For many decades, there have been debates on whether consuming eggs is beneficial or a risk. A recent exhaustive study by Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, determined that eggs are good for overall health. Researchers initially thought that since eggs contain high cholesterol, there is an increased risk of heart attacks, coronary heart disease, and strokes. However, the study concluded that the only associated finding between high intake of eggs and cardiovascular risk is people with type 2 diabetes. These results are consistent to the American Heart Association 2019 cholesterol advisory and previous guidance from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
Eggs Contain a Variety of Brain Healthy Nutrients
- Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that is getting attention as a powerhouse in boosting brain health. Your brain converts chlorine into acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps brain cells communicate with each other. Studies have linked it to better memory and mental function. Many people don’t get enough choline in their diet. Eating eggs is an easy way to get choline, because egg yolks are among the most concentrated sources of this nutrient. Other food sources for chlorine include wheat germ and meats, especially organ meats such as liver.
- Eggs are a rich source of vitamins B6 and B12 which are important for brain health and development. It helps reduce your risk of dementia, heart disease, and cancer. B vitamins are linked to slowing the progression of mental decline for patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment.
- Folic acid, found in eggs, is important for the nervous system affecting mood and cognitive function especially in older people. Researchers have found that folate deficiency in the elderly increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
- The antioxidant lutein gives egg yolks their bright yellow color. Additionally, it boosts eye health by providing protection against diseases. Examples include cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. More recently, researchers have found a connection between lutein and better cognition across different domains like memory, language, and learning.
- The bad rap against eggs for years has been cholesterol. Despite its longstanding and misunderstood reputation, cholesterol plays a vital role in brain health. Your brain needs it to function properly. Both fish and seafood contain “good” cholesterol which is the most healthy. You can find that same cholesterol in egg yolk – so be sure to eat the whole egg!
How many eggs a day should you eat?
So how many eggs can you eat every day now knowing that they are jam-packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can boost your brain health? Scientists and nutritionists agree – everything in moderation. Researchers suggests that up to one egg a day is fine. Average it out over the week – you can certainly eat two eggs per breakfast, but just two or three times per week.
Here are some of my favorite egg recipes!
Interested in learning more about other brain healthy foods?
My series on Brain Boosting Superfoods covers all the top contenders, such as leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and seafood.
In 2009 my company, Senior Living Residences, launched our Brain Healthy Cooking Program in an effort to boost the brain and overall body health of seniors living in our Assisted Living communities. Our recipes are full of the foods, flavors and aromas of the Mediterranean. To enhance our knowledge of the Mediterranean Diet we forged a years-long affiliation with Oldways, a nonprofit organization well known for creating the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.