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Eggs; The Perfect Food!

Eggs; The Perfect Food!

Four weeks ago my wife brought home six cute little chicks from the feed store. At first I thought it was a project for our 5 year old daughter. Watch the chicks develop into full grown birds, then, turn them over to friends that have property and some other chickens and farm animals. As it turns out, the chicks were for us!

My family consumes an average of one dozen eggs every day of the week, sometimes even more when my wife is baking her fantastic gluten free muffins! We always pay extra for the organic, free range, omega 3 variety eggs. As you will learn as you read on, they’re worth it! However, with money tighter these days, my wife was on the lookout for a cheaper way to obtain eggs. It turns out raising our own chickens is going to be the best way to go for so many reasons! I realize we will need more birds to satisfy our needs, (they lay one egg roughly every day and a half), but we’ve gotta start somewhere.

Eggs were given a bad rap a few years ago when the great cholesterol scare began. It was believed that because eggs contained cholesterol that they should be eliminated from our diets since they contributed to the circulating blood levels of cholesterol measured in individuals assessed for cardiovascular health problems. The cereal conglomerates were all too eager to jump on the anti-egg bandwagon. Now they are working to ensure your opinion of eggs remains a bad one based in fear. They’d much rather you continue to consume their genetically modified, vitamin and mineral “fortified and enriched” wheat and corn flour flakes and O’s.

The reality is that eggs are an important source of protein, essential amino acids and essential vitamins and minerals and can make a significant contribution to a healthy diet. The average egg contains 6.5 grams of protein. On the evaluation scale most commonly used for assessing protein, egg is at the highest point, 100, and is used as the reference standard against which all other foods are assessed.

Yes, there is fat in an egg. Here is the breakdown. 11.2% of the egg content is fat. The fat of an egg is found almost entirely in the yolk. 17% of an egg’s fatty acids are polyunsaturated, 44% monounsaturated and only 32% saturated. When the benefits of the nutritional content of the egg are weighed against the fat content, the benefits far outweigh the fat concerns. Remember, fat is an essential part of our diet!

Regarding the vitamin and mineral content of eggs; they contain all of the available vitamins with the exception of vitamin C. Eggs are a great source of all the B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamins A and E. Eggs contain most of the minerals that the human body requires for health. In particular, eggs are an excellent source of iodine, required to make thyroid hormone and phosphorous, required for bone health. The egg also provides significant amounts of zinc, important for wound healing, growth and fighting infection, selenium, an important antioxidant and calcium, required for bone growth and nervous system and muscle function. Eggs also contain significant amounts of iron, the vital oxygen carrying ingredient of red blood cells.

Not all eggs are created equal. Eggs from truly organic, free range chickens are FAR less likely to contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and their nutrient content is also much higher than commercially raised eggs. The dramatically superior nutrient levels are most likely the result of the difference in diet between free ranging, pastured hens and commercially farmed hens.

However, even organic, free range eggs can have their flaws. Every state has laws that require washing and disinfecting of the eggs prior to their packing and shipping. Eggs are laid by the hens with a natural covering called the “bloom”. The bloom is a waxy substance which covers the egg and acts as a sealant which stops bacteria from entering the egg.

Eggshells are actually porous. They contain, on average, 7,500 pores which allow the transfer of gases and moisture. The industry standard of washing eggs removes the bloom and leaves the egg vulnerable to the introduction of bacteria and the loss of moisture. The egg industry knows this and to increase shelf life most producers coat the eggs with mineral oil, a petroleum product which was never intended for human consumption. Like your skin, what goes on your egg, goes in your egg.

We are fortunate to live in this wonderful valley with organic farmers all around us. The best eggs are those obtained by farmers who raise their hens organically and on the free range. They deliver the eggs to local market or to one of our numerous farmers’ markets within days of being laid. With the bloom left intact, eggs don’t even have to be refrigerated. So ask around to find your local grower and get back to eggs for breakfast or snacks every day, your body will thank you!

Dr. Donohoe is a family practice chiropractor who specializes in the unique needs of pregnant women and children. His office is located at 41880 Kalmia St., Suite 135 in Murrieta. He can be reached at 951-677-6500 or through his website at

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