I’ve lost track. Are we eating eggs now, or are we still too afraid to enjoy them? It’s hard to think of another food with a reputation that’s flip-flopped as much as this poor, humble morsel’s. Another silent victim of misinformation. Unfortunately, the majority of us bought into the idea that eggs were bad for us—hook, line, and sinker.
The wonderful thing is, unless you’re allergic to eggs, you’d be a fool not to include them in your diet. After all, as Sally Fallon points out in Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, eggs are not only one of the most complete proteins out there but also one of the most affordable.
What’s so great about eggs? Here’s a short list:
- Eggs from fowl raised on fresh grass and lots of insects are rich in almost every nutrient we know of, including vitamins A and D.
- Eggs ensure healthy cell membranes through their sulfur-containing proteins.
- Eggs are a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA—essential for developing the nervous system in infants and maintaining mental sharpness in adults.
- Egg yolks provide a concentrated dose of choline, a B vitamin that keeps cholesterol moving through the bloodstream.
That’s some powerful nutrition packed into such a little package, don’t cha think? And because they’re so versatile, you can include eggs in any meal of the day—I know we do at our house. A couple of fried eggs served with turkey sausages and sprouted grains toast slathered with butter are a great start at breakfast. I also like fried eggs all chopped up with mustard mixed in with the tasty yolk. For a simple lunch, you can easily tote along some hard-boiled eggs wherever you’re headed—try sprinkling some salt and pepper on them. A frittata filled with your favorite veggies makes for a solid supper, and it’s also one of the ways I sneak more greens into our family’s diet. And when you have more time, you can also try your hand at a quiche. (Quiche Lorraine, anyone?)
Worried about cholesterol? Despite what we’ve heard, cholesterol isn’t inherently bad. Every cell in our body depends on it to function properly, so it’s worth it to get informed about this misunderstood topic. I’ve added Cholesterol: Facts and Fantasies by Judith A. DeCava, CNC, LNC, to my list of books to read because it debunks some of the most common misconceptions about cholesterol.
What about salmonella? In Nourishing Traditions, Fallon notes that eggs from pasture-fed hens pose no threat of salmonella when refrigerated as suggested on the carton. It’s the commercially produced eggs from overcrowded, antibiotic-fed hens that you should avoid. Therefore, to drastically reduce the risk of salmonella, it’s worth paying for the best quality eggs you can get your hands on. But that’s not the only advantage—their nutrition profile is also far superior, with a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Have you ever compared the rich color of a pasture-fed yolk to the pale one of a commercial egg? It speaks volumes.
I came across an interesting factoid in a sidebar of Fallon’s book, which cites David W. Rowland’s Health Naturally. Rowland refers to the use of egg therapy for severe burn victims. These patients are often force-fed large quantities of whole eggs and egg concentrates because the protein helps regenerate areas of lost skin. Interesting stuff.
I’m sure many of you will be following tradition and preparing colored eggs for the Easter holiday this weekend. You may want to consider these natural suggestions for coloring your eggs this year. Afterwards, don’t be afraid to peel those heroic ovals and whip up some deviled eggs to snack on or prepare some egg salad for a quick and nutritious lunch.
What’s your favorite way to include the misunderstood egg in your diet?
Photo from iStock/wragg