Health benefits of the Egg
We all heard somewhere in our lives that consuming eggs is vital for our health. It has been a source of food for the human being for the longest time, and it is still one of the most practical foods on the market. In this article, we are going to delve into what are eggs, what makes them so practical and how beneficial they truly are.
First of all, let us begin with the most basic concept of this entire article, what is an egg? An egg is acell protected by a shell produced by a female bird which, when fertilized by a male bird, starts growing a baby bird inside. This also extends to insects, reptiles and fishes, following the same process of fertilization. For this article purpose, we will be only dealing with bird eggs, as these are the most common kinds of eggs when talking about everyday food. There are some countries that consume reptile eggs, but that is not the norm. Bird eggs take part on a typical diet of the everyday person. A lot of foods are made with a mixture of some ingredients where the egg is a vital part to make the mix happen. For example, cakes, pastries, pastas, just to name a few. More often than not, the eggs that we consume daily come from the chicken, but of course, not fertilized. Eggs are most commonly known for being rich in proteins, calcium and lipids. Furthermore, they are of easy digestion, making them perfect to fit into both sweet and salad food. Following the chicken eggs in popularity, come the duck eggs, followed by the goose eggs. Quail eggs are also consumed despite being so small; however these are usually reserved as a gastronomic extravagancy, or for small kids. In addition to these, ostriches and rhea eggs can also be found as a dish and they can weigh up to 1.3 kg. Regarding how fresh an egg intendedto feed the population is, in some countries like in the European Union, the term ‘fresh eggs’ is used to describe eggs that are destined to their consumption before 28 days from its birth. The term ‘extra fresh’ means that this window of consumption only goes as far as 9 days.
Going back to the chicken egg, they can be simply divided into three parts, the egg white, the yolk and the shell. Let’s see what the properties of each part are. The egg white has a total of 52 calories raw. It is two thirds of the total weight of the egg, which is composed of almost 90% water and the rest pure protein, minerals, fat, vitamins and glucose. The proteins that can be found in the egg white serve the purpose of defending the egg from bacterial infections and other microorganisms. The yolk weights a third of the total weight of the egg, and its biological function is to contribute nutrients and calories as also vitamin A, thiamine and iron needed for the nutrition of the baby chicken. The shell is the lightest part of the egg, only being 10% of its total weight and its where all the calcium can be found. However people usually do not consume it due to a lack of knowledge on how to eat it without causing any damage to your body. One way is to put the shell in citric acid (preferable lemon juice) for a few hours. The resulting milky liquid can be ingested, resulting in an incredibly important font of calcium. A shell has approximately 6.5 grams of this mineral. Another practical way to consume the shell is to pulverize it until it becomes as thin as dust, and pour just a little into your salad. One thing to keep in mind is to use a raw shell, not one from a boiled egg.Despite what many may think, there is no difference between white and brown eggs as they are both equally nutritious and hygienic, contrary to popular belief.
In spite of all the positive aspects that a chicken egg can add to one’s diet, there is no denying that they come with a risk. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant debate about egg nutrition facts, to the point of experts advising the public to limit their consumptions of eggs to just one a day. This is mainly due to the high amount of cholesterol that eggs possess, meaning that a huge consumption of eggs might lead to cardiac diseases. It is worth mentioning that quail eggs are low in cholesterol. As a counter argument to this statement, is that the yolk is also rich in phospholipids which deal with the bad cholesterol that contains the egg. In addition to this, the yolk also has high quantities of fatty acids and omega three, both of which eliminate the risk of high cholesterol. In spite of both sides having solid arguments in favour and against the consumption of eggs, no agreement has been officially reached, as is the case in many other nutritious related topics. If the only thing being consumed is the egg white, there is not any risk of high cholesterol diseases, as it does not provide any kind of lipids, as all of them can be found in the yolk.
To sum everything up, the debate on whether the egg should be consumed with more caution is still being held. However there is no denying in the amount of benefits that come with consuming them. These even help pregnant women with the development of the central nervous system of the embryo due to the fact that eggs contain choline, which is a nutrient that helps the central nervous system with positive effects on memory and behaviour. In my humble opinion, I firmly believe that at least a minimum of one egg a day, or two at most, should be the norm for the average person, unless a professional in nutrition says otherwise, in which case, pay attention to him/her.