Eggs are just about the perfect ingredient for any meal. Not only are they delicious, they’re also packed with an impressive variety of nutrients and this makes them one of the healthiest foods to eat.
A standard egg contains 11 different vitamins and nutrients and is one of the best sources of choline available. This exceptional nutritional value is packed into just 300 kilojoules.
What Vitamins Are in Eggs?
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is important for growth, energy metabolism, red blood cell development, vision, and the healthy functioning of the nervous system. It is also an antioxidant nutrient.
The human body is unable to store riboflavin, which makes it important to consume the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). To make it easy, a serving of two eggs contains 24 percent of this RDI.
Vitamin D has an important role in calcium and phosphorus absorption, making it essential for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It also contributes to healthy muscle function and immune system maintenance.
Egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, making them a valuable source of this essential vitamin. In fact, a serving of two eggs provides 82 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin D.
Vitamin E has beneficial antioxidant properties that play a role in maintaining good health. It may be important for heart health, with studies linking it to lower rates of heart disease.
Studies have also found links between vitamin E and immune function, the prevention of certain cancers, a reduction in age-related eye disorders, and slowing cognitive decline associated with aging. An average serving of two eggs provides 20 percent of the RDI of vitamin E.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
Pantothenic acid, commonly called vitamin B5, plays a role in converting food into energy and breaking down fat. It also helps in the production of vitamin D.
Though uncommon, a deficiency in vitamin B5 can result in fatigue, irritability, numbness, and muscle cramps, among other symptoms. A serving of two eggs gives you 22 percent of the RDI of Pantothenic acid.
Vitamin B12 is essential in the formation of red blood cells, converting food into energy, and maintaining the healthy function of the immune and nervous systems.
Vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to fatigue, weakness, weight loss, decreased appetite, dizziness, constipation, and more. The human body is incapable of making vitamin B12 on its own, making it essential to consume foods high in this vitamin.
The recommended daily intake of B12 is about 2µg and a serving of two eggs fulfils 15 percent of this requirement.
Vitamin A is important in maintaining healthy skin, a functioning immune system, and eye health. A deficiency in vitamin A can cause hair loss, skin problems, dry eyes and an increased risk of infections.
The recommended daily intake for vitamin A is 750µg and consuming two eggs daily delivers 14 percent of this.
Other Nutrients Found in Eggs
Iron is an important mineral that produces haemoglobin, which in turn carries oxygen to tissues in your body. Iron is also essential in helping muscles store and use oxygen.
Despite its importance, an estimated one in eight Australians is iron deficient. Iron deficiency - one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world - can lead to a depleted supply of oxygen to tissues and organs, causing fatigue, headaches, insomnia, and appetite loss.
One large egg contains 0.9mg of iron, found predominantly in the yolk. An average serve of two eggs provides 14 percent of the RDI for iron.
Phosphorus is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, as well as cell membranes. It also contributes to energy metabolism and muscle growth. Low levels of phosphorus can result in a loss of appetite or bone pain.
Adults need around 1000mg of phosphorus per day. A serve of two eggs provides 21 percent of this requirement.
Folate is an important nutrient for everyone and in particular for pregnant women, helping to produce and maintain new cells and protect against serious birth defects, such as spina bifida. In men and women, folate contributes to healthy red blood cell formation and a working immune system.
It’s recommended an average adult consume about 200µg of folate daily (more in pregnancy). Eating two eggs will provide 49 percent of this RDI.
To find out more about eggs and pregnancy click here.
This essential mineral is required for your thyroid to produce hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate, as well as assist with cognitive function and brain development, and maintaining healthy skin.
Iodine deficiency can be common and lead to a number of problems such as swelling of the thyroid gland and fatigue.
Consuming just two eggs a day helps you reach 29 percent of your daily recommended iodine intake.
Although only required in trace amounts compared to other vitamins and minerals, selenium is an important antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage to cells in the body. Selenium supports the immune system, thyroid gland function, and the maintenance of healthy hair and nails.
Eggs are an excellent source of selenium, with an average serving of two eggs fulfilling 41 percent of the daily recommended intake.
What Is Choline and Why Is It Important?
Choline is a little-known yet important nutrient that plays a role in brain development and function.
It is also used by the body to help with liver and nerve function. This makes choline essential in prenatal human health as well as adulthood.
The human body can produce choline but not in the amounts needed daily by the body, meaning the rest of our needs can only be received through diet.
Eggs, in particular, have been found to be a major source of choline. Two eggs can provide 77 percent of a woman’s recommended daily intake and 59 percent of a man’s RDI.
For consumer-friendly information about choline in eggs click here.
Learn More About the Nutrients in Eggs
Want to know more about the nutritional value of eggs? Australian Eggs aims to provide everything you need to know about eggs. Learn more about the different nutritional benefits of eggs today.