The dairy barn was an exciting place filled with the sights and smells of larger than life dairy cows and their calves, barn kittens, and hay lofts.
I was specifically warned never to be anywhere near the pig pens, and told dire stories of small children and careless adults who had been mauled and even eaten by swine herds.
The one place I could go alone was to the chicken coop. I was given a small pail and told that I could collect all the eggs I could find, and my grandma would make them into breakfast for us when we returned to the house.
Finding eggs was a challenge...my grandma's chickens were free range birds, only corralled into the coop at night to keep them safe from the occasional fox or owls on the prowl. So not all of the hens obliged and sat on their nests in the roost, many of these barnyard gypsies would casually lay eggs in random spots and walk off without a backwards glance. It was a grand victory to discover hidden eggs and return triumphant with a pail full of beautiful, smooth, warm, brown eggs.
...Eggs have gotten a lot of bad press over the past few years. For the longest time they were accused of causing heart problems and high cholesterol...perish the thought of egg yolk passing your lips.
But once again, the pendulum has swung and now studies show that actually, eggs are beneficial for optimal health and weight loss.
First, let's consider the 2 most popular "villainies" of the egg:
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.
New research also shows that moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. Yup, that's right: the regular consumption of 2 eggs/day does not affect a person's lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. We know now that saturated fat raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol. Eggs contain 5 grams of fat/egg and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.
So with those 2 misconceptions out of the way, consider this:
- Overweight adults who eat 2 eggs for breakfast feel more energetic and lose 65% more weight than those who start their mornings with an equally caloric bagel.
- Other findings reveal that egg-eaters consume 300 fewer calories per day, adding up to a loss of three pounds per month, due to the fact that an egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids. The protein just makes you feel more satisfied and less hungry. “Eggs help level out blood sugar, provide energy-boosting protein and are full of nutrients,” says wellness coach Jessica Smith.
- Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day lowers the risk of developing cataracts and may prevent macular degeneration due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin that are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.
- Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
- One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
- Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.
- Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair grows faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.
I love eggs: hard boiled, scrambled, tossed into egg salad. I'm glad they are being vindicated.
Today, I wax nostalgic in the egg section of the grocery store. I fondly buy free range, brown eggs, and gladly pay the extra dollar in hopes that this small contribution allows some hen the good fortune to roam at will, being wild and wily, just like my grandma's birds.
Be healthy, take your women vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten