Eggs make welcome additions to many balanced diets, providing several nutrients -- including minerals and vitamins -- that support your health. Their vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin contents nourish your eyes, while their beneficial zinc supports your immune system. They're also relatively low in calories -- 143 calories per two large eggs -- which make them perfect for weight-loss diets. Eggs also make a skin-friendly addition to your diet, and their vitamin, mineral and protein content plays several roles in skin health.
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Eggs' protein content plays an important role in skin health by providing a source of amino acids. Your body uses these amino acids to generate new proteins within your skin cells. Some of these proteins -- such as collagen and elastin -- lend strength to your skin tissue, while others -- such as melanin -- contribute to your skin's color. A serving of two large eggs provides 12.6 grams of protein that your body can use to maintain healthy skin. This makes up roughly 23 or 18 percent of the daily protein intake required for a 135- or 180-pound individual, respectively.
Eggs also offer skin benefits thanks to their vitamin A content. The vitamin A your obtain from your diet helps your cells control gene activity -- a process essential for new cell development, including the development of new skin cells, and the growth of new tissue needed for wound healing. Low vitamin A levels negatively affect your skin by changing its cellular makeup and reduce the function of sweat glands. A serving of two eggs provides 540 international units of vitamin A, which is 18 and 23 percent of the intakes recommended daily for men and women, respectively.
Consume eggs as a source of skin-friendly vitamin D. Like vitamin A, vitamin D controls gene activity, which makes it important for new cell growth. It controls the growth of keratinocytes -- the protein-rich cells that make up the outermost layers of your skin tissue. It also supports the function of your hair follicles, helping fight baldness and ensure healthy hair growth. Eat two eggs and you'll boost your vitamin D intake by 82 international units, which is 14 percent of your recommended daily intake.
Eggs also contain other minerals that benefit your skin. Eggs' iron content aids in red blood cell function and helps to ensure that they can provide your skin cells with fresh oxygen they need to function. In addition, the selenium in eggs activates enzymes in your skin cells, and these enzymes protect your skin from damage. A two-egg serving contains 30.7 micrograms of selenium and 1.8 milligrams of iron. This makes up 56 percent of your daily selenium needs, along with 10 and 23 percent of the daily iron intakes set for women and men, respectively.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Selenium
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, Whole, Raw, Fresh
- Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrients and Skin Health
- Iowa State University Extension: Protein
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin A
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin A and Skin Health
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin D
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin D and Skin Health
- Linus Pauling Institute: Iron
- Linus Pauling Institute: Minerals and Skin Health