Eggs!

That eggie gooey goodness…  I love the versatility of eggs, just thinking of the many ways you can eat em is just delicious!  Scramble em, boil em, poach em, and if you are brave, eat em raw… You can virtually make any texture from these wee beauty’s from soft creamy scrambled yum to firm baked and boiled hard.  Eggs are often the key component in binding foods, especially in baking. So what’s packed into these little beauties..

They are an excellent source of vitamin K, particularly needed for pregnant women or breastfeeding; they are an awesome source of B vitamins such as biotin, thiamine and vitamin B12.  They have selenium, vitamin D and are packed with protein.

If you are into calorie counting one large egg contains 78 calories, 6.3g protein, 212mg cholesterol and 5.3g fat.  Did I mention they are an excellent source of protein.

Eggs have had a bit of a bad rap for their cholesterol content however it appears this is unjust and probably comes down to how you cook your eggs.  Studies suggest consuming eggs can actually lower your risk of heart disease, this was concluded from 224 studies over 25 years that included 8,000 people.  They study found those that ate four eggs per week had significantly lower serum cholesterol than those eating one or less eggs (Hu, 1999).

Eggs are rich in betaine, this can reduce your homocysteine levels which impact on blood vessel walls.  Eggs are also a rich source of choline, a fat structure in cell membranes particularly good for brain development so if you are pregnant or breastfeeding get into those eggs to assist with the brain development of baby.

What eggs do I choose? 

I have been particularly disappointed this past week to read of caged eggs being sold as free range eggs, for conscious consumers that don’t have the funds to purchase organic this is particularly upsetting, yet alone the dishonesty of it all.  Another thing is caged eggs are subject to antibiotics and the feed is different to that of free range and or organic.  Caged hens are often sprayed with pesticides to prevent infection and stimulate growth, whereas free range and organic hens are often fed seeds and insects they are not as crowded as caged so antibiotics are not as required.  If purchasing eggs in NZ the commercial farming community is small so really look at the company and their ethos, and check your eggs over in the store look for cracks and any dry liquid on the box if present  don’t purchase.

Safety

Eggs contain purines for this reason if you have kidney problems or suffer from gout you should avoid eggs, also if you suffer from oxalate containing kidney stones then you should limit your consumption of eggs.

Eggs are a common food allergen, particularly for children.  IGE and IGG allergy  is the way the body reacts to the protein molecule.  With eggs the protein is within the egg white and it can cause mast cells in your body to release histamine which causes swelling and inflammation and all sorts of havoc.  Children that have an allergy to eggs can often grow out of it by the time they are 5 years old, however having an egg allergy is not an easy thing to live with as eggs are in so many foods.  An allergy reaction can cause various symptoms ranging from wheezing, trouble breathing, stomach ache, itchy eyes, bed wetting,  hives, itchy skin to anaphylaxis which is very serious.  Often eggs on food labelling are not listed as eggs and can be hard to identify they can be listed as Albumin, globulin, livetin, ovalbumin to name a few of the various ways eggs are listed.  A helpful site to look at is Egg Allergy .

If you suspect you or your child has an allergy or intolerance to eggs we as naturopaths would recommend an allergy test which can range from blood test, skin prick test, skin testing, hair testing, to an elimination diet.  We would work alongside you and your GP to help you manage the allergy/ intolerance particularly providing you with management support and solutions.

And if you don’t have an allergy or intolerance and are like me and love eggs, tell us your favourite way of having them.  Mine is poached with pickled veggies and avocado.  Super Yum..

Your mobile naturopath – Maree x

 

Reference

Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. (2013). BMJ, 346(jan09 2), f149-f149. doi:10.1136/bmj.f149

Hu, F. B. (1999). A Prospective Study of Egg Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Men and Women. JAMA, 281(15), 1387. doi:10.1001/jama.281.15.1387

Kids Health.Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/egg-allergy.html?ref=search

Murray, M. T., Pizzorno, J. E., & Pizzorno, L. (2006). The encyclopedia of healing foods.

Sarris, J., & Wardle, J. (2014). Clinical naturopathy: An evidence-based guide to practice.