Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on March 18, 2023

Do Eggs Cause Inflammation

Eggs are a popular and versatile food that have been a staple in many diets around the world. But, do eggs cause inflammation? There has been some controversy lately over whether eggs are inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, and if they can exacerbate symptoms of arthritis.

This article will explore the current research on the impact of eggs on inflammation and arthritis, and whether they should be included in an anti-inflammatory diet.

Understanding Inflammation and Arthritis

Inflammation is an essential process that plays a crucial role in the body’s natural healing process. When the immune system recognizes any foreign substance, it triggers the release of chemicals that cause blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood and nutrient flow to the affected area. This causes redness, warmth, and swelling, which are the classic signs of inflammation.

However, when inflammation persists and becomes chronic (rather than acute), it can lead to a variety of health problems, including arthritis.

Arthritis is a common condition that refers to joint inflammation and pain, which can lead to stiffness and limited range of motion. There are different types of arthritis, but the two most frequently occurring ones are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis: When the cartilage that cushions the bones in the joints wears away, the bones start rubbing against each other, leading to pain, inflammation, and stiffness.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: When the immune system targets the synovial membrane that lines the joints, causing inflammation and damage to the surrounding tissues, including the cartilage and bones.

In both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation plays a crucial role in the development and progression of the disease. Inflammation leads to the release of enzymes and cytokines, which can cause damage to the joints and contribute to the development of arthritis.

Managing inflammation is, therefore, a critical component of treating arthritis.

Are Eggs Inflammatory or Anti-inflammatory?

Do eggs cause inflammation? Are eggs bad for arthritis? Eggs are a common part of many people’s diets, but their effect on inflammation is still somewhat controversial. Some studies suggest that eggs may be pro-inflammatory, while others suggest that they are anti-inflammatory.

One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006 found that consuming eggs increased the production of inflammatory markers in the body. The study included 25 healthy men and women who consumed a high-cholesterol diet for four weeks, and the researchers measured their inflammatory markers throughout the study.

The researchers found that consuming eggs increased the production of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, as well as other inflammatory markers.

Another study, published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2015, found that consuming eggs may have anti-inflammatory effects. The study included 40 overweight or obese women who consumed either two eggs or a bagel for breakfast for six weeks.

The researchers measured their inflammatory markers throughout the study and found that the group that consumed eggs had lower levels of the inflammatory markers tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) compared to the group that consumed bagels.

Overall, the research on the inflammatory effects of eggs is somewhat mixed, with some studies suggesting that they may be pro-inflammatory and others suggesting that they may be anti-inflammatory. The studies also had small sample sizes and short durations.

More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between eggs and inflammation. However, if you think eggs are causing your inflammation, it may be worth removing them from your diet temporarily to see if that resolves the issue.

Do Eggs and Tomatoes Cause Inflammation?

We know that the evidence with eggs is mixed. But what about tomatoes, a vegetable commonly eaten with eggs and in omelets? Do tomatoes cause inflammation?

Tomatoes are generally considered to be anti-inflammatory due to their high content of antioxidants, particularly lycopene. Studies have shown that lycopene may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

However, some individuals may be sensitive to tomatoes and experience an inflammatory response. Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family, which includes other vegetables like peppers, potatoes, and eggplants. Some people with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease may be advised to avoid nightshade vegetables.

How to Cook Eggs to Reduce Inflammation

The best way to cook eggs to reduce inflammation is to boil or poach them. When eggs are boiled or poached, they are cooked in water rather than oil or butter, which reduces the amount of added fats and calories. These methods of cooking also help to preserve the nutrients in the eggs, which can be lost during high-heat cooking methods like frying or scrambling.

It is important to note that eggs are just one part of a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. While boiled or poached eggs are a good choice, it is also important to pair them with other anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds.

Health Benefits of Eggs

Eggs are a nutrient-rich food that provides a wide range of health benefits. Here are some of the top health benefits of eggs:

  • Excellent source of protein: Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle, tissues, and cells in the body.
  • Nutrient-dense: Eggs are packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E, and B12, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, and selenium. Additionally, eggs are one of the few food sources of choline, which is important for brain health.
  • Heart health: Studies have shown that eggs may help reduce the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels. Contrary to the earlier belief that eggs raise cholesterol, they are now considered part of a healthy diet for people with or without heart disease.
  • Weight management: Eggs can also help with weight management due to their high protein content and satiety factor. Eating eggs for breakfast, for example, can help keep you full and reduce snacking later in the day.
  • Eye health: Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are important for eye health and may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older adults.
  • Brain health: As mentioned earlier, eggs are a good source of choline, which is important for brain health. Adequate choline intake during pregnancy may also have long-lasting benefits for the baby’s brain development.

What Breakfast Foods Are Bad for Inflammation?

Maybe it’s not eggs that are giving you trouble, but rather some other inflammatory foods. Some breakfast foods may be bad for inflammation, including:

  • Refined carbohydrates: Foods such as white bread, bagels, muffins, and sugary cereals can spike blood sugar levels and trigger inflammation.
  • Sugary foods: Foods with added sugars, such as pastries, donuts, and sweetened yogurt, can cause inflammation and contribute to a host of health problems.
  • Processed meats: Bacon, sausage, and other processed meats are high in saturated fat, one of the leading causes of inflammation in the body.
  • Fried foods: Fried foods such as fried eggs, hash browns, and fried chicken can trigger inflammation due to their high levels of unhealthy fats.
  • Dairy products: Some people with inflammation may be sensitive to dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. These foods can contribute to inflammation and worsen symptoms.

What Breakfast Foods Are Good for Inflammation?

Many breakfast foods can help reduce inflammation in the body, making them great home remedies for arthritis. Here are some of those anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is high in fiber and is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.
  • Berries: Berries are high in antioxidants, which can help decrease inflammation in the body. They are also low in sugar and high in fiber, making them a great breakfast option.
  • Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is high in protein and low in sugar. It also contains probiotics, which can help improve gut health and lower inflammation.
  • Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. They can be added to oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies for a nutritious and anti-inflammatory breakfast.
  • Green Smoothies: Green smoothies are a great way to get a lot of nutrients in one meal. Adding leafy greens, berries, and chia seeds to a smoothie can provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are a good source of healthy fats and protein. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Don’t forget, one of the most frequently asked questions surrounding breakfast foods is about coffee. Is coffee inflammatory? The answer is usually no. But you can read the linked article for a more detailed explanation.

Dietary Supplements Can Also Help

Besides eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones, taking dietary supplements in the morning, such as herbs and spices, can also help reduce inflammation and provide natural pain relief. Here are three of the best anti-inflammatory supplements to get started with.

Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin blocks the activity of enzymes and proteins in the body that contribute to inflammation.

Apple cider vinegar lowers inflammation due to its high acetic acid content, which is the main active ingredient. Acetic acid has been shown to help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Elderberry is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties. Elderberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins that can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

Eggs and Arthritis: Final Thoughts

Are eggs inflammatory? The answer is, it depends. For those who are sensitive to them, eggs may be contributing to inflammation. However, recent research suggests that eggs may not be as harmful as previously thought. In fact, eggs may even have anti-inflammatory effects that could be beneficial for people with inflammatory conditions.

As you can see, the link between eggs and inflammation is still a bit blurry. Eating them as a regular part of your diet is likely to be beneficial for the vast majority of individuals. As with any dietary change, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach for your individual needs and health status.