Eggs are one of the most versatile foods out there - but are they good for you? Specifically, are they good for the gut? Here we will discuss all of the amazing health benefits these natural wonders can provide.
Firstly, as long as you don’t have an intolerance to eggs, they are one of the more easily digestible foods out there. In fact, they are recommended when you have an upset stomach as they are so gentle on the gut.1
Eggs include 7 grams of protein, making them one of the highest protein sources along with milk and meats.
They also include 5 grams of healthy fats, 1.6 grams of saturated fat and a host of iron, vitamins and minerals; all this for only 75 calories per egg!2 Eggs include all 9 essential amino acids, making them a “complete” protein source.11
Who Should Eat Eggs for Gut Health?
Eggs can be beneficial for anyone - they are packed with nutrients including their high protein content. Protein encourages your gut to produce more stomach acid which is important for breaking down food.3
If your body cannot break down food properly, you may suffer digestive issues such as excess gas, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and stomach pain.
Getting enough protein can also help to heal and maintain your intestinal lining,4 which is essential to prevent leaky gut syndrome.
With this condition, food and toxins can leak out of the damaged intestinal lining, into the bloodstream and cause illness. Eggs are high in vitamin D, which is really useful for gut health, particularly in those with leaky gut syndrome.5
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are both forms of irritable bowel disease - digestive diseases that come with many digestive issues. Eggs can be really gentle on the stomachs of those with IBD conditions - in fact, many IBD sufferers report that eggs are the most tolerable form of protein for them.1
Those with IBD do often have very specific dietary needs and eggs won’t be a tolerable protein source for everyone, but for many, it can be.
How is it Best to Consume Eggs?
Adding eggs to a salad can be a really great way to eat them. Eggs help you to absorb other vitamins, including vitamin E - a prevalent vitamin in salads. Studies have shown that adding egg to a salad can increase how much vitamin E your body actually consumes, processes and absorbs from the salad.6
Processed eggs often contain gluten, making them difficult to digest for those with gluten intolerance and dangerous for those with a gluten allergy. For those without gluten intolerance, processed eggs can still be good for you.1
It is advised to check the other ingredients in the processed egg, as often there is a high salt content in processed foods for added flavour.
Who Shouldn’t Eat Eggs?
In moderation, as long as there’s no intolerance, eggs can be a great source of nutrition. If over-eaten, they can of course cause health issues just like every food. No food is inherently good or bad - just more or less nutritious, and even the most nutritious foods are harmful if consumed in excess.
If eggs are consumed in excess, they can be linked to cardiovascular issues due to their high cholesterol content, which increases the risk of stroke or heart disease.7
How are Eggs and High Cholesterol Linked?
An average egg contains around 186mg of cholesterol, and it is recommended to stay under 300mg per day to avoid high cholesterol issues.
If you are regularly consuming far more than this amount within all the food and drink you consume, you may be at risk of having high cholesterol. However, all of the cholesterol is within the egg yolk, so consuming egg whites will not raise your cholesterol levels.8
Having a healthy gut is crucial to keep bad cholesterol levels down in the body. There are two types of cholesterol; LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol). HDL collects up the LDL and transports it to the liver, where the liver can then dispose of it and stop it from circulating in the body.9
Evidence has shown that a healthy gut microbiome increases the levels of HDL in the body, helping to keep bad cholesterol levels down.10
To keep your gut microbiome healthy, you can take a probiotic supplement such as our supplement Gut Care to add new species of live bacteria to the gut, allowing it to be diverse and healthy ready to fight off that bad cholesterol.
Overall, for most people, eggs are a really nutritious food to include regularly in their diet. Just like any food, consuming them in excess can be harmful, but in moderation, they can have many benefits for the gut and overall health.
One final tip regarding eggs is to always cook them! About 1 in 20,000 eggs contain salmonella, which can make you seriously ill.12
Cooking eggs removes the risk of salmonella harming the body, and although 1 in 20,000 may sound low, you never know which egg will be the contaminated one.