Served in eggs benedict, cheesy omelettes, atop a steak or spicy bowl of ramen noodles or simply boiled, scrambled or fried, there are so many ways to enjoy eggs it’s hard to choose a favourite! And with so many health benefits to boot, it is no wonder that the egg has its own special day dedicated to its brilliance.
Today marks World Egg Day, which provides an annual opportunity to celebrate the egg and spread the message about the health benefits, the role it plays in nutrition and its versatility. Long are the days when eggs were only considered breakfast food and with health, nutrition and affordability in mind, the humble egg serves up a hattrick at all mealtimes.
Packing a high punch as a source of quality protein and a host of vitamins and minerals that aid in bone health, brain function and building the immunity, there is no doubt that eggs play an important part in our daily nutrition. So much so, that the South African Food Based Dietary Guidelines recommend the introduction of eggs to baby’s diets from the age of six months, to help with their growth and brain development.
With the added benefits of riboflavin, which helps to produce energy in all cells of the body, selenium, which acts as an anti-oxidant to help prevent the breakdown of body tissues and vitamin B12 to support nerve cell function and immunity, the reasons to add eggs to your diet go beyond the delectable flavour combinations.
Eggs’ high protein content has the potential to help fight malnutrition on the one hand as well as weight loss in the battle against obesity on the other hand.
This puts eggs at the top of the list of foods that can provide the nutrition and crucial vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health.
What goes into a dozen?
1. Eggs contain the highest quality protein you can buy.
2. To tell if an egg is raw or hard-cooked, spin it! If the egg spins easily, it is cooked but if it wobbles, it is raw.
3. Egg yolks are one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of Vitamin D.
4. If an egg is accidentally dropped on the floor, sprinkle it heavily with salt for easy clean up.
5. Yolk colour depends on the diet of the hen.
6. Eggs age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the refrigerator.
7. A large egg contains only 70 calories and 5 grams of fat. Two thirds of the fat are healthy unsaturated fat.
8. Egg protein has just the right mix of essential amino acids needed by humans to build tissues. It is second only to mother’s milk for human nutrition.
9. An average hen lays 300 to 325 eggs a year.
10. To produce one egg, it takes a hen 24-26 hours.
11. As a hen grows older, she produces larger eggs.
12. The fastest omelette maker in the world made 427 two-egg omelettes in 30 minutes. American Egg Board’s Howard Helmer is the Omelette King; he holds three Guinness World Records for omelette making.