Food for Thought: Introducing Eggs
“Eggies!” I used to scoot down the stairs and cry for this food to be my breakfast. My parents both remember it fondly. To their credit, my parents often made eggs for me. Kudos, mom and dad!
As far as cooking eggs, most of us are familiar with those that come from chickens. There’s also duck eggs, quail eggs, and emu eggs. Those are just the ones I’ve seen on Top Chef, but I’ve never used them in my own kitchen. It’s almost worth watching Top Chef solely for episodes featuring the intimidating emu egg.
Cage free eggs refer to those hatched by chickens that are not caged. There is evidence to suggest that these eggs taste better because they come from chickens that are not in stressful environments. Everything tastes better when stress is not an ingredient!
The egg is a modest food. Cracked, it creates a little circle of white surrounding a bright yellow yolk. Cooked, it’s versatile. It can be fried, scrambled, poached, boiled to any number of degrees, tossed into a noticeably green-less salad, and even blended into sauces. Certainly for a home cook, it’s a low-maintenance foodstuff that plays many characters with flair.
Talk with Your Mouth Full: The Egg Debate
The humble egg – it gets a lot of heat these days, what with our constant scrutiny of animal products. There are concerns about whether eggs – specifically, the yolks – cause high cholesterol or heart disease. Here’s what some of the eggsperts out there have to say on the matter.
+ Eggs have Choline
What the heck is choline? It’s a nutrient just starting to make major headlines and is known to help with liver, muscle, and brain health.
+ Eggs have Protein
It’s true! While most of the protein comes from the egg whites, eggs constitute a good source of protein overall. Protein is known to help with muscle development, energy levels, and tissue healing.
+ Eggs have Healthy Fat
Omega-3 fatty acids are another popular buzz-phrase in the health community and for good reason. They help with memory and mood. Guess where you can find them? Egg yolks!
+ Eggs are Accessible
Unlike other healthy foods out there, these are almost everywhere to be found. They also happen to be cost-effective and since it’s not recommended to eat a full dozen in a day (or even a week), eggs provide a lot of bang for your buck.
+ Eggs are Easy
You might even say they’re over-easy…depending on how you cook them. As mentioned above, there’s a lot of ways to cook an egg. Egg-sperimenting in the kitchen a little will help you find your favorite way to heat these babies up and pop them in your diet.
– Eggs Come from Animals
For vegetarians and vegans, this food misses the plate every time. If you are against consuming animal products, eggs are not for you.
– Eggs Cause High Cholesterol (or do they…?)
There is some belief that because eggs contain dietary cholesterol, they contribute to higher body cholesterol levels. However, some studies are now finding that most of the cholesterol in the body is made by the liver and that dietary cholesterol has little to do with the cholesterol made by the body.
The yolks contain the most cholesterol though, so sticking with just egg whites can help people with high cholesterol avoid this problem.
– Eggs Can Cause Food Poisoning
Everyone has heard of that nasty Salmonella. This bacteria can enter the body if eggs are underprepared. There is some evidence that the higher quality the egg, the less chance of contracting Salmonella if the egg is raw or undercooked. It’s still best to make sure to cook eggs through and not to leave egg dishes out at room temperature for long periods of time.
The Secret Ingredient: Eggs as a Remedy
This lesser-known nutrient is just starting to make waves. Studies have already indicated that it helps the brain produce serotonin and dopamine. These are neurotransmitters (brain messengers) that help with both mood and anxiety.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The omega-3 fatty acids found in egg yolks help improve mood.
Eggs contain vitamin D; this nutrient is shown to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression both!
What will eggs do for my own depression, anxiety, and low thyroid function? Come back this Friday to read The Findings!
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