The Amazing Egg

Mon, Mar 29, 2010


This coming Sunday is a day that is a celebration of Spring and Easter. One thing that hops to mind when thinking of either of these is the Easter Bunny and the number one food that comes to mind, when thinking of the Easter bunny, is eggs!

Bird eggs are the type usually eaten (at least in North America), specifically chicken eggs, but other animals such as reptiles, amphibians and fish eggs have also been eaten for as long as we’ve been around. In Egypt there is a tomb of Haremhab (built around 1420BC) that shows a man carrying bowls of what seems to be ostrich and possibly pelican eggs. In ancient Rome, eggs were often preserved. Meals were also usually started with eggs or an egg course. During Lent in medieval times, eggs were forbidden for being so rich.

There have been many studies done to prove the health benefits of eggs.  First of note is the amount of protein, which is high enough that it’s ranked as a meat according to the Food Pyramid. Next, would be the amount of Choline, which is shown to help with brain development and function where one egg gives half the daily need. Another, is Luten and Zeaxanthin, both of which help with good vision and because they are anti-oxidants, they help prevent macular degeneration and decrease the risk of cataracts. It’s important not to forget the vitamins in eggs such as the sunshine vitamin D, which is naturally occurring in eggs. All of the vitamins in an egg are contained in the yolk.

If you are worried about cholesterol, any fat that is in an egg is in the yolk, which is only 27% saturated fat. When looking at nutrition values for fats in eggs 1 large (50g) egg has 0.8 grams Polyunsaturated fat, 2g Monounsaturated  fat and 1.5g of saturated fats, with no trans fats. Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats produce good cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats also are thought to lower bad cholesterol, so eggs tend to even out your cholesterol levels. That’s the fancy way of saying it has more good fat than bad fat!

Most health care professionals however, do advise cutting out as many saturated fats as possible when trying to lower cholesterol.

There are many things eggs are used in, from cooking to baking to preserving. One that is especially fun around this time of year is, of course, decorating!

Eggs have been decorated for different celebrations for thousands of years. Zoroastrians painted eggs for Nowrooz in celebration of their New Year, which happens to be on the Spring equinox (20th of March). Another is Passover Seder where hard-boiled eggs  are dipped in salt water.

Whatever reason you have for eggs, be it health, celebratory, decoration or just because they taste good, remember this quote:

“I have had, in my time, memorable meals of scrambled eggs with fresh truffles, scrambled eggs with caviar and other glamorous things, but to me, there are few things as magnificent as scrambled eggs, pure and simple, perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned.” – James Beard, ‘On Food’ (1974)

Photo by  woodleywonderworks

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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