Eggs are incredibly nutritious. Though one egg contains only about 70 calories, it contains many vitamins and minerals that are essential to the human body. Plus, they are delicious, they are very inexpensive, and can be cooked in many different ways.
As a quick note: always make sure you buy free-range organic eggs, which provide more vitamin D and less cholesterol, and are a lot more ethical than standard eggs, as the hens are not caged and are fed a healthy, natural diet.
Because eggs are a superfood, some people find that they keep them awake: while eggs are 100 percent healthy, eating them at night may disrupt your sleep because of their fat and vitamin content.
Let’s have a look at the nutritional values of eggs, as well as how you can eat them at night and still get perfect sleep.
Calories and nutrients in eggs
The amount of calories in eggs depends on their size, quantity, and how you cook them. A small egg may contain less than 60 calories, while a large one up to 90. That is, if you don’t use any butter, milk, or oil to cook them — if you do, the calorie count goes up. But in general, eggs are not calorie-dense.
What makes eggs a superfood is their nutrients. Although in the past eggs had a bad reputation because of their cholesterol and fat content, we now know that those nutrients are actually healthy, as long as you eat them in moderation.
One whole large egg contains about:
- 7 grams of high quality protein
- 5 grams of fat
- 185 mg of cholesterol (which is perfectly fine for most people as eggs don’t raise the cholesterol levels in blood, at least not as much as other foods)
- 5 percent of the rec. daily intake of vitamin A (good for the immune system and eye health)
- 15 percent of the rec. daily intake of vitamin B12 (good for the nervous system and anemia prevention)
- 10 percent of the rec. daily intake of vitamin D (good for bone health and your mood)
- 3 percent of the rec. daily intake of iron (good for energy and anemia prevention)
Eggs have also been shown to increase nutrient absorption. For example, if you add eggs to your vegetables, it will be easier for your body to absorb nutrients such as carotenoids and vitamin E.
Is it bad to eat eggs at night?
Typically, eating eggs at night shouldn’t cause digestive problems as long as you stop eating two to three hours before bed. If you do experience problems sleeping, consider eating only the whites as they have less calories and less nutrients.
Though you should always consume the yolk because of its great nutrients, such as vitamin D and iron, it may keep you awake at night. So the general recommendation is to eat whole eggs for breakfast, or during the first part of the day, and to avoid eating them later.
Egg whites, on the other hand, have less calories and are easier to digest. If you need to eat a high protein diet (for example, because you are an athlete), you can probably consume egg whites at night without affecting your sleep quality.
Just make sure you give your body some time to digest your last meal before you go to bed. Again, this may depend on your daily routine or diet requirements, but ideally you want to stop eating at least two hours before bed.
Which condiments should you avoid?
If you eat eggs at night, you want to make sure you don’t use any condiments that are high in fat or difficult to digest, as they would probably disrupt your sleep, or even make it harder to fall asleep.
The main ingredient you want to avoid is dairy. As I’ve explained in this article, all human beings are intolerant to dairy — the ones who are able to absorb it do so because of a genetic mutation, and even if that’s the case for you, it’s still harmful.
Most dairy products, such as butter, milk, and cheese are high in fat and difficult to digest. I recommend you avoid all dairy products before you go to bed, and ideally you want to transition to a dairy-free diet (you don’t need milk to be healthy, and there’s many plant-based alternatives anyway).
If you put mayonnaise on your egg whites, you may want to replace it with ketchup as it contains less fat and fewer calories. You can also use lighter condiments such as tomatoes, mushrooms, thyme, cilantro, or even just salt and pepper, to keep the calorie count low.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do is to stop eating well before bedtime, and make sure your last meal of the day is light and easy to digest. You don’t want to go to bed hungry (that will disrupt your sleep as well!), but you must give your body enough time to digest everything before you hit the pillow.