Now, how beautiful are our chickens? They give us their eggs. But what’s actually in an egg??
For a start, there’s vitamins A, D and the B group, calcium, Omega 3, magnesium, iron and selenium. Just one egg makes 11 out of the 20 essential amino acids necessary to sustain life!
Eggs are also a significant source of choline – providing more than double the amount of choline per 100g than any other commonly eaten food. It’s contained in the egg yolk and not the egg white. Read more info on choline.
Australian and international studies are increasing our awareness and understanding of this essential nutrient, but many people still don’t know what it is or why it’s so important for our health.
Choline is essential for a range of reasons, including:
- Helping to create and maintain healthy cells
- Helping liver function and cholesterol transport in the body
- Helping to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter needed for muscle control, memory, focus, and heartbeat regulation.
I was thumbing through an old nutrition book by Ruth Adams from Mum, and there was a whole chapter on eggs and choline:
“Eggs are especially rich in lecithin and choline is one of the ingredients of lecithin … The lecithin apparently keeps cholesterol in such an emulsified state that it does not settle on artery walls or collect as gall bladder stones.”Adams, R. (1976). The Complete Guide to All the Vitamins, p.208. Larchmont Books: Atlanta, Georgia.
Adams cites Adele Davis’ book Let’s Get Well:
“ … it is not entirely the amount of food eaten that causes obesity, but the lack of nutrients required to convert fat into energy.”(p.208)
And choline is one of these nutrients!
It’s the one food I never get bored with – there are just so many ways to cook it!
- You can have it soft or hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, fried or in an omelette.
- You can actually make an omelette in a microwave. Add butter, milk, cheese and pepper but no salt (there’s enough in cheese!) For 2 eggs, 2 minutes on high is fine. Check for any liquid remaining; if there’s still some, then cook for another 30–60 seconds. Watch my video.
- Have your eggs with full grain toast – preferably sourdough or rye. It makes for super-duper breakfast!
- The high protein in eggs and the low GI fibre in healthy breads will keep you full till lunchtime. Who needs artery-hardening fatty pastries for morning tea?
TIP: For those who don’t fancy eggs for breakfast and walk out the door having just a cup of coffee and slice of toast, know that consuming “empty carbs” does not give you a good start for the day. Please spend a minute or two to spread peanut or almond butter; they’re rich in protein and magnesium, will keep you full for longer, and are also excellent for heart health.
It’s fine if you love cheese – it’s another good source of protein. Mozzarella is lower in salt and calories than most other cheeses and also contains probiotics. If you want even lower carbs and higher protein, I recommend ricotta which contains high quality whey to promote muscle growth, lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It’s all in this video.
My breakfast lesson?
“ … make every mouthful of food count for good nutrition. Protein is the food element most likely to be lacking. You will certainly get enough of carbohydrate and fat … but you must watch protein to be certain you get enough of it.”Adams, p.174