds—which threatens the diversity of the species’ gene pool. Luckily, demand for heritage breed eggs is causing a surge in other breeds—some that were or are on the verge of extinction!
Bonus Tip: Search LocalHarvest.org to find farmers in your area that raise heritage breed hens out on pasture.