I love eggs. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and supper every single day. I don’t but I could. And it turns out that eggs are really very good for you. And when you think about it, the egg’s purpose is to bring new life into the world and to nourish that life until it reaches the point where it can survive on its own. No wonder eggs are one of the most nutrient-rich foods available to us. During the winter, chickens do not naturally lay many eggs. The return of the light brings the return of eggs; how cool is that?.
Eggs Are Loaded with Nutrients
Eggs are loaded with vitamins. Rich in the B vitamin family, they also contribute vitamins A and D. Egg yolks are one of the greatest sources of riboflavin, B12, and choline, which may well not only help developing brains in utero, but protect us from age-related memory loss. In the mineral department, eggs are especially rich in selenium. Eggs are abundant in lutein which seems to be better absorbed by the human body than when it comes from vegetables, zeaxanthin and carotenoids, which protect our eyes from macular degeneration.
Some eggs even have significant amounts of omega-3 fats. So-called “Omega-3 eggs” have usually been fed flax seeds to raise their level of omega-3 fat. Interestingly, hens that have been allowed to feed on a variety of natural food for them (greens, grubs, etc) produce eggs with more omega-3 fat. “Pastured eggs” are one name for these hens, though note that “free range” hens usually don’t share this diet.
One egg provides 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat (1.5 saturated and 2 monounsaturated), and about half a gram of carbohydrate.
But Isn’t it Bad to Eat Too Many Eggs?
Eggs have lots of cholesterol, so for a long time it was considered unhealthy to eat too many. However, there has been a lot more research on eggs and “they” are now saying that there really isn’t any real evidence showing that eggs are in any way harmful to our health. Some studies actually show an improvement in blood lipids after eating eggs. It seems that this high-cholesterol food raises our “good” cholesterol rather than the “bad!”
Not only are eggs a low-cost and low-carb source of protein and other nutrients, but egg whites can provide structure to baked goods made with nontraditional ingredients such as nut flours and flax seed meal and can provide the basis for desserts such as snow pudding or macaroons.
Eggs have a shelf life of about 60 days when refrigerated. In the United States, the “sell by” date is no more than 30 days after the day the eggs were packed. They should be used within 3 to 5 weeks after that date, according to the USDA. Eggs are best stored in the carton they came in in the coldest part of the refrigerator. To insure protection against disease such as salmonella (rare), thoroughly cook eggs. Egg whites can be frozen for up to a year. Egg yolks don’t freeze as successfully, but mixing ½ tsp salt in with each yolk will work. Hard-cooked eggs will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator; they do not freeze well.
Here is a yummy Frittata recipe for you:
Mushroom, Tomato, Basil Frittata
½ medium onion, minced
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1+1 TBS chicken broth
1 cup thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
½ medium tomato, seeds removed, diced
3 large eggs
3 TBS chopped fresh basil
salt and black pepper to taste
Mince onions and press garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health benefits. Heat 1 TBS broth in a 10-inch stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté onion over medium low heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes. Add 1 TBS broth, tomato, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute. Stir well, and gently scrape pan with a wooden spoon to remove any slight burning. Beat eggs well, and season with salt and pepper. Mix in chopped basil. Pour eggs over vegetables evenly and turn heat to low. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until firm. Cut into wedges and serve.
Total Fat: 8 g
Total Carbohydrates: 6.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 10.6 g