Mommies should be egg-static about eggs because they are amazingly nutritious, CHEAP, and easy to fix.
Here is the low-down on why they are so marvelous:
1.Eggs are excellent nutrition.
Read this from Authority Nutrition:
Whole eggs are so nutritious that they’re often called “nature’s multivitamin.”
Here is what they are packed with:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9 (folate)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Quality Protein (6 grams, with all nine essential amino acids included)
Here are some of the health benefits of eating eggs:
They support healthy pregnancy and fetal development.
Eggs contain both choline and folate, substances known to aid in fetal development (they can prevent neural tube defects), and this is good news!
But what is even more interesting is the theory that they can actually help prevent PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, sometimes called “toxemia” or “pre-eclampsia”). The idea is that this life-threatening condition is caused by a lack of protein consumption by the mother, which in turn causes a lack of the production of albumin by the liver.
Dr. Tom Brewer, working very pragmatically with inner-city women in
Richmond, CA, found that by increasing their protein intake, he was able
to lower the toxemia rate from something like 17% to .5%. He then
tried to develop an explanation for why this was successful. His idea
is that metabolic toxemia of late pregnancy (MTLP) is the manifestation
of a liver malfunction caused by malnutrition. The increased blood
volume needed for a healthy pregnancy requires extra albumen, a protein
that also keeps water in circulation in the blood. Without an adequate
diet, the liver cannot make enough albumen and water leaks into the
tissues, the blood volume falls, and the placenta function decreases.
The woman appears puffy and has a sudden weight gain with this extra
fluid. Blood pressure rises to try to maintain adequate blood flow and
the woman may develop headaches, dizziness, or fainting. The kidneys
try to absorb fluid, and shut down completely if the blood volume is
critcally low. Protein appears in the urine because the tissues in
the body begin metabolizing themselves since the liver has been
overstressed in many of its functions, such as making protein. Some of
the protein that the tissues use when they break down to provide for
the woman’sprotein needs is excreted in the urine.
I always associate getting enough protein with eating eggs because of this anecdote I read a number of years ago:
Dr. Brewer would often tell of one woman who, unable to find a doctor who would give her IV albumin, brought her blood pressure down by eating 52 eggs and drinking 6 quarts of milk, over a period of 3 days.
The links between protein, albumin, and good health are also confirmed in this article from Dr. Michael Eeades.
They are useful in weight management
Consider this report on a recent study found on Weight Loss Resources:
In the study, 30 overweight or obese women ate either an egg-based breakfast (2 eggs) or a bagel-based breakfast, containing the same amount of calories and almost identical levels of protein. The researchers recorded the women’s eating habits and found that just before lunch, the women who had eaten eggs for breakfast felt less hungry and ate a smaller lunch as a result. Better still, over the next 36 hours the group eating the egg-containing breakfast consumed, on average, 417 calories less than the bagel-eating group.
In fact, Live Strong has this to say:
There’s some evidence that eggs specifically help you shed pounds. One animal study, conducted at the University of North Carolina, looked at whether egg protein promoted weight loss. The study authors fed rats one of two types of high-protein breakfasts — one made up of egg protein, and one with wheat protein — and found that rats who ate the egg breakfast ate less for the rest of the day. That signals that egg protein might be more filling some than other types of protein, which might help you control overeating.
This is validated by another study where eggs score amazingly high on the satiety index.
They increase muscle mass and function.
I know this isn’t typical thinking, but moms need muscle, too!
She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
Besides that, we want our children to grow up healthy and strong. According to body builders, the protein in eggs is not simply another type, it is the standard by which all other protein is measured.
Dietary protein contributes to the synthesis and maintenance of muscle tissue, and directly influences muscle mass, strength and function in people of all ages.
2.Eggs are cheap.
Most large families (most families in general) see the grocery budget as “negotiable.” If there is a deficit somewhere else, money for food gets adjusted. One of the portions of this budget that gets hit first is the meat category.
This usually means less protein, which is bad because one of the things all family members need is protein!
- School-age kids–19-34g
- Teen-age boys–up to 52g
- Teen-age girls–up to 46g
- Adult men–56g
- Adult women–46g
- Pregnant/breastfeeding women–71g
This is where eggs come in to save the day.
Here is a price comparison I created using data from this site adjusted to reflect the prices at our local Sam’s Club:
As an example, it would take about 20 eggs to make omelets or French toast enough to feed all 10 of us, giving each person approximately one quarter of their entire daily requirment for a total of only $1.40!
3.They are easy to prepare.
Eggs stand in the refrigerator in neat little rows like soldiers waiting to be called into action. You don’t have to thaw them or cook them for hours. They are ready in minutes whenever you need them!
Here are just a few basic ways to use them:
- Simply fried and scrambled
- In omelets
- As French toast
- In Huevos Rancheros
- In egg and English muffin sandwiches
- Boiled and added as a topping to salad, soup, or a bowl of beans or rice
- In Chinese fried rice
- Deviled as an addition to soup or salad, or to any other meal
- In old-fashioned pound cake
- In old-fashioned custard pudding
The above list is incomplete. For more inspiration, go to this link:
Eggs are now considered in the same category as raw meat, and should be handled accordingly. I never considered raw eggs a big deal until I recently contracted salmonella and was hospitalized. This is something I never want another family member to experience! I am not paranoid, but I do pay more attention to how we handle and prepare them.
On the good news side, eggs are actually good for a longer period than most of us realize.
As long are they are kept refrigerated at 45 °F or lower, fresh shell eggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond the carton’s Julian date (the date eggs were packed). The Julian date is usually found on the short side of the carton and represents the consecutive days of the year with the number 001 as January 1 and December 31 as 365. Although not required, cartons may also carry an expiration date (EXP) beyond which the eggs should not be sold, but are still safe to eat. On cartons with the USDA grade logo, the expiration date cannot exceed 30 days after the eggs were packed in the carton. Depending on the retailer, the expiration date may be less than 30 days. Eggs packed in cartons without the USDA grade logo are governed by the laws of their states.
However, boiled eggs are good for less time than most of us realize.
Shell eggs have a protective coating that is washed away when they are hard-cooked. This leaves the pores in the shell open for bacteria to enter. Hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking and used within one week.
Here are a few of the guidelines suggested by the FDA:
- Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
- Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160° F. Use a food thermometer to be sure.
- For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served — like Caesar salad dressing and homemade ice cream — use either shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products.
Just in case you were wondering…
Eggs Do Not Contribute to Heart Disease.
In fact, eggs can have a roll in keeping one’s heart healthy and happy.
eggs have been observed in clinical trials to regulate cholesterol absorption and inflammation in the bloodstream, balancing the ratio of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) to low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). This also helps lower the risk of coronary heart disease. (5)
Shopping for Eggs
Epicurious has the best information on what to look for than any other site I found. Consider this small quote from the article:
Free-range means the chickens are not caged and have some access to the outdoors—though there’s no way of knowing if the chickens actually go outside and if they do, for how long. Cage-free simply means the hens are not caged, but they remain indoors. However, there’s no regulation regarding how much space cage-free chickens actually get.
There is also an interesting article about the different types of egg farms that I found fascinating (my dad raised chickens when I was a little girl so the cage-free egg farm was familiar to me):
Currently, we are using the conventionally produced eggs. However, the other types are being made more available, even our local Sam’s Club has a good selection at decent prices. One of our daughters, who lives in a local subdivision, raises hens and produces her own cage-free eggs for her family.
So, there you have it, almost everything you ever wanted to know on the subject!
I love doing research on something that is practical to me, so this has been really fun to write.