Google+ Fitorium: Eggs: bring on the superfood (Decomposing Omegy)

27 February 2014

Eggs: bring on the superfood (Decomposing Omegy)

Hello fitorriors!

I hope you're having an eggcellent day. If not, don't worry! I'm going to brighten it up with this article about eggs (egg puns included - don't you just love puns?).

There's a reason the egg is part of Omegy's name and appearance.

Egg facts and nutrition

I just want to say something before we begin. Eggs are one of the best foods you can eat. Just make sure they come from a good source (like pasture-raised free-range chickens). It's not a coincidence the title has the word "superfood" in it. While every food should be carefully considered to fit one's dietary needs, I consider the egg to be a necessary part of any healthy diet. 

Stop throwing away the yolk and start eating it

Although it has been demonized as an artery-clogging, cholesterol-ridden food, eggs are not the enemy of your heart. Quite the contrary.  

Eggs contain a lot of cholesterol compared to other foods (up to 200 mg of cholesterol). All that cholesterol is going absolutely nothing to your blood cholesterol levels. And neither is all the fat (especially the saturated fat) going to affect your blood lipid levels. It's more complicated than eat cholesterol and/or fat - get atherosclerosis and/or fat. 

Eggs actually raise HDL-cholesterol levels (good) and change cholesterol-carrying LDL particles from small and dense (bad particles which cause atherosclerosis) to large, buoyant LDL (which is neutral as far as heart disease is concerned). 

Look beyond the fact that eggs contain saturated fat and cholesterol (which do not influence your cardiovascular health, if not actually improve it, as we shall see in future posts) and you will find the egg has an abundance of nutritious substances. 

Need a multi-vitamin? Boil an egg 

The egg is a source of complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids humans require to function. It also provides several minerals and vitamins, most notably fat-soluble vitamins (which are found only in the yolk, so throwing that away is a waste of delicious healthiness). Among these are vitamin A, B2, B6, B9, B12, D, E, choline, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and the list goes on. Even omega-3's are present in various amounts, depending on the feed the hens were provided with (grass, bugs, kelp meal help increase the eggs' omega-3 content).

Antioxidants are also present in eggs, notably zeaxanthine and lutein. These help reduce oxidative stress, which is the main factor leading to clogged arteries. Another egg-ceptional way the egg protects our health!

An interesting fact about eggs is that every part of them is edible. Even the shell, which contains calcium carbonate, can be ground up and sprinkled on food. Yum! (I'm only partially kidding.)

Speaking of shells, the color of the eggshell does not give any clue as to how nutritious the egg actually is. 

Eggshell color is just a matter of preference and advertising (usually the latter affects the former). In most of the US, white eggs are preferred. In Europe, brown eggs are favored by many. Some associate white eggs with industrialization and brown eggs with local, organic eggs. There are other colors of eggs, including:

dark brown eggs and...

blueish, greenish eggs.
The blue eggs are laid by the Araucana breed of chicken and have been proven to be stronger against breakage. Despite this, not many prefer them.

Marginally related fact: the Araucana looks like it has sideburns, which is a word derived from General Ambrose Burnside's name. The more you know...

Look at that proud chicken, so dignified and ready to lay some blueish eggs!

Preparing and cooking eggs

While most bird and reptile eggs are edible, attention must be paid to cleaning and preparing them. All those times you saw someone drinking a raw egg, they were exposing themselves to the risk of contamination with Salmonella.

Although the egg shell is a barrier against the bacteria and approximately only 1 in 30,000 eggs are contaminated with Salmonella, shells can be broken or weak, if laid by unhealthy chickens and eggs can by contaminated by Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium if not properly sanitized. Therefore, it's really important you wash eggs before preparing them and to be extra-safe, don't let surfaces and utensils that have been used to process raw eggs come in contact with food that's ready-to-eat.

Eggs can be cooked not just by themselves but are used in all sorts of other dishes. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiled, fried and scrambled. But you probably knew these, so why not try the other 119 other ways to cook your eggs? You can probably skip the entry on "balut". Seriously, don't look. Whatever you do, don't google it.

You googled it, didn't you?
Here's a recipe of ours, which includes our other favorite food, the avocado

-2 eggs;
-1 avocado;
-3 small firm cherry tomatoes;
-3 cloves of garlic;
-1 tbs. olive oil;
-1 tsp. balsamic vinegar;
-juice from 1 lime or 1/2 lemon;
-1 tbs. chia seeds;
-pinch of salt and pepper;

-Crush the garlic gloves in a bowl and pour in the oil and vinegar;
-Juice the lime or lemon and pour juice in the bowl. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Stir it up a bit. Let the concoction sit and blend while you boil the eggs;
-Boil the eggs for about 5-7 minute or more, if you like the yolk hard. Peel away the shells and scoop out the yolks. Keep the whites. Put the yolks in the bowl;
-Peel the avocado, throw away the pit (or keep it if you plan on growing an avocado tree) and mash up the avocado. Mix with the yolks in the bowl;
-Dice the cherry tomatoes to small cubes, so that you have some crunch in the mix but they're not too big;
-Sprinkle in the chia seeds and stir everything until it's homogeneous;
-Fill the whites with the Yolkamole mix (yolk+guacamole);

Hope you liked this article on eggs and our special yolkamole recipe! Got any special recipes for eggs? Let us know! 

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