You know what really drives me (bum) nuts? When people throw out their egg yolks because they think they are unhealthy. *sigh* It really breaks my heart that a whole food, created by nature has been given such an un-deserving bad-wrap when eggs (especially the yolks!) are in fact so healthy for us that I’m determined to make sure my readers are benefiting from eating the whole egg!
Eggs were thrown under the bus years ago because they contained saturated fat and cholesterol – oh my, such dirty words out of my mouth! If you don’t get my joke you better read my posts on fat here and here to get with the program (girlfriend). But in an egg shell, eating saturated fat and dietary cholesterol won’t make you fat OR give you heart disease. There is NO reliable evidence in the science literature showing that these long believed (and preached) ideas are true, quite the opposite in fact!
Ok before I get lost waffling on a fat-induced tangent, lets look at the benefits of one of natures most perfect foods! I’ve said it before, Mother Nature is a clever, wonderful lady and she has a real knack for packaging all the nutrients and cofactors needed to digest and utilise both macro and micro nutrients within a food into a neat little package, such as the egg. We aren’t smarter than her, so lets not mess with what she has provided by throwing out the yolk ok. Not to mention that this is terribly wasteful, and you know how I hate waste.
Ok, to the benefits:
- One egg will provide 13 essential nutrients and guess what, they are all in the yolk! So be sure to eat those little suckers and stear clear of the egg-white omelettes ok.
- They are an egg-cellent (too cheesy?) source of B vitamins which are important for people who live a stressful life. Unfortunately this seems to be everyone is this day and age, no?
- They are high in Vitamin A which we need for so many functions in the body we can’t count them on both hands. But to name just a few; vision, immune health, skin health, antioxidant activity and gene transcription (i.e. reproduction)
- Vitamin E. This wonderful wonderful vitamin will help protect us from heart disease and some cancers, both of which are sadly prevalent in the Western World.
- Vitamin D, which so many of us are deficient in, is needed for mineral absorption and healthy bones. We literally can’t utilise calcium and phosphorus without it.
- Eggs are also a great source of iodine which is needed for your thyroid gland to produces hormones. If your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it can have devastating results on your overall health (think menstural problems, chronic constipation, weight issues, depression and anxiety, fatigue…the list of yuckiness goes on)
- Eating eggs daily will provide you with a better dose of vitamins than most multivitamins will. Real food trumps! And – eggs are a true superfood, are you picking up what I’m putting down girlfriend?
Now to those crazy myths:
Eggs contain cholesterol so we shouldn’t eat them. Lets get something really really important straightened out. High cholesterol is a symptom of inflammation, its not the cause of anything, including heart disease. Think of it as a bandaid, its there to help heal whatever is going on that’s causing the inflammation. Without cholesterol we would be dead! Its an essential part of all the cells in our body. And the other important thing you need to understand is that dietary cholesterol only contributes a very small percentage to the amount of cholesterol we have in our body. If we eat lots, our body will down regulate how much it produces, if we eat very little, it will create more! If your interested in learning more about cholesterol check out here or here.
They are high in saturated fat which is bad for us. I’m happy to bang on about the saturated fat thing aaaalllll day! We do. not. need. to. avoid. saturated. fat. Period! Its both perfectly healthy for us to consume and its a vital part of our human bodies. But, don’t take my word for it! Check out just a few articles I have read from wellness guru’s and experts who are spreading the same message:
The Natural Nutritionist discusses the importance of fat in hormone control
Dr Mercola says saturated fat is the forbidden food we should have never stopped eating.
Authority Nutrition cover the topic in more depth.
Not all eggs are created equal
Its important that you purchase eggs from properly raised chickens. Those poor chickens that are kept in a cage to mass produce, are unhealthy both physically and emotionally and this means that the eggs the are producing are poor quality. The other important aspect we need to consider is what the chickens are fed – commercially raised chicken that are fed grains will produce eggs that are up to 19 times higher in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. So, to get the very best from your eggs, you need to be purchasing pasture raised. A great place to start would be your local farmers market. Or put ‘pasture raised eggs’ and your home town into google to see whats in your local area. If your local to my hometown (Wodonga) then you can get pasture raised eggs from Holbrook Paddock Eggs which I purchase from the lovely ladies at Dares Fruit and Veges.
If you purchase pasture raised eggs please leave the details in the comment section below incase someone in your area is looking for them.
Here is a full list of outlets to purchase Holbrook Paddock Eggs