Did you know that you should eat more eggs and do you wonder which eggs should you buy?!
Eggs are considered a superfood because they are packed with nutrition, and did you know that pregnant and nursing women should eat at least one to two eggs each day?
Have you also heard that breakfast eggs can increase weight loss?
I can vouch for this story – when I eat an egg (or two) for breakfast, I'm satisfied for hours. I always cook it in plenty of pastured butter, shake on some sea salt and pepper, and usually melt a piece of cheese on top, too – you know never to use Velveeta or the nasty Kraft “processed cheese food” slices, right?!
I can't believe how many people still think eggs are bad for your heart.
See this Weston A. Price article for great info about all the ways eggs are good so for us, and why just buying grocery store eggs from factory farms is NOT the way to go…
Here's an excerpt:
Without a doubt, fresh, pastured eggs are superior in taste and nutrition to conventionally raised commercially available varieties. Eggs have been a highly valued foods since the beginning of time—eggs from chickens, ducks, geese, turtles and fish. Egg yolks are the richest source of two superstar carotenoids—lutein and zeaxanthin. 1. Not only are bright yellow yolks loaded with these fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients, they are more bioavailable than those found in vegetables, corn and most supplements.2,3 While these nutrients have a reputation of combating macular degeneration4,5 and cataracts6 and supporting overall healthy vision, they have a long list of other benefits, including protecting the skin from sun damage7 and even reducing one’s risk of colon8 and breast cancer.9
Besides providing all eight essential protein-building amino acids, a large whole, fresh egg offers about six to seven grams of protein and five grams of fat (with about 1.5 grams of it saturated), which comes in handy to help in the absorption of all the egg’s fat-soluble vitamins. One egg also serves up around 200 milligrams of brain-loving cholesterol and contains the valuable vitamins A, K, E, D, B-complex and minerals iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium.10 Choline, another egg-nutrient, is a fatty substance found in every living cell and is a major component of our brain. Additionally, choline helps break up cholesterol deposits by preventing fat and cholesterol from sticking to the arteries.10,14 So the bottom line is, don’t be chicken about eating eggs, especially the cholesterol-rich yolks!
Compared to the generic supermarket variety, eggs from pastured poultry are a vivid yellow-orange—proof of a richer store of healthenhancing carotenes (more specifically xanthophylls, a natural yellow-orange pigment in green plants and yellow corn).11,12 The more carotenes, the darker, deeper orange color the yolk—and the higher the levels of fat-soluble vitamins as well. Expect to find the richest orange colors in the spring, when grass is fresh and bugs are plentiful. Color also fades as the egg ages. Bear in mind, variations will be seen in these differences due to the breed and age of chickens, their diet (grass, insects, and feed) and the season.
When left to their own scavenger instincts, being the omnivores they are, chickens eat bugs, worms (and even snakes if given the opportunity), grasses and nutritious herbs such as plantain leaves and wilted nettle—both of which boost egg production and yolk hue. While these feathered friends will eat the grain and pellets left in the feed trough, it certainly isn’t their ideal food. Remember, chickens are omnivores, not vegetarians as many people assume, meaning they are designed to consume foods from both animal and plant sources. Subjecting chickens to a strictly vegetarian diet prevents them from achieving their ideal health by denying them the nutrients found through scavenging around the farm, barnyard and pasture.
Compared to eggs from conventionally raised, caged hens, eggs produced by free-roaming and pasture-pecking chickens have more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and vitamin A,12 along with notably higher amounts of folic acid and vitamin B12.13 Direct sunlight also acts as a nutrient and naturally boosts egg production.14 So get your girls out of doors as much as possible!”
Eggs are great for babies, too!
I wish I'd known this for all of our kids, but the first solid food our youngest baby had was gently cooked egg yolks with organic butter and a little sea salt at about 6 months. (I've read that the egg whites, which contain difficult-to-digest proteins for babies, should not be given before the age of one year. Read more here on caring for babies, including a link at the bottom to an article explaining which solids should be given first, and why to stay away from baby cereals.) No matter what stage of life you are at, eggs are great for our brains.
Which Eggs Should You Buy?
- Hands down, eggs from a local farm with pasture-fed hens are the healthiest eggs. (Of course, they shouldn't be given antibiotics or hormones.) Local eggs that haven't had to travel long distances are going to have a higher nutritional value. When the chickens are pasture-fed the way they were meant to be, and eating what they're supposed to be eating, they'll be healthier. Healthier chickens equal healthier eggs. (See the WAP link above for more info.) Also best are eggs that were from hens not fed any soy.
- Least healthy are eggs from conventional farms with chickens raised in confinement and given antibiotics. But as the Weston A. Price Foundation advises, if these are the only eggs you can find, eat them anyway because they're so good for you.
- Never use imitation egg “products” – according to the WAPF, imitation egg products cause rapid death in test animals. And why would you eat those anyway, when real eggs are so good for you?!
- Never eat just the egg whites – the yolk is the most nutrient dense part! If anything, eat just the egg yolks, I do this in some recipes, because they just make it creamier. (The whites should not be eaten raw as there are anti-nutrients in them that are only neutralized when cooked, and in creamy sauces, they would cook and not blend in as nicely as just the yolk does.) Unless you're making something like macaroons of course, then just the whites are okay, but then you can use the yolks for other recipes. Just remember that components present in the yolk help digest the whites, and nutrients present in the whites help digest the yolks. God put them together in nature for a reason! As explained above, the only exception is when feeding babies; they can't digest the whites until over age one.
Let go of what you used to hear about eggs not being good for you.
Think common sense: eggs are a natural food that have been around for thousands of years – there is nothing new about them, and they remain, as always, a healthy food!
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- Read this excerpt from “Real Food” by Nina Planck