World over, eggs are a great recommendation for breakfast because they are not only quick to prepare but for their filling properties and abundant nutrients. One egg can contain 72 calories, vitamins A, B5, B12, D, E, K, B6, Folate, Phosphorus, Selenium, Calcium, Zinc and healthy fat.
Lydia Aisu Pedun, a dietitian, says although hard boiled eggs are not that nutritious, frying is the worst way to eat eggs.
Eggs contain nutrients that are good for building the retina of the eye and these nutrients are mainly contained in the egg yolk. “The yolk contains vitamin A, and the minerals lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc, which are vital for eye health. While Vitamin A safeguards the cornea, the minerals prevent eye macular degeneration and age related loss of sight and cataracts, a clouding that usually develops on the lens of the eye,” Pedun says.
Eggs are an important food for the brain according to Amanda Twebaze, a nutritionist. They provide nutrients essential for proper brain function in terms of mental activity and the nervous system. They also help maintain the structure of brain cell membranes and helps transmit messages from the brain to nerves and muscles.
“Egg yolks are one of the most important foods for proper brain health because they provide a rare nutrient called choline, which serves a number of basic brain functions. The nutrient also assists in the brain development of a baby while in the womb and protects them against brain defects,” Twebaze says.
Eggs are essentially protein and so they could be a great option to use as you alternate them with other proteins at breakfast time. Proteins help to keep our muscle structure intact and since you are active during the day, the muscles tone up and strengthen.
Eggshells provide calcium for muscle health and bone growth and can be eaten if cleaned well and ground into a smooth powder.
“Whereas the egg white has good quality protein that helps to build and tone muscle, the egg yolk has cholesterol, which is important for your body’s cell and nerve structures,” Twebaze says. She adds that shells are also eaten to help boost calcium levels in our bodies. These can be crushed to form a powder, which can be sprinkled on ready food or put in hot water.
Other benefits include building healthy muscles, supplying you with energy and aiding weight loss because eggs keep you satisfied for a long time.
How to boil the eggs
Twebaze says it is okay to make your eggs in different was as each unique cooking style has something different it adds. If you are looking at low cholesterol diets though, you might need to cut down on eating too much yolk.
“For example, boiled eggs give you a flavourful egg yolk while omelettes and scrambled eggs allow you to add other vegetables such as onions and carrots, which are healthy. However, use healthy ingredients such as olive oil, coconut oil, organic vegetables and herbs such as chives, rosemary and black pepper,” she says.
According to Aisu, boiling the egg for long makes them hard to digest yet if it is boiled for a short time, it exposes one to food poisoning. She adds that soft boiled eggs are the healthiest option since all of the good nutrients in the egg yolk are preserved. When boiling, make sure that the water does not bubble so vigorously to reduce the risk of cracking the shell.
“After seven minutes, the yolk is runny and the white is firm. After eight minutes, the yolk is jammy and soft but not liquid. At 10 minutes, the egg is cooked but slightly soft in the centre. Between 12 and 13 minutes, the egg will be fully hard boiled and not over cooked. Beyond this time, the egg becomes hard to digest. Note that smaller eggs cook faster than larger ones so the standard time given in this case is for larger eggs,” Aisu says.
Raw eggs may be good since all the nutrients are untouched, but not the best because raw eggs usually contain salmonella bacteria that causes food poisoning.
Scrambled eggs would be a healthy dish because all the B vitamins and vitamin D remain intact but when butter, cheese or cream are added, it increases the calories, cholesterol, and fat content.