Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition in a handy little round package. These little guys are packed with many nutrients – they’re an excellent source of choline and selenium, and a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, phosphorous and riboflavin. In addition, eggs are rich in the essential amino acid, leucine.
Eggs contain zero carbs and no sugar. That means you can eat a well-rounded breakfast during the week without feeling round yourself. Eggs are also naturally gluten free!
Many individuals avoid eating egg yolks due to the bad rap they’ve been given through the years for their cholesterol content, but the latest studies have found that an egg yolk a day has no effect on cholesterol levels, even for people with elevated numbers.
Most of the vitamins and minerals in an egg are found in the yolk. The white of an egg contains about 60% of the egg’s total protein, with the remaining 40% found in the yolk. Additionally, fat and cholesterol in the egg yolk have fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D, E, A, choline, and the carotenoids lutein/zeaxanthin.
What the Nutrients in Eggs Do for Your Body
One large egg contains varying amounts of many essential vitamins and minerals. Here is a list of nutrients found in eggs and the benefits provided by each nutrient:
- Vitamin A: Maintains the skin, immune system and normal vision.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, vision and the nervous system.
- Vitamin B12: Aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, the immune system and the nervous system.
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Aids energy metabolism and mental functioning.
- Vitamin D: Keeps bones and teeth healthy and aids in the absorption of calcium. Eggs are one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D; one egg provides 10% of the Daily Value (41 IU).
- Vitamin E: Keeps the reproductive system, nervous system and muscles healthy.
- Biotin: Aids energy metabolism, maintains skin, hair and the immune system.
- Choline: Aids fat metabolism and liver function.
- Folic Acid: Aids blood formation and tissue growth during pregnancy.
- Iodine: Aids thyroid gland function, maintains the skin and nervous system.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Maintain normal vision and protect from age-related eye disease. Lutein and zeaxanthin are commonly found in the yolk.
- Phosphorus: Maintains bones and teeth, and aids energy metabolism.
- Protein: Needed for building and maintaining muscle, organs, skin and tissue, and producing antibodies, enzymes and hormones. Eggs provide all nine essential amino acids and 6g of protein per large egg.
- Selenium: Protects cells from oxidative damage, maintains the immune system and aids thyroid gland function.
Protein & Veggie Breakfast Muffins
Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 TOlive Oil
- 1 clove Garlic, Minced or Pressed
- 1/4 cup Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1/4 cup Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced
- 1 cup Spinach
- 3 Eggs, Beaten
- Pre-cooked Chicken Sausage, Sliced into Thin Coins
- Parchment Paper or Olive Oil Spray
- Add spinach and cook until wilted. Let cool and set aside.
- Slice pre-cooked chicken sausage and brown on each side over medium heat.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a muffin tin with parchment paper circles or muffin holders.
- In a medium bowl, beat 3 eggs. Once the sausage and veggies have cooled, add to egg mixture and combine.
- Divide evenly between the 4 muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Spicy Black Bean Breakfast Burrito
Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 T Canola oil
- 1 small White onion, chopped
- 1 Red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup Jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 cups Black beans, cooked
- 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- As needed Ground black pepper
- 1 cup Brown rice, cooked
- 1/2 cup Cilantro
- As desired Hot Sauce
- 4 Eggs
- 4 Egg whites
- 4 Whole wheat tortillas, 10-inch
- 1/2 cup Salsa Verde
- 1 Tomato, diced
- 2 Avocado, cubed
- As desired Light Sour cream
- As desired Pepper jack cheese, reduced fat, shredded
- For the beans: Heat the canola oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, red peppers, and jalapeno until onions are softened and peppers are slightly charred and caramelized (about 8 minutes). Add black beans and red pepper flakes and cook until warmed through (another 3 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a dish.
- For the brown rice: In a small bowl, mix the rice with cilantro and hot sauce, as desired. Set aside.
- For the eggs: Whisk together the eggs and egg whites in a small bowl. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and reheat the pan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add eggs, scrambling until cooked through (about 3 minutes).
- Assembly: Spread each tortilla with salsa then layer with some brown rice, 1/4 of the black bean mixture, 1/4 of the scrambled eggs, some diced tomato, and 1/4 of the avocado. Top with sour cream and cheese, as desired. Roll up burrito-style.
- Before serving, wrap in foil and warm in a 180°C oven for 12 to 15 minutes until warmed.
For a make-ahead version, after assembling, wrap the burrito in foil and store in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, set oven to 180°C and heat burritos for 12 – 15 minutes until warmed.