Incorporating protein into your diet is a necessity to ensure you’re reaching your daily goals. Proteins are made up of amino acids– chemical building blocks that your body uses to build and repair muscles and bones and to make hormones and enzymes. They can also be used as an energy source, which is why it’s important to eat foods that consist of protein.
On average, you’re supposed to consume around 50 grams of protein per day, so it’s important to find a good source of protein that you can eat daily that will not only boost your protein intake but will also help your body in other ways. According to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, author of The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook, The 7 Ingredient Healthy Pregnancy Cookbook, and Fueling Male Fertility, the best protein you can eat every day is an egg.
“An egg is one protein source that can be consumed every day within the context of a heart-healthy dietary pattern, according to the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee science advisory,” says Manaker.
A heart-healthy dietary pattern is to ensure that you try to prevent and manage cardiovascular disease. It is the overall pattern of your choices that counts. Typically, a heart-healthy dietary pattern includes guidelines such as eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Plus, consuming whole grains and products made up mostly of whole grains, along with other dietary changes.
It also consists of eating healthy sources of protein, and eggs fall under that category. On average, one egg contains about 6 grams of protein (depending on the size of the egg). The egg, no matter the size, will always contain 125 milligrams of protein per gram. This means each egg is just under 13% of full protein. Protein is in both the egg white and the egg yolk, so—if your diet allows it—you should eat the whole egg to get the most of this muscle-building macronutrient.
However, if you need solely lean protein, you’re going to want to stick with just eating the egg whites, as egg whites consist of mostly protein with little to no fat. On the other hand, yolks are rich in protein but also contain cholesterol and other micronutrients like choline, calcium, and zinc. You’ll have to roughly double the number of eggs you use to get the same amount of protein as you would in a whole egg.
Eggs are also great for repairing the tears in your muscle tissue post-workout. Eat an egg after you’re done with your heavy lifting or intense cardio; it will help get you lean.
While this small food packs a protein punch, it’s also beneficial for other reasons.
“Not only does an egg provide high-quality protein, but it also is an economical protein choice that is also convenient and accessible,” says Manaker. “Eggs also provide key nutrients that many of us are not eating enough of, including choline, which supports brain health.”
When you eat an egg every day, it does wonders for your body. Its key nutrients have been linked to keeping your eyes, brain, and immune system healthy, and may also lower inflammation levels and support a decreased risk of metabolic disease. Not to mention your looks may feel the effect of eating eggs. Thanks to them being rich in nutrients like biotin, eggs may help your hair, skin, and nails grow strong.
Looking to incorporate an egg or two into your next meal? Check out the 5 Best Recipes to Shrink Belly Fat, Says Dietitian.