Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eggs - Are They Really Incredible and Edible?

Nothing conjures up thoughts of Spring and all of its holidays like eggs . . . whether they are beautifully colored and used as a pretty centerpiece, or as the main course for an elegant or simple holiday brunch, eggs seem to shout out the message of spring and renewal . . .

Fresh Organic Free Range Eggs

That is unless you are allergic to them!  Then all kinds of unfortunate digestive issues will have you shouting a whole different message . . .

So I’ve been doing a bit of research on the subject of eggs and here are a few things I thought you might find interesting.

The incredible health benefits of eggs . . .
You have to admit that eggs are rather incredible . . . they come in a handy protective package that you even use to cook and serve them . . .

Perfect Boiled Eggs - Naturally Wheat, Gluten, Sugar, Soy and Dairy Free - Right?

They have a rather unique chemistry that makes them a rather perfect baking ingredient – they bind ingredients together in a rather unique way adding loft and an airy texture . . . 

Raspberry & Lemon Creme Cupcakes (Wheat and Dairy Free) 

they can be beaten into a foam . . .

Cloud Topped Lemon Tart (Wheat, Gluten and Dairy Free)

they emulsify otherwise incongruent ingredients . . . 

Roasted Garlic & Walnut Mayo, Quick & Easy Lemonnaise,
 and Dill and Caper Mayo (Wheat, Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free)

act like "glue" to hold things together . . .

Oven Fried Zucchini Sticks (Wheat, Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free)

can be separated into fat-free whites as well as bright yellow yolks that contain vegetarian friendly omega-3 fatty acids . . .

Eggs are an excellent source of protein – 6 grams per egg – plus sulfur and 9 different amino acids that are used by the body as building blocks of protein.  In fact the sequence of amino acids that makes egg protein easy for your body to absorb. Which means a hard-boiled egg may be an ideal muscle-repair food after a workout.

In fact, eggs are so nutrient dense that they have been dubbed a “perfect” food.  Rich in iron (the darker the yolk the more iron it contains), calcium, potassium, naturally occurring Vitamin D, Vitamin A in the form of retinol (which gives yolks their yellow color), lutein and zeaxanthin, plus an array of B vitamins that is very impressive indeed . . . including folic acid, Vitamin B-12 and choline.

And it seems that when combined these 3 members of the Vitamin B family offer some powerful protection to the brain and entire nervous system!  While each of the 3 are powerhouses on their own, when combined the results are even greater!  Together they reduce and repair oxidative damage to brain cells (think radiation damage from your cell phone here), improve the communication between nerve cells leading to improved memory function and muscle control.

Cheesy Rice Grits, Garlicky Greens and Perfect Poached Eggs
(Wheat, Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free)

The choline alone has demonstrated the ability to reduce incidents of breast cancer by approximately 45%!  This is likely due, at least in part, to the anti-inflammatory properties of choline.  Since inflammation is linked to all cancers this is rather significant!

Some studies have indicated that eggs also offer protection from macular degeneration and cataracts due to the trio of carotenoids retinol, lutein and zeaxanthin.  The interesting thing this study uncovered is that these forms of Vitamin A are more easily digested and more readily available to our bodies than from other sources.

Sweet Potato Hash with Wilted Spinach and Perfect Poached Eggs
(Wheat, Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free)

For about 20 years eggs were maligned as contributors to high cholesterol and all of the ills assigned to elevated LDL levels.  But a study performed by the Harvard School of Public Heath debunked this idea.  In fact it demonstrated that there was no difference in cholesterol between women who ate 1 egg per week and those who averaged 2 or more per day.  Yet another study indicated that regular, moderate consumption of eggs prevents blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.

Very Veggie Frittata (Wheat, Gluten, Sugar and Diary Free)

And if all of that wasn’t enough to impress you, a study by the Louisiana State University found that obese people who ate a two egg breakfast at least five times a week lost 65 percent more weight and had more energy than women who ate a higher carb breakfast. "Eggs are more satisfying than carbs, making you feel full longer," says Kristine Clark, Ph.D., R.D., assistant professor of nutrition at Penn State.

Egg & Veggie Scramble (Wheat, Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free)

Now as incredible as the egg may be, for some it is absolutely not edible!  It seems that much like wheat, soy and corn, egg allergies are on the rise, and that may not be a coincidence . . .

My own point of view on the rise of egg allergies . . .

On February 19th I posted an article that explained how what we eat actually changes our RNA and DNA.  

You Are What You Eat . . . How What You Eat Changes Your RNA

So is it a stretch to think the same thing is happening to chickens?

Worldwide chickens have become a huge argi-business and are grown in unsanitary, overcrowded and inhumane conditions.  To combat the rising rates of infection and disease these hens are regularly fed antibiotics and are now succumbing to bacteria resistant “super bugs” at alarming rates.

Add to that studies that found significant amounts of caffeine, arsenic, an antihistamine that is the active ingredient of Benadryl, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, and sadly enough (no pun intended) an antidepressant that is the active ingredient Prozac  -  all of these in chicken feed. 

While that is cause enough to begin to question the safety of commercially produced eggs, I think the main allergic response to eggs may come from the main components in chicken feed – soybeans, corn and wheat.  Since these hens are not allowed outside to forage for insects, worms and plants, their total food supply is this chicken feed. 

Now keep in mind that chicken eggs are chicken embryos . . . and embryos are genetic replications of the parent who created them.  So if a hen is eating food that’s high in the top 3 most allergy producing foods – and not incidentally, the 3 most genetically modified and hybridized – that these foods are actually behind the increased allergenic response to eggs?

While most research on egg allergies focuses on the proteins contained in the eggs, I think there’s more to the story . . .

For me this makes complete sense and so I would invite those of you who have more mild allergy responses to eggs to try a new approach - find a farmer or backyard chicken keeper who allows their hens to roam free, to forage for their natural food choices, and who supplements with organic food made without GMO’s, corn, wheat or soy and let me know what happens!

To all you Urban Farmers who have become guardians of beautiful hens, thanks for becoming a part of the growing number of people who are having Fun With Real Food!

You will find recipes for all of the food in the lovely photos above in my latest cookbook - OMG! That's Allergy Free?

For an automatic 30% discount, be sure to use the special coupon code for my blog followers at checkout – BLOG30

Egging you on with more info and inspired ideas,

Dr. P

1 comment:

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