Eggs - Kindness In A Shell

February 3, 2015

Eating eggs may make you kinder!  

That's the latest news on eggs from researchers in the Netherlands.   In a small clinical trial, 16 adults were given the equivalent amount of tryptophan found in 3 large eggs, while 16 others were given a placebo (cellulose powder).   Each subject was rewarded with money for taking place in the trial, then given the option of donating some of the reward to charities.   After taking the supplements, those on tryptophan donated double the amount of money compared to those on the placebo!(1)   

 

Tryptophan is a precursor to serotinin, one of the brain neurotransmitters that increases feelings of happiness and wellbeing.   Many antidepressants work by making serotonin available for a longer period of time within the brain, but eating eggs may provide more serotonin in the first place.   Seems to me a sensible way to brighten your day.  

 

Here's some other interesting info on eggs

  • Eggs have a biological value of 100.   That means they contain a better mix of amino acids than other dietary proteins, and digest/absorb brilliantly.   Every other protein source is second best to eggs

  • Eggs contain the 9 essential amino acids not made by the body, meaning they have to come from the diet or supplements (amino acids are the building blocks of proteins)

  • Cooking increases protein availability (Raw eggs = 51% available protein, Cooked eggs = ~91% available protein).   Many weightlifters and body builders consume raw eggs in shakes, but they'd actually be better off eating their eggs cooked!

 

Egg Safety

  • Eating raw eggs gives you a high risk of salmonella poisoning.    Cooking reduces this risk because Salmonella is destroyed at ~71 Degrees C.

  • The risk of food poisoning from eggs is greater if they are from your own chooks rather than commercially produced.   While this is true, bacteria that are found in commercially produced eggs are more antibiotic resistant.   The simple answer to this problem is to wash your home produced eggs thoroughly before use.

 

Cool Egg Tips

  • Washing eggs removes a protective coating that actually preserves the eggs, so they'll deteriorate more if you wash them immediately on collection rather than just before use

  • Want to know if an egg is 'off' before use?   Just try floating it in a glass of water; if it floats, it's off, if it sinks, it's ok.   Gases produced in egg fermentation make eggs float on water!

  • Uh Oh, is that egg in the fridge boiled or not?   SImply place the egg on its side on a counter & gently spin it.   If it spins smoothly, it's boiled, if it wobbles during the spin, it's uncooked.   Double check by spinning the egg again, then stop it spinning with a finger and immediately lift the finger off the egg.   If it remains still it's boiled, but if it begins spinning again, it's uncooked.

 

How Many Eggs A Day?

Australia's National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) states that a serving of protein may include 2 large eggs (120g).(2)   As adult males are recommended 3 serving of protein per day, and adult females recommended 2.5 servings per day,(3) that could mean 5-6 large eggs per day!   For better variety of flavour, texture and other nutrients however, I recommend that your proteins come from a wider range of foods than just eggs!

 

Eggs & Cholesterol

It's long been recommended that we minimise egg consumption to help control cholesterol, based on the fact that eggs contain cholesterol.   More recent studies have refuted this, even among people with diabetes who were originally thought to be most at risk of worsening cardiovascular disease by eating eggs.(4)   

 

No matter how you eat them, (provided they're not raw), all the evidence points to eggs being one of the healthiest protein foods you can eat.   Boiled, poached, fried, scrambled, in omelettes and in cooking, eggs are a handy and valid way to improve your health, your mood and even your generosity.

 

References

(1) http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01451/full

(2) https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/how-much-do-we-need-each-day/serve-sizes

(3) https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/how-much-do-we-need-each-day/recommended-number-serves-adults 

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25642410

 

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