Angela: The humble egg. How do you like yours? Scrambled, poached, fried (in coconut oil), baked or boiled? I’ll take them anyway I can get them. I love the fact that they are so nutritionally dense and so easy to make into a quick and easy meal. Here are six reasons why we just can’t get enough of them:
- They are a Nutritional Powerhouse: great source of protein, they contain all the essential amino acids making it a complete protein, an average egg has 6g of protein. Contains over 11 essential vitamins and minerals. Naturally contains vitamin D in the yolk. Good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. One of the cool things to remember is, they contain all the nutrients needed to turn one cell into a baby chicken. It’s a bit like taking your multi vitamin for the day. Remember, eat the yolk as they contain most of the nutrients.
- Antioxidants - lutein and zeaxanthin: As we get older our eyes start to deteriorate. Studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin help in the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration which are two common eye diseases people get with old age.
- Vitamin D is naturally contained in the yolk: Not many foods can claim this. Vitamin D has many important functions such as calcium metabolism to promote bone growth, needed for normal immune function and a common deficiency in people with autoimmune conditions. Note: other foods that contain vitamin D are fatty fish, beef liver and cheese.
- Eggs contain choline, important for development of the brain: It’s an essential compound for cell membrane and nerve tissues. It has been suggested that dietary sources help with reducing accumulation of fat in the liver, as well as repairing some types of neurological damage, important for early brain development and improves memory later in life.
- They don’t raise cholesterol: Dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise cholesterol. The cholesterol in eggs raise HDL (good cholesterol) and make LDL (bad cholesterol) either benign or stay at the same levels. I would take caution if you have any genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia and seek advice from your health professional.
- Strong impact on satiety: Eggs keep you fuller for longer. Research has shown if you have a egg for breakfast you are more likely to make better food choices throughout the day and are less likely to overeat.
|They contain all the nutrients needed to turn one cell into a baby chicken. It’s a bit like taking your multi vitamin for the day!|
How to Choose Your Eggs
The egg section has so many choices and it can be hard to choose. I’ve broken it down below so you make a more informed choice:
- Vegetarian eggs: Are from a caged or barn system and are fed a diet free from meat and fish. They are given protein in the form of soy.
- Caged: They are kept in small cages, they can stretch their wings and stand but aren’t able to behave as they would in a natural environment like dust baths, nesting, socialise with other birds, perching and scratching. Caged hens have lower bone strength.
- Barn Laid/Cage Free Eggs: They are kept in a barn and not allowed outdoors. They can take part in normal hen behaviour.
- Free Range: Hens are housed in barns and are able to go outside for 8 hours a day. They can take part in normal hen behaviour. There are no real standards so farms can vary from 1500 to 20,000 per hectare.
- Certified Organic: The hens have to be free range and not been exposed to antibiotics, synthetic fertilisers or pesticides. Their feed also has to be 95% organic. Always look for the logo without the logo you are not guaranteed they are organic. Read how to read food labels here.
Always buy the highest welfare that you can afford. Eggs are a wonderfully nutritious food, easy to make into a complete meal and should be enjoyed. Great to go along to the farmer markets and speak to the farmers themselves. You can ask them about their farming methods.
How do you have yours? Why not try our 2-minute veggie scramble recipe here.