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Eggs: A Tiny Superfood

Did you know that proper thyroid function requires a specific set of nutrients? It turns out, eggs contain almost all of the vitamins and minerals the body need to boost thyroid function and support thyroid health. Learn more about this connection below.
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If there was one thing you could add to your diet that would provide all the nutrients your thyroid needs to function properly, would you add it?

It turns out, this food does exist, and you have it in your refrigerator already. This superfood is the tiny egg!

Eggs are a powerful superfood that are particularly beneficial to thyroid health. Eggs contain nearly all of the nutrients that a thyroid needs to function properly and regulate the overall health and metabolism in the body. But that’s not all. Eggs also provide a wide range of other nutrient support that can help protect against strokes, facilitate weight loss, improve mental health, and even improve your eyesight. Learn more about this amazing superfood below:

What’s In an Egg?

Eggs contain a huge variety of nutrients that are beneficial for many of the body’s systems (more on that later). You will find the following ingredients in an egg:

  • Choline: 36.6 percent of recommended daily intake (DRI)
  • Selenium: 28 percent DRI
  • Biotin: 27 percent DRI
  • Vitamin B12: 23 percent DRI
  • Vitamin B2: 20 percent DRI
  • Iodine: 18 percent DRI
  • Vitamin B5: 14 percent DRI
  • Protein: 12.6 percent DRI
  • Phosphorus: 12.3 percent DRI
  • Vitamin D: 11 percent DRI
  • Vitamin E: 10 percent DRI
  • Vitamin A: 8.3 percent DRI

There are also trace amounts of many other nutrients in eggs, including: vitamin K, vitamin B3, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, omega-3 fats, vitamin B9, Manganese, vitamin B1, and more.

Eggs are one of the only foods which contain all forms of vitamin B. Just by eating two eggs, a person can receive a quarter of their daily protein intake, and over 80 percent of choline intake (necessary for the health of the nervous system).

The Role of Egg Nutrients in the Body

Although eggs contain over 80 nutrients, we are going to focus on the largest nutrient groups listed above.

Protein 

The protein in an egg is the most usable form of protein in the body, called HBV protein, or high biological value protein. The World Health Organization actually uses egg protein as the benchmark for evaluating the protein content in other foods. Egg protein contains a large amount of amino acids, which are used to make protein. Protein is essential in the body and is used to make muscles, help the brain function properly, and generally forms the building blocks for all bodily systems.

B Vitamins

Eggs are one of the only foods which contain all B vitamins, including choline, which is sometimes placed under the B vitamin label. Eggs have the highest level of choline of any food. The recommended daily intake of choline is around 500 mg. One egg provides 100 mg of this vital nutrient. Choline is used to regulate the nervous system, and the other B vitamins are essential for many other bodily systems, particularly the thyroid, brain, and the immune system.

Minerals

Eggs do not provide the highest level of minerals in the diet, but they do contain a variety of minerals that can be difficult to get from other foods. Eggs contain high levels of selenium and iodine. These are essential nutrients commonly found in seafood and dairy. For someone who avoids dairy or seafood, eggs are one of the richest natural sources for these two nutrients. In the body, selenium is used to protect mental health and iodine is absolutely crucial for efficient thyroid functioning. Eggs also contain phosphorus, which is beneficial for strengthening bones and teeth. Magnesium, zinc, and manganese, found in eggs, support total body and thyroid health.

Bone and Tooth Supporting Nutrients

Eggs are a natural source of vitamin A, D, K, and essential minerals like magnesium and phosphorous, which as essential for building healthy bones and teeth. Eggs have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin D in any non-seafood food source. For individuals who do not eat seafood regularly, eggs are one of the best sources for vitamin D.

Omega-3 Fats

Eggs are naturally a high source of omega-3 fats. Chickens fed with omega-3 fats and pasture-raised chickens (not pasteurized chickens) contain high levels of omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are supportive of brain health, the immune system, and the control of inflammation in the body which can place stress on the thyroid. Without seafood in the diet, eggs are one of the few large sources of omega-3 fats. 

Studies on the Benefits of Eggs

Eggs are beneficial to the body in many different ways. Take a look at the following studies that examined the effects of eggs.

Eggs and Cholesterol

For many years, health officials recommended avoiding eggs because they are high in cholesterol. While this is true, in general, the cholesterol that you eat has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. This is because when you eat cholesterol, the body produces less. In fact, only about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body comes from food.

In a study conducted by the University of Connecticut in 2006, it was found that egg consumption did not raise cholesterol levels in 70 percent of people, and in the other 30 percent, it only raised the “good” cholesterol, HDL. Other studies have found no additional risk of developing stroke or heart disease from consuming eggs.

There are a few exceptions to these findings. Individuals with genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia or a gene type called ApoE4 can be adversely effected by egg consumption. Talk with a medical professional if you have these conditions. Additionally, individuals with egg allergies should avoid eating eggs.

Eggs and Cancer

Some studies in the past linked egg consumption with an increased risk for cancer, particularly colon cancer. Other studies, however, have shown that a diet higher in egg consumption can decrease a person’s risk for developing breast cancer or prostate cancer.

Eggs and Eye Health

Eggs contain a variety of nutrients that are beneficial for eye health. Notably, eggs contain two antioxidants called lutein and zeazanthin which build up the retina of the eye, according to a 1997 study conducted by the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center. These antioxidants also reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Eggs also contain high levels of vitamin A, which can prevent blindness.

Eggs and Mental Health

Eggs contain vitamin D, selenium, and choline- which are all important nutrients for mental health. Selenium is one of the nutrients that fights depression and has a positive impact on mental health. Choline is also used in the brain to regulate the nervous system. Vitamin D is not only used in the immune system, but is also vital to protecting against depression and other degenerative mental diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Eggs and the Thyroid

The Thyroid is essential for hormone regulation in the body and is responsible for metabolism, energy levels, and more. The thyroid is responsible for helping to regulate nearly all systems in the body. However, many individuals have sluggish thyroids, caused generally by an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Part of the reason why many people have thyroid issues today is due to the lack of nutrients in the modern diet. The thyroid requires a variety of nutrients, and eggs contain many of them.

Essential Thyroid Nutrients 
  • Zinc
  • Iodine
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Omega-3 fats
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin A, E, and C

All of these nutrients, aside from vitamin C, are present in eggs. This makes an egg a powerful thyroid booster.

How to Choose Eggs

All eggs are beneficial, but just like most foods, the higher the quality the more benefit they will provide to you. It is difficult to choose exactly the right kind of healthy egg today, because many of the labels on egg packages are not closely regulated, so there is really not much way to tell if a chicken was actually raised in a healthy manner. That is why the absolute best way to determine the health of an egg is to purchase local eggs from a farmer that practices pasture-raising. These chickens will provide the healthiest eggs.

But what can you do to choose high-quality eggs from a grocery store? There are a few things you can look for:

Label Keywords

Look for labels that state “pasture raised” and “certified human.” You can also look for organic eggs fed a vegetarian diet. Some farmers even avoid feeding their chickens grain, which may provide additional benefit. According to a review by Mother Earth News, a pasture-raised egg contained: 3 times more vitamin E 2 times more omega-3 fats 2/3 times more vitamin A 7 times more beta carotene

Smaller Farms

Look for sellers that come from smaller farms. In general, a smaller farm will take better care of its chickens.

How Many Eggs are Safe to Eat?

Although there is no existing regulation for the line between safe egg consumption and non-safe egg consumption, most studies have been done on individuals who eat between 2 and 3 eggs per day. More eggs than that could be safe for someone who is not allergic to eggs, is not diabetic, and is otherwise healthy with normal cholesterol levels. However, anyone suffering from health problems may want to avoid eating more than three eggs a day.

Eggs and Your Thyroid Health

Eggs are a unique product that can benefit the thyroid. In fact, since eggs contain so many thyroid-benefiting nutrients, you can consider them to be large thyroid-regulation pills. If you suffer from a sluggish thyroid, eating 2-3 eggs a day can help re-build the nutrients in your body that have a positive impact on the thyroid. Obviously, eating eggs is probably not enough to completely reverse a sluggish thyroid, but they are a great addition to any thyroid-boosting diet plan. In combination with eating eggs, you may find it beneficial to supplement with thyroid-supporting nutrients until your thyroid is back on track.

Sources


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/07/hard-boiled-eggs.aspx

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/latest-research-health-benefits-eggs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/30/health-benefits-of-eggs-yolks_n_2966554.html

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