Eggs are something most of us eat on a regular basis and are often the first thing that comes to mind when we envision a healthy, satiating breakfast. The best thing about them is that they are healthy, providing excellent amounts of protein, rich in all essential amino acids for brain and nervous system health, and are an important source of essential vitamins and minerals.
Eggs are also quite generous sources of fat, cholesterol and have a moderate calorie content, all of which contribute to good general health when you eat them in moderation. Yet so many people are hesitant to include eggs in their diet because they don’t know how eggs as food will impact their health. Many people are concerned about the cholesterol content of eggs, and egg yolk in particular, and how even a reasonable intake will affect their health, whether it’s cardiovascular health, weight or some other aspect.
Eggs are regarded with suspicion even when it comes to conditions of the gastrointestinal tract such as gastritis, acid reflux disease or GERD and associated heartburn, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive conditions. Are eggs really bad for digestive conditions, or are they good?
Believe it or not, despite all the fuss about their high cholesterol content, eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat for good health in general, including cardiovascular health. The only rule is to eat them in moderation which goes for any food, really. Eggs are especially good to eat for conditions affecting the digestive system, from gastritis and acid reflux disease to irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids.
So if you were wondering whether you can or should eat eggs if you are dealing various digestive conditions, know that they are a safe food to eat and the least likely to cause stomach upset in any form, or flareups. Provided, of course, intakes are reasonable. Read below to find out what are the major digestive system disorders that could benefit from a reasonable intake of eggs.
1) Eggs and hemorrhoids
Contrary to popular opinion, eggs are not bad for hemorrhoids. Actually, they are one of the few foods that don’t upset hemorrhoids, even though they have no dietary fiber to help improve stool consistency and frequency. They are however a generous source of fat, and also cholesterol which is basically like a fat.
Eating fats is good for hemorrhoids. Sufficient fat in the diet helps relieve constipation and improves the consistency of stools, helping achieve soft stools that are also easy to pass. Reducing strain during bowel movements benefits hemorrhoids tremendously.
How much fat in eggs? 100 grams of poached eggs have 9.5 grams of fat, while 100 grams of hard boiled eggs have 10.6 grams of fat. Each provides 370 milligrams of cholesterol. Find out what to eat with poached eggs that’s healthy and what to eat with boiled eggs.
So while 100 grams of egg, which is roughly two small eggs at 50 grams each, provides no dietary fiber to add bulk to stools and regulate transit, and supplies more than the recommended daily intake of cholesterol which is 300 milligrams for the average adult, it provides benefits for hemorrhoids via a good fat content. However, in order to prevent the side effects associated with eating too much fat and too much cholesterol, it is important to eat eggs in moderation. Find out what are the best foods to eat for hemorrhoids.
2) Eggs and gastritis
What makes eggs good for gastritis is their lack of dietary fiber. Under normal circumstances, getting plenty of fiber in the diet is good for you, but not if you have gastritis. The digestive condition essentially consists in the inflammation of the stomach lining and dietary fiber, which is fermenting and indigestible, can work up the stomach and cause more gastric acid to be secreted which adds to the irritation of the stomach lining and upsets the stomach even more.
This is why foods extremely high in protein, but not in fat, and lacking fiber, such as eggs and lean meat (e.g. chicken breast, turkey breast), are often good to eat when you have gastritis. Of course, paired with highly absorbent foods such as bread, white rice and white pasta. These types of foods help calm symptoms of gastritis all the while not triggering the production of too much gastric juices which allows the stomach lining to repair itself.
In fact, it is strongly recommended to limit fiber intake and consume a rather bland diet when looking to treat gastritis. For the most part, a gastritis diet will include things like lean chicken meat, lean turkey, white fish and eggs as the main sources of protein and fat. Absorbent refined grains for the carbohydrate part of the diet include white bread, plain crackers, white pasta and white rice whose main benefits are they absorb the excess stomach acid and limit stomach acidity. See more benefits of eating white rice.
As for vegetables that are good to eat for gastritis, as in safe, options such as carrots, spinach and cooked leafy greens in general, potatoes, zucchini and a few others are typically well tolerated. These provide some fiber to the diet and, more important, good nutrition, but have the benefit of not working up the stomach thanks to their makeup. Everything must be boiled and steamed for the most part – raw and fried foods are bad for gastritis.
While bland and not quite varied, this is the best diet for gastritis because it provides protein, carbohydrates and fat for macronutrient balance, some cholesterol needed for the nervous system and the endocrine system, as well as good amounts of essential vitamins and minerals and low amounts of fiber, just enough to advance good health, but not too much to cause side effects in gastritis. And eggs are one food that best meets the requirements for a gastritis diet, again, consumed in moderation.
3) Eggs in acid reflux and heartburn
Eggs can be a good food to eat if you have acid reflux disease and heartburn, provided they are consumed in moderation and cooked lightly (soft boiled, hard boiled, poached and even scrambled). Eggs don’t have dietary fiber to irritate an already sensitive stomach lining, and one or two eggs in the morning every other day won’t get you too much fat.
Not just this, but they aren’t too heavy on the stomach either so they don’t trigger nausea or the reflux of stomach juices and associated heartburn. Overall, eating eggs is good in acid reflux and heartburn, but it is important to cook them lightly and especially avoid using fats to cook them. Discover what other foods to eat for acid reflux.
It’s important to know that eggs are best eaten in the morning for breakfast. The body will have an easier time digesting and burning through the protein and fat in the eggs, not to mention they’ll keep you energized and satiated for hours. Eating eggs in the evening can feel heavy on the stomach, especially with acid reflux disease. Towards the end of the day, your body requires lighter meals that can be digested more easily, before you go to sleep, not satiating meals full of protein and fat that need plenty of time to get digested, and also require standing up and being active to avoid acid reflux and heartburn.
In addition cooking your eggs as recommended so that they are easier on the stomach, which helps a lot when you have acid reflux disease or gastritis, it may also be helpful to choose some egg varieties over others. For example, chicken eggs are a good choice in general if you have acid reflux disease, while duck and goose eggs may prove too heavy on the stomach because of their higher egg yolk content and higher fat content.
See the nutrition of one duck egg, boiled, with daily values. Also read up on the different types of eggs on the eggs page and discover the nutritional properties and benefits of the different varieties.
4) Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and eggs
Irritable bowel syndrome, IBS, is essentially a digestive condition that groups one or more of the following symptoms: change in bowel movements routine, diarrhea or constipation, alternating between the two, abdominal cramps, bloating and one or more associated conditions (fatigue, headaches, depression, anxiety and more).
Despite being a difficult condition to diagnose and treat, good results have been obtained with the help of a diet called FODMAP used to classify foods based on how they affect digestion. Basically foods are grouped in high FODMAP foods which are to be avoided or consumed in limited amounts with IBS and low FODMAP foods which are good to eat for irritable bowel syndrome.
Eggs are a low FODMAP food, meaning they are essentially good for irritable bowel syndrome, as in well tolerated, so less likely to trigger symptoms or worsen the condition. The recommendations provided in the FOODMAP diet are meant to help people with IBS better control their symptoms and prevent flareups by providing detailed insight into which foods are good and which are bad for the condition.
How many eggs should you eat though?
How many eggs is it safe to eat per day and per week? There are numerous recommendations as to how many eggs you can and should eat per day and per week, most of which are supported by good arguments and come from reputed nutrition experts. However, there is not one recommendation that fits all diet and people.
If you eat clean and healthy overall, that is, avoid processed foods, consume lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and predominantly lean meat, but in moderate amounts, red only occasionally, then you could easily have one or two eggs every day and enjoy great health overall.
If you don’t have the best of diets, eat lots of processed food, lots of red meat, fatty fish, have fried foods often etc., then it’s possible that even as little as three or four eggs a week could add too much fat and cholesterol to your diet and potentially increase your risks of heart disease, diabetes etc. or flare up existing conditions. And it’s not from the eggs, but from the diet as a whole.
It’s all about balance and you have to consider your diet as it is now in order to be able to tell what eating a few eggs every day or every week could mean for your specifically in terms of health effects. Just as important, know your body: if two poached eggs in the morning help you feel energized and keep you satiated and satisfied till lunch, then eggs are a good food for you.
But if you experience nausea after eating just one egg, feel like it’s weighing heavy on your stomach, or you start to burp and your burps have an egg flavor or smell to them, then eating eggs might not be good for you. Or they might not be good for you the way you are cooking them now. Or your current diet might require some revisions before introducing eggs.
Strictly on the topic of digestive disorders, eating eggs in moderation is generally good for gastritis, acid reflux disease, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive conditions. Provided, of course, intake is reasonable.