You might not be sure exactly how much protein is in an egg, but you’ve likely experienced how satisfying a plate of them can be. And while your omelet might be a tasty and filling way to start your morning, the humble egg is also loaded with lots of other health benefits, making it a great staple to help power you through your entire day.
Depending on its size, an egg contains between five to eight grams of protein. The macronutrient helps support your skin health, repair muscles, and keep you full and satisfied. Most people should aim to eat about 20 to 30 grams of protein during breakfast to keep hanger at bay until lunch or snack time, Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD, a Kansas City-based registered dietitian and founder of Street Smart Nutrition, tells SELF. So adding a couple eggs—whether hard-boiled, scrambled, or over easy—to your morning plate can be a great way to help you get there.
But protein isn’t the only wellness perk that makes eggs a solid breakfast pick. For starters, their yolks are an excellent source of choline, which supports brain function, muscle contractions, and pain perception. (So yes, you’d be missing out if you only scrambled up some egg whites!) They are also packed with antioxidants, compounds that may help prevent a harmful process called oxidative stress. That’s important, since experts believe it may contribute to the development of certain conditions, including heart issues, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s disease, as SELF previously reported. And while you may have heard that eggs are loaded with cholesterol, recent research suggests that it may not be as big of a health concern as you might think, says Harbstreet. For most people, “it’s perfectly fine to have a whole egg or two,” she continues.
Sometimes, though, you can find yourself in a breakfast rut, when even your most exciting scramble or omelet starts to feel a little stale. The good news is that there are tons of other nutrient-rich morning meal options out there that are just as quick and satisfying as eating eggs. Some recs might be familiar—say, staples like Greek yogurt or toast with peanut butter—but others are more creative, like chickpea flour that you can turn into pancakes or smoked salmon to top on bagels. So, to help you switch it up, we’ve rounded up a list of high-protein foods to stock up on that are just as eggcellent as eggs.