Goodness of Eggs

Goodness of Eggs2016-11-18T10:25:18+00:00

As part of a balanced diet, eggs contribute to a healthy digestive tract and can be helpful during acute digestive problems. In addition to being packed with nutrients, eggs are usually easy to digest compared to some other high-protein foods, such as meat and legumes.

Due to their sulphur content, eggs can contribute to intestinal gas for some individuals, but they are beneficial for other digestive symptoms. When experiencing acute diarrhea, eggs are a more tolerable protein option than beans, nuts, or fried meat.1 Fresh eggs are ideal, because some processed egg and substitute products contain gluten, an ingredient that celiac disease patients must avoid at all times to avoid disease symptoms.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which mainly includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is one of the most serious digestive diseases. Patients sometimes experience pain and diarrhea during a disease flare. While diet is very individualized, IBD patients frequently report that eggs are one of the most tolerable sources of protein for them. This is important because maintaining a balanced diet and avoiding malnutrition is a challenge for some of these patients, especially while experiencing frequent or prolonged disease flares.

Eggs are also an excellent source of methionine, an essential amino acid.2 Amino acids are the raw materials the body uses to manufacture human proteins, which are vital components of all human cells. Our bodies can only obtain essential amino acids through food or supplements (as opposed to through synthesis, such as the way our bodies produce vitamin D by absorbing sunlight). Methionine is an antioxidant and detoxifier. Research suggests that methionine deficiency could contribute to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which fat accumulates in the cells of the liver (hepatocytes), eventually damaging this vital organ.3

Manufacturers often enrich eggs with omega-3 fatty acids, another type of essential nutrient. Researchers have found that a high dietary intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), one of the three omega-3 fatty acids, is associated with a 77% reduction in the chance of developing ulcerative colitis.4

From helping us avoid ulcerative colitis and liver disease to providing a nutritious source of protein during diarrhea symptoms, eggs are often a terrific choice for digestive health.


First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 190 – 2014
1. Flesher M. Diarrhea and Diet. Inside Tract®. 2003;139. Available at http://www.badgut.org/information-centre/health-nutrition/diarrhea-and-diet/. Accessed 2014-07-18.
2. Methionine. Inside Tract®. 2003;135. Available at http://www.badgut.org/information-centre/health-nutrition/folic-acid-and-methionine/. Accessed 2014-07-18.
3. Oz HS et al. Methionine Deficiency and Hepatic Injury in a Dietary Steatohepatitis Model. Digestive Diseases and Science. 2008;53(3): 767–776. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2271115/. Accessed 2014-06-25.
4. The IBD in EPIC Study Investigators. Linoleic acid, a dietary n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, and the aetiology of ulcerative colitis: a nested case-control study within a European prospective cohort study. Gut. 2009;58:1606-1611.