Nutrients In Eggs

Eggs are a nutrient goldmine!

One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, all for 70 calories.

While egg whites contain some of the eggs’ high-quality protein, riboflavin and selenium, the majority of an egg’s nutrient package is found in the yolk. Nutrients such as:

  • Vitamin D, critical for bone health and immune function. Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D.
  • Choline, essential for normal functioning of all cells, but particularly important during pregnancy to support healthy brain development of the fetus.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that develops with age.

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Eggs: The “Whole” Story


While eggs are commonly associated with breakfast and protein, many individuals aren’t aware of the nutrient package the whole egg provides. This includes a variety of important vitamins and minerals required for the body to maintain health. In fact, a majority of these nutrients are found in the yolk, so today’s post focuses on the nutrient contribution of the egg’s sunny center.

From magazine recipes to restaurant menus, egg white options are everywhere.  However, it’s important to know what is lost when skipping the yolk. At least a portion of the following nutrients are found in part in the yolk and, in some cases, entirely in the yolk alone:

  • Vitamin A and Vitamin E: these fat-soluble vitamins act as antioxidants. Vitamin A also plays a part in supporting our immune system and eye health.
  • Vitamin D and Phosphorus: both of these nutrients work to promote bone health and structure, among other things such as immune function and DNA development.
  • Vitamins B12 and B6: the B-vitamins have many roles within the body and are necessary for energy metabolism, immune function, and production of DNA and red blood cells.
  • Iron: without iron, adequate oxygen would not reach our body’s cells. Helping with cell growth and immune function are other roles of this mineral.
  • Choline and Folate: these minerals are important for normal cell functioning and cell division. Choline assists with fetal brain development during pregnancy and folate helps prevent birth defects.
  • Zinc (0.4 mg): this mineral is key for immune functioning and wound healing, and it also helps with growth and development in childhood and during pregnancy.

In addition to these important vitamins and minerals, the egg yolk also contains 2.7 grams, almost half, of the egg’s high quality protein as well as antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.


Stay Informed, Stay Certified: Continuing Education Available from the Egg Nutrition Center

In an effort to keep health professionals updated on the latest in credible nutrition research, the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) provides easy access to valuable continuing education opportunities. In fact, ENC is currently showcasing the two outstanding webinars highlighted below:

Dietary Patterns for Cardiometabolic Health: Unscrambling the Guidance
David Katz, MD

Bringing together two hot topics in today’s food and nutrition environment, this webinar takes a step back to assess the impact of food patterns on cardiometabolic health as well as the prevention of diseases and chronic conditions that health professionals commonly see in their patients. Dr. David Katz, a board-certified specialist in preventative medicine and public health, clinical instructor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, and founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, takes viewers through the latest research on the health effects of the diet’s macronutrient content as well as the trends in consumption in the recent past. Dr. Katz clearly translates science into practical dietary guidance that health professionals can use with clients and patients.

This webinar is approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for 1 CPEU.


Building a Better Breakfast with High-Quality Protein and Produce
Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD
While health professionals are well aware of the importance of breakfast, research continues to build on the benefits of fueling in the morning, which include boosts in nutrient adequacy of the diet, satiety and improvement in various markers of health. In this webinar, award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist Neva Cochran discusses the latest research on the health outcomes associated with eating breakfast. She also provides simple suggestions to help patients and clients create a daily nutrient-rich breakfast that combines high-quality protein with fruits and vegetables.

This webinar is approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for 1 CPEU.

For more information and useful resources on these and other topics, check out ENC’s Patient/Client Education Materials.

Nutrient Spotlight: Vitamin E


As American Heart Month winds down, it’s a great time to remind patients and clients of the precautionary measures that can be taken year-round to prevent heart disease and improve one’s overall health. Beyond cutting back on sodium and unhealthy fats, a heart-healthy diet is also about incorporating foods that are rich in nutrients, offering a variety of health benefits.

Today’s post focuses on Vitamin E, a nutrient with beneficial antioxidant properties that may be important to heart health (1). In addition to being associated with lower rates of heart disease, Vitamin E is also involved in immune function and has been linked with prevention of some cancers, reduction of age-related eye disorders (i.e. macular degeneration, cataracts) and slowing cognitive decline/dementia (2).

Evidence that vitamin E could help prevent or delay coronary heart disease (CHD) comes from several sources – in vitro studies have found that the nutrient inhibits oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, a crucial initiating step for atherosclerosis (3). Vitamin E might also help prevent the formation of blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or venous thromboembolism (3).

Recently, concerns have been raised regarding the safety of Vitamin E supplementation, particularly in high doses (4). The best way to get all the health benefits of vitamin E is to include natural foods sources of Vitamin E in the diet. The adult RDA for Vitamin E is 15mg – which can easily be achieved through diet alone (2). The top sources of Vitamin E include nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables and whole grains. Eggs also contain Vitamin E (0.5mg per large egg) in addition to 13 other essential vitamins and minerals.

The easy recipe below is a good example of a vitamin E-rich salad combining leafy greens, tomatoes and eggs to deliver a heart-healthy, nutrient-rich meal.

Mixed Greens Salad with Eggs (pictured above)  

Makes 4 Servings


  • 1 Package (7 to 9 ounces) baby lettuce mix
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 Hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges
  • ½ cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Divide lettuce evenly among 4 serving plates
  • Top each with 1 sliced tomato and 4 egg wedges
  • Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese

Nutrition Information

Calories: 141, Total Fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1g, Monounsaturated fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 194mg, Sodium: 157mg, Carbohydrates: 6g, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Protein: 12g, Vitamin A: 877.7IU, Vitamin D: 43.5IU, Folate: 31.3mcg, Calcium: 132.5mg, Iron: 1mg, Choline: 116.8mg


(1)    Verhagen H, Buijsse B, Jansen E, Bueno-de-Mesquita B. The state of antioxidant affairs. Nutr Today 2006;41:244-50.
(2)    Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin E. Retrieved from
(3)    National Academy Press. Dietary Reference Intakes: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids.Retrieved from
(4)    Mayo Clinic. Vitamin E. Retrieved from

Getting to the Heart of Healthy Fats


saladAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, with one out of every three deaths resulting from heart disease or stroke (1). As American Heart Health Month kicks off this week, now is the perfect time to speak with your clients about the ways they can make heart-healthy choices every day, particularly with regard to dietary fat.

The American Heart Association recommends that 25-35%of a person’s daily calories come from fats, with less than 7%of calories coming from saturated fat and less than 1%from trans-fat (2). Most dietary fat consumed should be monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fats, as they help maintain healthy blood lipid levels. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as avocados, olive oil and peanut butter and have been shown to provide additional benefits, such as improving insulin levels and blood sugar control (3).

Eggs can also be a great source of these healthier fats, with 1.8g of monounsaturated fat and 1.0g of polyunsaturated fat in each large egg. It’s also important to pair eggs with other good-for-you foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. To build a nutritious plate, vegetables can be added to easy egg dishes, like casseroles, quiche, or on salads.

For more information to help your clients build simple, nutritious meals –check out the education resources and recipes based on MyPlate, which are available for download on the ENC website.   In addition, our friends at the Mediterranean Foods Alliance recently released Fresh Fridays Begin with Breakfast in their Fresh Fridays e-newsletter and featured the Italian Vegetable Custard.

Here is an easy recipe combining avocados and eggs, along with veggies to deliver a tasty meal that’s rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Tomato & Avocado Egg Salad (pictured above)

Makes 6 Servings


  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 avocadoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley OR cilantro
  • Spinach OR lettuce leaves
  • Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp.  sour cream
    • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce


  • Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Reserve and refrigerate 6 center slices from eggs for garnish. Chop remaining eggs.
  • Combine chopped eggs, avocados, tomato, onion and parsley in a large bowl; toss gently to mix. Add dressing; stir gently until ingredients are evenly coated with dressing.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Serve on spinach leaves, garnished with egg slices.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 218, Total Fat: 17g, Saturated fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated fat: 3g, Monounsaturated fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 189mg, Sodium: 316mg, Carbohydrates: 10g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 8g, Vitamin A: 867.9IU, Vitamin D: 41.8IU, Folate: 89.6mcg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 1.5mg, Choline: 139.8mg, Vitamin C: 16.2mg.


  1. Heart Disease Facts In Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from
  2. Fats and Oils: AHA Recommendation. In American Heart Association. Retrieved from
  3. Mayo Clinic. Dietary fats: Know which types to choose. Retrieved from