In the last two weeks, I discussed eggs and their benefits for the heart and brain for people of all ages as well as convalescents. The variety of nutrients available in eggs in the form of A, Bs, C, D, and E vitamins, essential and nonessential amino acids, minerals, enzymes, and phyto-chemicals (lutein, zeaxanthan, carotenoids) make them an important daily food.
Today, I will talk about the unsuitable conditions for eggs and also discuss the differences among organic, non-organic, conventional, and free-range eggs.
Eggs may be restricted to people with health conditions. Recent studies have established that a moderate consumption of up to six eggs a week have no correlation with cardiovascular disease as researchers suspected earlier. However, diabetics, who are more at risk of strokes, must be careful.
While eggs in moderation can help children with hyperactivity and learning disabilities due to their lecithin and choline content, over-consumption can exacerbate conditions like attention deficit disorders, hyperactivity, anxiety, restlessness, spasms, and erratic behavior.
Though strongly recommended for growing children and developing adolescents, eggs should not be introduced to infants and babies before nine months of age. The yolk can be given alone at first, as egg whites are known to cause allergies in children, who should outgrow them with age. Adults, too, can develop allergic reactions to eggs in the form of rashes and itchy skin.
There are different types of eggs labeled differently in European and American markets. They are generally known as conventional, free-run, pasture, and free range or organic.
Conventional, or commercial (as I call them), eggs are products of hens, housed in 2-square foot-battery cages. The barns contain thousands of hens, which receive antibiotics daily to prevent infections because of close contact in overcrowded spaces.
Eaten raw, conventional eggs can pass on the salmonella bacteria to humans, which may require hospitalization.
Hens are also given hormones regularly to increase eggs’ production. Their feed ranges from genetically modified organisms (GMO) grains to animal leftovers.
Factory produced, non-organic (GMO) eggs may contain fewer of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Commercial chicks are also vaccinated, hence should not be consumed if they weigh less than seven hundred grams.
Another type of egg is from free-run hens, which are left to run indoors, in densely populated barns.
They are fed in ways similar to conventionally raised hens and are given antibiotics and hormones.
Consuming antibiotic-fed animals, poultry, and eggs can cause antibiotic resistance in people and disrupt the hormonal balance.
Pasture eggs are from caged hens, which are moved out into the open air in green areas to feed at least 20 percent of the time. They are not allowed to have antibiotics or hormones.
Free-range hens are also left to roam in the open air most of the time. They should not be given either hormones or antibiotics. They are given bigger spaces (two square feet per hen) to roost. Free-range farms are not government regulated. Hopefully they can be trusted. Their eggs are called “antibiotic-free” or “naturally raised.”
Eggs of free-range hens which feed on organic grains (millet, corn) have a nutritional quality superior to that of their factory-bred counterparts. Yes, free-range eggs contain cholesterol, but also “healthy” polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 fats, which cancel or neutralize “bad” fats.
Organic eggs are from hens, which are not given antibiotics or hormones. Their feed should be organic without pesticides. They are supposed to be exposed to the open air all year round. They offer a good balance of fats, making them wholesome food for growing children, teenagers, adults, and seniors.
Because of their content of “healthy” fats and multiple nutrients, egg yolks, through the ages, have been used as facial masks or mixed with oils to nourish the scalp; improve the condition of the hair; and give it shine. Eggs are included in beauty and hair products by the industry.
Organic, free-range eggs are found in most supermarkets. They are much smaller in size and they are called baydh baladi, meaning country eggs. Quail eggs are also healthy and available in the markets. The color of the egg, which usually depends on the color of the laying hen, does not influence its nutrient quality.
Eggs are a delicious and versatile nutritious food that makes a good dietary supplement more bio-available to the body than multi-vitamin- and-mineral supplements
Eggs can be cooked in many different ways: as a main or side dish; added to appetizers, sandwiches, salad, pastry, cakes and desserts for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. They can be added to meat, fish, poultry, cheese, whole grains, vegetables, milk, ice- cream and fruits. Egg omelets make very delicious, appetizing, nourishing dishes with chopped onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, aromatic herbs, vegetables, or cheese. They also make good emulsifiers as they bind fat to water-based substances.
Eggs cook, digest, and get absorbed quickly. Hard-boiled, soft-boiled, and poached eggs are healthy ways to feed toddlers, convalescents, and seniors.
Eggs and milk make a wholesome breakfast for toddlers, children, and teenagers, whose brains are still developing.
The freshness of an egg can be tested by placing it in a bowl of water. If it floats, it should not be consumed. Eggs are better refrigerated and should be well cooked. They should not be boiled in chlorinated tap water, which penetrates the shell to the egg. Eggs with broken or soft shells should be discarded to avoid contamination.
I have given you the scoop of my research on eggs. It is now up to you to decide whether eggs are good or bad for you. Enjoy your morning egg without guilt if you are not diabetic, allergic, or do not have other health conditions that prevent you from eating them. You will do your brain, body, and health a whole lot of good.
• Use Your Brain to Change your Age by Dr. Daniel Amen, MD
• Are Eggs Actually Healthy? By Julie Daniluk. RHN
Individuals with medical conditions or on medication should consult their physicians when they decide to introduce anything new in their diet even if it is natural.
The previous Health Solutions articles are located at
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