Is there a better food to highlight than the egg? Probably not. As Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions Nourishing Traditions, puts it:
“Shunned for several decades by orthodox practitioners as a high-cholesterol food wrongly believed to cause coronary heart disease, the egg is making the comeback it deserves….Properly produced eggs are rich in just about every nutrient we have yet discovered.”
Some of the benefits of eggs include:
– High in fat soluble vitamins A and D
– High in proteins, especially for the maintenance of cell membranes in our bodies
– Excellent source of fatty acids EPA and DHA, which is vital for brain and nervous system function.
– Egg yolk is the absolute best source of choline, a B vitamin which keeps cholesterol moving throughout the bloodstream as intended, instead of creating plaque on vessel walls.
– Great source of properly balanced (near 1:1 ratio) of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats
The way the chickens are raised absolutely effects the quality of the nutrients in the eggs. One of the most frequent questions I hear about eggs is the difficulty in knowing which type to buy at the store. There are “natural”, “cage free”, “organic”, “free-range”, “omega-3 fed”, ….etc. The labeling laws make it very difficult to determine exactly how the eggs are raised. This is why I recommend buying eggs directly from farmers or farmers markets. (See the next headline below for sources of local farmer’s markets). You want to eat the eggs of chickens that are able to roam around in the grass and eat bugs and worms. If you have to buy from the grocery, do the following experiment…
There is a simple test you can do on your own to test the nutrition of your eggs. Look at the yolk. It should be a dark golden yellow and it should ‘stand up’ in a hemisphere. The egg white should have two distinct parts, a thick part surrounding the yolk and a thin part around the perimeter. Less nutritious eggs will have runny whites and light pale, flat yolks.
Another question I am sometimes asked is, “What about eating raw eggs?” As it turns out, raw fresh egg yolks are safe to consume as much as we want, and we absorb some nutrients better raw than cooked. Egg whites are OK to be consumed raw sometimes, but there are some substances called avidin and trypsin in egg whites that interfere with some vitamin absorption and protein digestion unless the egg white is cooked. So light cooking is recommended.
Unfortunately, the major concern some people have about eggs is cholesterol content. Check out this information with “myths and truths” about cholesterol to understand just how healthy and beneficial eggs are…and to ease any fears you may have about cholesterol.