Eggs are something most of us eat on a regular basis and are often the first thing that come 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 a source of important vitamins and minerals. They 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 eggs in moderation. Yet so many people are hesitant to include them into their diet because they don’t know if they are good or bad for gastritis, hemorrhoids, acid reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive conditions.
So are they? Believe it or not, despite all the fuss about their high-cholesterol content, eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, in moderation of course. They are especially good for conditions related to the digestive system, from gastritis to irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids. So if you are wondering whether you can or should eat eggs if you have various digestive conditions, know that they are a safe food to eat and the least likely to cause stomach upset in any form. Provided you eat them in moderation.
Here are all the major digestive system disorders that could benefit from a moderate intake of eggs:
1) Hemorrhoids. Contrary to what you may believe, 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. They are however a generous source of fat and cholesterol which is also basically a fat. Eating fats is good for hemorrhoids because it helps relieve constipation and allows for easy stools, reducing strain during bowel movements which benefits hemorrhoids. 100 g of poached eggs have 9.5 g of fat, while 100 g of hard boiled eggs have 10.6 g of fat and both have 370 mg of cholesterol.
So while 100 g of eggs (roughly two small eggs) provides no dietary fiber to add bulk to stools and regulate transit as well as supplies more than the recommended daily intake of cholesterol (300 mg for an average adult), it still can provide benefits for hemorrhoids thanks to its total fat content. However, in order to prevent side effects associated with eating too much fat and cholesterol, it is important to eat eggs in moderation. Read more about the best foods to eat for hemorrhoids.
2) Gastritis. What makes eggs good for gastritis is their lack of dietary fiber. Under normal circumstances, getting plenty of fiber is good for you, but not if you have gastritis. The condition is essentially caused by an irritated stomach lining and fiber with its fermenting action and indigestible nature can upset 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 are often good to eat when you have gastritis, helping calm symptoms and allowing the stomach lining to repair itself.
In fact, it is 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 lean chicken meat and eggs as the main sources of protein and fat, refined grains that provide carbohydrates and absorb the acidity and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, potatoes, zucchini and others that provide fiber. Everything must be boiled and steamed for the most part. While bland and not quite varied, this is the best diet for gastritis because it provides protein, carbohydrates, fats and cholesterol as well as good amounts of vitamins and minerals and low amounts of fiber. And eggs are one food that best meets these requirements, again, best consumed in moderation.
3) Acid reflux and heartburn. Eggs can be good for both acid reflux and heartburn if they are consumed in moderation and cooked lightly (soft boiled eggs, poached eggs or scrambled eggs). See what foods to eat and to avoid for acid reflux. They don’t contain dietary fiber to irritate an already sensitive stomach lining and one or two eggs in the morning every other day don’t provide much fat, nor are too heavy on the stomach so they don’t trigger nausea, heartburn or acid reflux. Overall, eating eggs is good for acid reflux and heartburn, but it is important to cook them lightly, especially avoid using fats to cook them.
Just as important, they are best eaten in the morning when the body finds it easiest to burn through the protein and fat and provide energy. Eating eggs in the evening can however feel heavy on the stomach because, usually, towards the end of the day, your body requires lighter meals that can be digested easily and before you go to sleep, not satiating meals with plenty of protein and fat that could keep you energized for hours. In addition to the recommended ways to cook eggs when you have acid reflux disease or gastritis (soft or hard boiling eggs), it could help to choose some egg varieties over others. For example, chicken eggs are a good choice in general if you have acid reflux (or gastritis), while duck and goose eggs may prove too heavy on the stomach because of their higher fat content. To make your choice, see our page about the nutritional properties and benefits of different egg varieties.
4) Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome 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 others). 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. Basically, foods are grouped in high FODMAP foods which are to be avoided or consumed in limited amounts and low FODMAP foods which are good for irritable bowel syndrome.
Eggs are a low FODMAP food, meaning they are essentially good for irritable bowel syndrome so less likely to cause symptoms or worsen the condition. The recommendations provided in this diet are temporary and meant only to help you control your symptoms by learning which foods are good and which are bad for your IBS so you know what to eat and what to avoid in the future.
How many eggs is it safe to eat a day or a week? There are numerous eggs per day and per week recommendations, each supported by good arguments and reputed nutrition experts. However, there is not one recommendation that fits all. If you eat clean, healthy, avoid processed foods, consume lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and mostly lean meat in moderate amounts, not red, then you could eat one or two eggs every day and enjoy great health overall. If you don’t enjoy the best of diets, eat red meat, fatty fish, fried foods often, then it’s possible that even as little as 4 eggs a week could add too much fat and cholesterol to your diet and possibly increase your risks of heart disease, diabetes etc.
It’s all about balance and you have to consider your diet in order to know if eating a few eggs every week could be good or bad for you. Just as important, know your body: if two poached eggs in the morning help you feel energized and stay satiated till lunch, then they are likely good for you. If you feel nausea after eating one egg, feel like it’s weighing heavy on your stomach or burp eggs flavors afterwards, then eating eggs might not be good for you, or at least not in the way you are cooking them right now. Strictly speaking with regards to digestive disorders, eating eggs in moderation is generally good for gastritis, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive conditions.
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