As a society, we'll probably always be searching for the secret to a longer, healthier life, and new studies pop up all the time. But the latest research shows that the answer might already in a carton in your fridge right now—or at the very least, you can get them by the dozen for a few dollars at your local grocery store.
That's right—eggs might just be the key.
A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming 2 to 3 eggs per day improved cholesterol profiles in young, healthy people—not to mention, it also increased plasma antioxidants.
The study examined 38 healthy men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 for 14 weeks, first having them avoid eggs entirely for 2 weeks, then slowly increasing the amount of eggs they ate over 4-week periods (they ate 1 egg per day for 4 weeks, then 2 eggs per day for another 4 weeks, then 3 eggs per day). Researchers then tested their fasting blood to see how their egg intake affected their cholesterol profiles.
The results? Just one egg per day was enough to increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or the "good" kind that helps rid your body of excess cholesterol so it doesn't go to your arteries) function as well as increase large-LDL (low-density lipoprotein or the "bad" cholesterol) particle concentration. This second part is important because smaller LDL particles are the ones that are most likely to clog arteries and contribute to heart disease—in other words, the bigger, the better.
Intake of 2 to 3 eggs showed the best results though—it led to bigger improvements in HDL function and increased plasma carotenoids, which have been shown to decrease risk of disease. Overall, the study concluded that intake of 3 or fewer eggs increased plasma antioxidants, improved HDL cholesterol and led to a less atherogenic LDL particle profile (as in, it made it less likely for fatty plaque to form in their arteries) for study participants.
Of course, it's important to note that this study focused solely on the effects eggs had on young, healthy people—everyone is different, so be sure to follow your doctor's advice on what's best for you and be mindful of any allergies or dietary restrictions you might have.