Five nutrients you didn’t know were in eggsBy Egg Farmers of Canada
Canada’s Food Guide has gotten a makeover—a new version was released in January 2019, for the first time in over ten years.1 It’s sparked a conversation among Canadians about nutrition—how we can get the essential vitamins and nutrients we need to thrive.
As egg farmers, we’re proud of the product we create for Canadians to enjoy. Not just because buying eggs supports family farms. Not just because they create a brighter future for Canada’s small towns. We’re proud because eggs are a delicious delivery mechanism, offering 13 grams of high-quality protein and 14 essential vitamins and minerals per two eggs.
Here are five of the many nutrients found in eggs:
A 2012 Health Canada study found that many adults have inadequate intakes of vitamin A.2 It’s an important vitamin that helps to maintain healthy skin and eye tissue—meaning better night vision.3 It helps the immune system, the heart, the lungs and the kidneys to work properly.4 That’s one hard-working vitamin! And eggs are an excellent source of vitamin A.
This is another vitamin many Canadians aren’t getting enough of.5 But it’s also one whose benefits are well known. Vitamin D is key to strengthening healthy bones and teeth and may protect against certain cancers and auto-immune diseases.6 There are plenty of reasons to get your proper daily intake of vitamin D—and eggs can help you do it!
There’s a decent chance you haven’t heard of choline. Choline supports the development of children. Choline affects areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning.7 Yet one University of Toronto study found that 87% of pregnant women consumed less than the recommended amount of choline.8 But here’s the good news: researchers found that pregnant women who consumed at least one egg in a 24-hour period were eight times more likely to meet the recommendation for choline.9
Iron is an essential mineral for the sense of wakefulness and alertness we all need to get through a busy day. Iron’s main purpose is to carry oxygen in red blood cells, so they can produce energy.10 Without iron, we may feel fatigue. That’s why getting enough iron can help us tackle any challenge. Iron exists in two types: heme and non-heme. Since eggs contain both types of iron, the iron found in eggs is better absorbed by the body compared to plant-based foods that contain non-heme iron only.11
Lutein and zeaxanthin
A health challenge facing aging Canadians is visual impairment. Lutein and zeaxanthin can help Canadians fight back. They help prevent oxidation of the crystalline lens in your eyes, which can be a major cause of cataracts—these cataracts cloud the lens and lead to visual impairment.12 The human body does not naturally produce lutein and zeaxanthin, so eating foods that include these antioxidants is key—thankfully, the eggs you enjoy contain these important nutrients.13
Whether it’s protein, a low-calorie count or all the nutrients we talked about above, there’s so much to love about eggs! They’re a delicious delivery mechanism for a host of wholesome goodness, so get cracking and enjoy.
1 Canada’s Food Guide
2 Health Canada
3 Get Cracking
4 National Institutes of Health
5 Health Canada
6 Get Cracking
7 Zeisel SH. Choline: Critical role during fetal development and dietary requirements in adults. Annual Review of Nutrition 2006; 26:229-50.
8 Masih SP et al. Pregnant Canadian women achieve recommended intakes of one-carbon nutrients through prenatal supplementation but the supplement composition, including choline, requires reconsideration. Journal of Nutrition 2015 Aug; 145(8):1824-34.
9 Lewis ED et al. Estimation of choline intake from 24 h dietary intake recalls and contribution of egg and milk consumption to intake among pregnant and breastfeeding women in Alberta. British Journal of Nutrition 2014; 112(1):112-21.
10 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
11 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
12 American Optometric Association
13 American Optometric Association