If you’re in the loop with the most recent fitness chatter, then you probably know that protein is a pretty big deal. The essential amino acids that our bodies derive from dietary protein are used to build muscle fiber, bone, hair, skin, and practically every other molecular structure in our bodies. But if it’s so important, why is finding a good source of protein so complicated? There’s plant-based protein powder, whey protein, soy protein, and the list goes on. However, you might be surprised to find that the best source of protein is already in your refrigerator, and it’s packed with not just protein but a whole other slew of essential nutrients. It’s the egg! Eggs are truly a wonder of nature, and they have a ton of benefits. Check out these characteristics of the amazing egg, and pick up a dozen today! They’re a Complete Protein There are lots of different terms that get thrown around when professionals talk protein, but there’s really just one that you have to know - complete protein. The difference between a complete protein and an incomplete protein has to do with which essential amino acids it provides, amino acids that our bodies cannot synthesize. There are nine amino acids that we must get from a dietary source; the other 12 amino acids that we need are manufactured by our bodies. A complete protein includes all nine of those essential amino acids. Eggs are one of the few natural sources of complete protein. Other natural sources of complete protein like meats and dairy are more expensive and have a higher environmental toll, so eggs are the kind of complete protein! They’re Budget-Friendly With just two eggs having enough protein for a whole meal, and a dozen eggs costing less than the average dinner, eggs are the savior of budget-minded clean eaters everywhere. And with an endless array of preparation options, boiling, poaching, scrambling, and frying to name a few, it’ll take a while for you to get bored. They’re Nutrient Dense The egg has more going for it than just protein. With choline for brain health, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health, eggs might be one of the most nutrient dense foods available. Don’t be scared away by the calories, fat, and cholesterol, the incredible amount of nutrition in each egg negates these concerns completely.