The Original Food Powerhouse
Eggs are the symbol of new life; Easter is celebrated as a time of renewal; Spring comes (in America and parts of Europe) and all the baby chicks hatch!
Nutritionally speaking of course, eggs have earnt their right as an international symbol of longevity.
In addition to being inexpensive and versatile, eggs are also nutrient dense1. Eggs are rich in omega-3s (a serve of two eggs provides 12-20% of your recommended daily intake)2, protein and 11 vitamins and minerals3!
An average egg of 52g, contains 6.5g of protein (13% RDI) and 151 calories1. You can see a full list of vitamins and minerals here and see how eggs compare to other protein and non-animal protein sources in the table below.
For each egg, the nutrient content depends on the type of diet the chickens were fed, often fortified with extra omega-34. Typical feed consists of soy meal, corn and added vitamins and minerals4.
The season in which the chickens laid their eggs, how much fat is in their feed and the breed type can all effect cholesterol levels6 of the egg.
Once collected from the farms, the eggs are usually in store one week after laying5. Before transportation, eggs are stored in cold rooms filtered with low levels of sodium hydroxide6. This treatment increases the pH, (the alkalinity) and makes the eggs easier to peel which means more of the edible portion is retained6.
Keeping you eggs at high temperatures (above room temperature) encourages sweating, bacterial growth7. The egg shell is porous, and if heat gets in too much, there will be a decrease in the egg proteins8.
During cooking, there is a very small reduction in the lipid (fat) and cholesterol content, but otherwise does little to effect the overall nutrient content6.
Recent studies in persons suffering obesity and other co-morbidities, have shown that consuming three whole eggs a day protects the heart by increasing HDL (good cholesterol)9, not increasing heart disease as once thought1.
Make sure eggs feature in your menu this Easter and beyond!
How do you like to eat your eggs?
Share your ideas in the comment box below.
*Any information provided by Food Hermetica is a guide only and should not replace medical advice. Reader discretion is advised.
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- Ruxton, C. (2010). Recommendations for the use of eggs in the diet. Nursing Standard, 24(37), 47-55. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.05.24.37.47.c7780
- Egg Nutrition Council. (2015b). Eggs and omega-3s [website]. Retrieved from http://enc.org.au/position -statements/eggs-and-omega-3s/
- Egg Nutrition Council. (2015a). Eggs and nutrient density [website]. Retrieved from http://enc.org.au/ position-statements/eggs-and-nutrient-density/
- Australian Eggs. (2014a). Health and nutrition: Egg myths [website]. Retrieved from http://www.eggs. org.au/health-and-nutrition/egg-myths/
- Incredible Egg.org. (2015). The good egg project: Production process [website]. Retrieved from http:// http://www.incredibleegg.org/good-egg-project/
- Cherian, G., Langevin, C., Ajuyah, A., Lien, K., & Sim J., S. (1990). Effect of storage conditions and hard cooking on peelability and nutrient density of white and brown shelled eggs. Poultry Science, 69(9), 1614-1616. doi: 10.3382/ps.0691614
- Australian Eggs. (2014b). Facts and tips: Handling eggs [website]. Retrieved from http://www.eggs.org .au/facts-and-tips/handling-eggs/
- Qiu, N., Ma, M., Zhao, L., Liu, W., Li, Y., & Mine, Y. (2012). Comparative proteomic analysis of egg white proteins under various storage temperatures. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 60(31). doi: 10.1021/jf302100m
- Andersen, C., J., Blesso, C., N., Lee, J., Barona, J., Shah, D., Thomas, M., J., Luz Fernandez, Maria. (2013). Egg consumption modulates HDL lipid composition and increase cholesterol-accepting capacity of serum. American Oil Chemists Society, 48(6), 557-567. doi: 10.1007/s11745-013-3780-8