Eggs really are incredible food. That's good news for gluten-free cooks because eggs are a necessary ingredient in most gluten-free baked goods recipes. They bind gluten-free flours and starches, they thicken and flavor a multitude of sauces and of course, eggs are synonymous with traditional breakfasts.
But did you know that inside of this small, economical wonder, nature has packaged essential proteins called amino acids that support healthy immune function, maintain healthy muscle, skin, and hair and are necessary for the synthesis of enzymes and hormones? Yes, eggs are incredible.
Eggs are also a good source of B vitamins, Vitamin D, the trace minerals iodine, selenium and molybdenum, choline—a nutrient vital to brain function and cellular health and lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that support healthy vision.
Egg Stats From Usda National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference - 23
- One large egg contains 72 calories, 6.3 grams protein, 4.75 grams fat, 0.36 grams carbohydrates, and 71 mg sodium.
- One large egg is a rich source of choline. The yolk contains 125 mg.
- Eggs are also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two important nutrients that support eye health. One large egg contains 252 mcg.
- One large egg contains about 185 mg cholesterol (Note: The USDA revised the cholesterol content of an egg downward from earlier Standard Reference Data)
Eggs and Choline
Egg yolks, not whites are a rich source of choline. Choline is part of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which supports memory and helps your nervous system and muscles communicate with each other. Choline is also used in the structure of cell membranes and for healthy homocysteine levels, necessary for cardiovascular health. Obviously, choline is a VIP nutrient and eggs are an excellent dietary source of choline!
The recommended daily Adequate Intake (AI) for Choline:
Infants 0 to 6 months — Males 125 mg Females 125 mg
Infants 7 to 12 months — Males 150 mg Females 150 mg
Children 1 to 3 years — Males / Females 200 mg
Children 4 to 8 years — Males / Females 250 mg
Children 9 to 13 years — Males / Females 375 mg
Adolescents 14 to 18 years — Males 550 mg Females 400 mg
Adults 19 years and older — Males 550 mg Females 425 mg
Pregnancy All ages — 450 mg
Breastfeeding All ages — 550 mg
Researchers at Iowa State University studied the choline intake of people in the US and found that over 90% of Americans are deficient in choline! The results of their study, Choline in the Diets of the US Population were published in the FASEB Journal, 2007.
Eggs and Cholesterol
Eggs are known for their high cholesterol content. The good news is that research shows that dietary cholesterol isn't as much of a risk factor for cardiovascular disease as once thought. For most people, one egg a day will not adversely affect blood lipids or risks for heart disease.
According to the American Egg Board, "Several international health promotion organizations–including Health Canada, the Canadian Heart, and Stroke Foundation, the Australian Heart Foundation and the Irish Heart Foundation–promote eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet, recognizing that they make important nutritional contributions."
Adding naturally gluten-free, nutritious and economical eggs to a gluten-free diet is a delicious way to eat healthy while enjoying all the benefits of how eggs improve our gluten-free recipes.