The egg is one of nature’s best designs! Bumpy and grainy in texture, 17,000 tiny pores cover the shell, made almost entirely of calcium carbonate crystals. At the semipermeable membrane, air and moisture can pass through until it reaches the “bloom,” the outermost coating, preventing dust and bacteria from penetrating. As the egg ages, the air space expands. The circular mass of egg whites comprises water and 40 different proteins. At the center, the yolk contains less water and 2.70 grams of enriching proteins, such as vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and D, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Riboflavin, sodium, thiamine, and zinc. Based on the feed and availability of grass and insects, the yolk’s color ranges from a hint of yellow to the healthiest hue, a deep orange.
The Cholesterol Issue
In the most popular size, large, eggs contain all the necessary nutrients for bodily function. Lecithin may be a fat molecule, but it includes 126 milligrams of choline, fatty acids, and phosphates. Our bodies can produce choline, but only in small qualities; therefore, we need to consume lecithin-rich foods to receive adequate amounts. The daily recommendation for women, for instance, is 425 milligrams per day and 550 milligrams for men. Eggs have the best source. Not only will choline help you move wastes and nutrients in and out of cells, but it also helps digest fats, improves the circulatory system, protects the liver against fatty liver disease, and plays a role in sleep habits, memory, and learning. Huntington College of Health Sciences has determined lecithin absorbs bad cholesterol and raises high-density lipid levels.
Whites Versus Whole Egg
Nutritionists recommended eating just the egg white to gain the necessary nutrients while eliminating cholesterol levels. It offers a complete calcium supplement, whether boiled or consumed in the form of an omelet. Studies revealed that egg whites create a feeling of fullness and sustain energy levels throughout the day. While a whole host of benefits accompany the goodness of egg whites, including maintaining blood pressure, aids blood flow for cardiovascular health, and offers a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, the yolk contains over 80% of the nutrients found within, including beneficial Omega-3 fats. The line dividing many people stems from the amounts of cholesterol. It’s better to eat the entire egg and benefit from the nutritional vitamins and minerals working for the body!
Without the regulation of eggs, it’s no wonder terms like “cage-free” and “pasture-raised” create confusion! There are two categories to consider: farming practices and the health quality of the egg and the hen that lays them.
- Organic: Eggs must come from an organic chicken, fed free of animal by-products, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemical additives. Only in the event of infection may a chicken receive an antibiotic. The hen must be cage-free and offered access to the outdoors. Additional cost comes from the farmer’s expense to maintain certification requirements.
- Free-Range: Chickens must have access to a small, fenced patch of cement, which does not imply roaming freely. Hens can eat non-organic feed and receive drugs for health and healing.
- Cage-Free: Up to 11 hens can roam in a building or open area, 16 inches by 20 inches.
- Pasture-Raised: A term not regulated by the USDA; yet, is understood to imply the hens forage on a maintained pastured area.
- Certified Animal Welfare Approved: A label certifying animals that receive a diet of 100 percent grass and are raised outdoors.
- Certified Humane: A certification label, for pasture-raised eggs, offered through the Humane Farm Animal Care program. Hens must have access to the outdoors, providing a minimum of two square feet per bird or 2.5 acres per 1000 chickens.
- Egg color: Hens surprisingly have ears, which indicate the color of the egg. “Easter-egger” hens lay variations of green and blue hues, while Dominiques and Barred Rock hens lay pink eggs. There isn’t a difference in taste; yet, a bright orange yolk will prove nutrition standards.
- Grade: The term “grade” refers to quality. Grade A offers no blemishes in the shell, and the egg white and yolk meet a particular protein standard.
Attend a farmer’s market or reach out to local friends on social media to find out who sells the best fresh eggs. Most likely, the eggs will contain orange yolks, and feature an array of colors and sizes!
Shelling Issues Resolved
Fresh eggs are unlikely to peel easy! The solution is to steam the eggs for twenty minutes; then, place in a bowl of cold water and ice cubes! You’ll never have to suffer through peeling again!