Do you recall being told at some point in your life that you should not eat eggs because they’re so high in cholesterol? Do you order egg white omelets when you’re at a restaurant because you think they’re healthier for you? Or *heaven forbid* use egg substitutes when you’re baking at home? Well, I’m here to tell you that unless you’re allergic to eggs, you should be eating lots of them….yolks and all!
As far as I’m concerned, eggs are one of the most perfect foods on the planet. Specifically the egg yolk. Think about it: the yolk of an egg is intended to give a baby chick all of the nutrients it needs to grow into a healthy chicken. That means that it’s loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Here’s just some of what you can find inside glorious eggs:
- All of the essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for your hormones, neurotransmitters, muscles, and more
- B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12), which contribute to skin health, keeping stress at bay, boosting your metabolism, and keeping your hormones balanced
- Vitamin A, which supports your vision and immune system
- Vitamin D, which helps prevent osteoporosis, supports mood stability, and regulates insulin activity
- Biotin, which keeps skin healthy and helps your body efficiently use sugar
- Essential fatty acids, which are crucial for healthy cell membranes and beautiful hair, skin, and nails
- Zinc, which supports your immune system an balances blood sugar
- Magnesium, which keeps your bones strong, enables energy production, maintains nervous system balance, and has a calming effect on the body
- Choline, which helps reduce inflammation in the body and supports neurological function
Another great thing about eggs is how easily they are digested, which makes them gentle on your body if you’re sick. Raw egg yolks have actually been compared to human breast milk because they can be assimilated almost 100% by your body without needing digestion. Isn’t that amazing? Many people believe that egg yolks should be baby’s first solid food because of that very reason. If your digestive system is compromised in any way (by constipation, diarrhea, low stomach acid, or more serious conditions), eggs will come to your rescue so you don’t become malnourished. So don’t you dare throw away that precious egg yolk—that’s were all the nutrients are!
Eggs are one of the most cost-effective forms of protein out there. For literally pennies, you get a quality protein, lots of nutrients, and healthy fats that will keep you feeling full longer than say, a bowl of cereal. I’ve personally been eating two eggs every morning and experimenting with all different ways of preparing them. My favorite breakfast lately has been kale sautéed with garlic and coconut oil topped with two over-easy eggs cooked in pasture butter. Deeee-licious!
Egg Quality Matters
The quality of an egg is largely dependent on the health of the hen it came from. If you buy your eggs from factory farms where the hens are kept in cages and never see the light of day, the egg won’t be as healthy. Your best bet is to find eggs from hens that are raised on pasture. This means they are getting fresh air, sunshine, and the ability to do what chickens do….forage for bugs, eat grass, scratch the dirt, and socialize with other chickens. Happy chickens make happy, healthy eggs! Try to find a source local to you where you can buy your eggs. Craigslist is a great resource for finding people who raise backyard chickens. My goal in the next year is to start raising my own chickens for eggs, so stay tuned! Many farmers’ markets also sell pasture-raised eggs. You’ll notice that pasture-raised egg yolks have a deeper, richer orange color because they have more beta carotene than factory eggs. They also have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which many of us are low on.
The Great Cholesterol Debate
I can hear you ask…but what about cholesterol? If I eat two eggs, that’s more than my allowance of cholesterol for the whole day! And high cholesterol is going to give me a heart attack! Well, I’m here to tell you that this is a MYTH and totally WRONG! I’ll write more on this topic in another post, but the fact of the matter is a) Eating cholesterol does not raise your blood cholesterol levels and b) Cholesterol does not cause heart disease. There are books dedicated to this topic alone, but here’s a short article you can read that will explain the gist of it. One of the most important things I’ve learned so far in nutrition school is that many of our beliefs about nutrition are just plain wrong. My goal with this blog is to help debunk those myths and teach you about how to be healthy in every aspect of your life.
Reader feedback: What’s your favorite way to prepare eggs?