Eggs have always been a source of nourishment for people. They are a crucial and valuable ingredient for cooking. Not to forget their unique chemical composition, which is essential for many baking reactions.
Eggs can be incorporated into many dishes and are even satisfying when used as a standalone ingredient, making them the go-to option for any meal of the day.
What are eggs?
Eggs are oval protein balls laid by female animals or birds of different species, with chicken eggs being the most predominantly consumed ones across the world.
Parts of an egg
A chicken egg is a perfect little package of nutrients with seven basic parts—the egg shell, the egg white (albumen), the yolk, membranes, air sac, the chalazas and the germinal disc. Each part of an egg has a specific function and purpose.
The eggshell is a significant part as it contains every component of the egg. The presence of calcium carbonate that covers even tiny pores renders the grain’s texture to the shell.
The egg’s shell is undoubtedly a semipermeable membrane since its pores allow only moisture and air to pass.
Additionally, the cuticle in the eggshell serves as a natural defence against pathogens like dust and bacteria from the outside, thereby protecting it.
Albumen (Egg white)
The albumen, commonly referred to as the egg white, is a substance that surrounds and protects the egg yolk.
The inner, middle and outer layers form the three layers of the albumen. These strong layers have a large amount of proteins that would aid in the development of the chick in a fertile egg.
Cooking the albumen in an infertile egg gives us the egg whites we eat.
The central portion of an egg is called the yolk, which can range from light yellow to deep orange in colour depending on the breed of chicken that produces it.
This tiny component houses most of the egg’s minerals, fats, vitamins and proteins, along with vitamins A, D, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin and phosphorus.
The egg consists of two membranes—the outer membrane and the inner membrane, both of which are located just inside the shell and surround the albumen.
These incredibly transparent protein membranes contain some keratin. Egg membranes guard the inner components against bacterial invasion. While the inner membrane adheres to the albumen, the outer membrane is fixed to the egg shell.
The air space or air cell is commonly known as the air sac. This space forms when the contents of a newly laid egg contract as they cool.
Present between the outer and inner membranes of the egg, the air sac is at the larger end of the egg.
As the egg matures, the air sac will grow, as moisture and carbon dioxide leave the egg, and air comes in to replace them.
A chalazae is a twisted tissue string that lies at the opposite ends of the yolk and is a component of the egg white.
These egg white strings play a crucial role in stabilising the yolk and germinal disc and prevent twisting and misalignment in the egg.
The germinal disc is also referred to as the egg cell or blastodisc. This is where the sperm enters the egg, making it the powerhouse of the egg.
It is found on the top of the egg yolk. After fertilisation, the embryo will develop in this area through a process of cell division and growth.
Nutrition in eggs
According to the Indian Food Composition Table (IFCT), 2017 by the National Institute of Nutrition and ICMR, 100 g of boiled poultry egg, boiled egg white and boiled egg yolk provide the following nutrients:
|NUTRIENTS||BOILED POULTRY EGG||EGG WHITE, BOILED||EGG YOLK, BOILED|
|β – Carotene (µg)||13.19||–||68.59|
|Total carotenoids (µg)||136||5.30||218|
Health benefits of eggs
Proteins are essential for the growth and repair of muscles. Possessing high-quality protein with all 9 essential amino acids, eggs are an excellent choice for post-workout nutrition and for attaining strong muscles.
Including nutrient-dense, high-protein foods like eggs in the diet is highly beneficial to strengthening muscles.
Choline, the nutrient abundant in egg yolks, is known for reducing inflammation and improving cognitive abilities like memory retention and intercellular communication.
The high-quality, complete protein in egg aids in maintaining muscle mass while also being a good source of oxygen-storing iron. The protein in eggs is responsible for rendering the energy during consumption.
A healthy immune system
Vitamin D in eggs regulates the body’s immune response and is crucial for immune function. Egg yolks are one of the natural sources of vitamin D.
Lower risk of heart disease
Studies reveal that HDL is more prevalent in people’s blood on consuming moderate amounts of eggs.
A healthy pregnancy
Eggs provide the amino acids that pregnant women and their baby requires. This versatile food source of protein has a large number of vitamins and minerals.
The choline content in the eggs is beneficial for a baby’s brain development. However, it is advisable not to eat raw or undercooked eggs.
Eggs are one of the top foods that improve vision. The combination of nutrients in them works together to prevent macular degeneration.
Weight loss and maintenance
The high protein content in eggs keeps a person full for a longer time, aiding in weight loss.
There will also be a slight boost in the metabolism by the protein, which will help in burning calories.
Consuming eggs as a part of a balanced breakfast with vegetables and cereals helps in weight loss.
Eggs can help with oily or dry skin texture improvement. Egg whites contain albumin, a protein that helps tighten pores and removes excess oil. Egg yolks are rich in fatty acids that can help the skin retain moisture.
This ingredient is fantastic for the skin as they help to hydrate, firm and soften the skin. Due to their ability to tighten and increase the skin’s elasticity, egg whites are also excellent at preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
Salmonella bacteria could be present on a dirty eggshell. The bacteria can enter cracked eggs and flourish there. Changes are high for it to thrive on clean eggs as well. It is therefore advisable to cook the eggs before consumption.
Allergy develops when the body’s immune system overreacts to proteins found in egg whites or egg yolks.
While consuming eggs, the body perceives the protein as an outside invader and releases chemicals to fight it. Those chemicals bring on the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
A study estimates that up to 2% of children have egg allergies. Fortunately, research indicates that by the age of 16, roughly 70% of kids with egg allergies will outgrow their condition.
Even so, the risks are significant. Children allergic to eggs can experience reactions ranging from a minor rash to anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal condition that can cause breathing difficulties and put the body into shock.
Ways to cook eggs
Eating hard-boiled eggs is healthy and super easy to prepare. They are, therefore, the ideal powerlifting diet snack and a great pre-or post-workout snack.
Bring a pot of water with an egg to a boil in order to hard boil eggs. Boiling eggs generally requires 8 to 10 minutes.
Similar to boiled eggs, poached eggs are cooked outside of the shell for a shorter period of time.
To poach an egg, bring water to a boil in a pot, then reduce heat, so it’s just simmering. The egg should be cracked into a small bowl before being carefully added to the simmering water.
When the whites are fully cooked, turn off the heat, cover the pan and continue cooking for another 4 minutes. With a deep spoon, carefully remove the eggs and then serve.
Low pan fry
Frying eggs are popular. The eggs are cooked on both sides, fried on one side or made into a scramble. They can be a nutritious addition to a well-balanced diet.
Egg scramble is prepared by beating them in a bowl, pouring them into a hot pan and stirring them while they cook until they set.
Egg omelette requires beating and pouring them into a hot pan while cooking slowly over low heat until they are solid to make an omelette. Unlike scrambled eggs, an omelette doesn’t require stirring once it’s in the pan.
Eggs are, without a doubt, an incredibly nutritious food. They are an easy, quick and satisfying way to meet protein requirements. But knowing how many eggs to eat in a day plays a significant role in its effects on health.
The high protein content in eggs keeps a person full for a longer time. Eating eggs every day offers complete protein to the body. They increase the metabolism, boost eye, heart and brain health, increase HDL levels, lower stroke risk and help in weight loss.
What are 5 facts about eggs?
5 facts about eggs
1. Duck eggs are better for use in baking because they contain more fat.
2. One of the few foods with naturally occurring Vitamin D is egg yolks.
3. Choline, which is abundant in eggs, encourages normal cell activity.
4. Every egg is hormone-free.
The eggs are larger as the hens age
What are 5 benefits of eating eggs?
Benefits of egg consumption
1. Eggs provide complete protein.
2. Choline in eggs is good for eye health.
3. Eggs help in weight loss and maintenance.
4. They lower triglyceride levels.
5. Eggs are a heart-healthy food.
Why are eggs not good for females?
Eggs are generally safe for consumption. There is insufficient evidence to point out the disadvantages of eggs to women. Due to their high cholesterol content, eggs can pose a risk of heart disease.
What are the benefits of eating eggs every day?
Eating eggs every day offers complete protein to the body. They increase the metabolism, boost eye, heart and brain health, increase HDL levels, lower stroke risk and help in weight loss.