I’m a little biased–I love eggs, partly because I have laying hens. But mostly because they’re delicious and infinitely versatile.
What’s in an egg?
Eggs contain an egg white and egg yolk. The egg white is albumen, nature’s “perfect protein.” This protein contains all the protein building blocks required for our bodies. The nutrients in this part of the egg are water soluble and will contain B-vitamins and some trace minerals.
Egg yolks are mostly fat, with some protein and a little bit of carbohydrate. The majority of fats in egg yolk are oleic acids (omega-9s, the same that are found abundantly in avocados and olives), but also contain omega-3s and -6s, saturated fats, and cholesterol. Vitamins A, E, D, and K are found here, as well as minerals like selenium, iron, and copper.
Eggs are pretty nutritious even conventionally produced, but if you are eating eggs from hens that are allowed to forage on grassy pastures, your egg will contain twice as much vitamin E and omega-3 fats and 38% more vitamin A per egg (1). Like vitamins and fats, minerals such as zinc, chromium, selenium, and manganese are all found in higher quantities in birds allowed access to pasture (2).
Add eggs to literally anything
This list is by no means complete, but gives you some good jumping off points.
– A fried egg over literally almost anything is delicious. My favorite dishes to put a fried egg over include: lentils, bean dishes, tacos/fajitas, baked potatoes, steak, burgers, pasta dishes, and roasted vegetables.
– Assuming you trust the source of your eggs, add a raw egg to your smoothie or oatmeal.
– Dice up a hard boiled egg and add it to your guacamole or tuna/chicken salad.
– Crack and scramble an egg, add parmesan cheese for a thicker taste (or leave out if you wish) and drizzle the mixture into broth-based soups while gently stirring the hot soup to make it creamier and more filling.
Enjoy your eggs sans guilt
Mainstream healthcare is finally coming around to realization that eggs, despite their high cholesterol levels, are actually very healthy. Enjoy your eggs daily as part of a balanced diet, guilt free (3).
1. Karsten HD, Patterson PH, Stout R, Crews G. (2010) Vitamins A, E, and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens. Ren Agr & Food Syst. 25(1); 45-54.
2. Giannenas I, Nisianakis P, Gavriil A, Kontopidis G, Kyriazakis I. (2008) Trace mineral content of conventional, organic, and courtyard eggs analysed by inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Food Chem. 114(2): 706-711.
3. Rong Y, et al. (2013) Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ. 346: e8539.