Latin Name: Ovum
What is an Egg?
A chicken egg is a prepackaged source of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and micronutients—not surprising when you consider that an egg contains all the nourishment it needs for a developing chick. The egg is surrounded by a thin, protective shell, ranging in color from white to brown, depending on the chicken breed. Eggs can be scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, and pickled. They are not only a meal unto themselves, but are also regularly featured in cooking and baking due to their unique food chemistry, which includes coagulation, foaming, emulsification and browning.
Since prehistory, eggs have been a valuable source of food in hunting societies and more recently in cultures that domesticate birds. It is likely that chickens were first domesticated for their eggs from jungle fowl native to tropical Southeast Asia over 7,000 years ago.
What are the health benefits of Eggs?
Considered cool and sweet, traditional Chinese medicine credits eggs with the ability to treat dry cough, hoarse voice, dysentery, blood deficiency, and hyperactive fetus.
Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein, with one egg providing over 10% of the daily value for protein. The structure of humans is built from protein; protein supplies the body with essential amino acids. In addition to protein, eggs also contain choline, an important nutrient for brain development and cardiovascular health; choline is said to be important for pregnant and nursing women to ensure healthy fetal brain development. It is also said that eggs are also a source of all the B vitamins, including B12, which is critical for blood production and only found in meat products. Eggs also provide vitamins A, D, and E, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, lutein, a carotenoid that supports vision health, may be found in even higher amounts in eggs than in leafy green vegetables such as spinach.
All of the egg’s vitamins A, D, E, choline, half of the protein, and most of the other nutrients are found exclusively in the egg yolk. There is some controversy about the yolk; it has been said that eating the yolk contributes to high cholesterol. While nutrition experts now suggest that one egg a day does not seem to adversely affect cholesterol levels, people on a low-cholesterol diet and those at risk for type 2 diabetes may need to reduce egg consumption.
Are there any precautions for Eggs?
There are many warnings about consuming raw eggs; it is best always to cook them. Also, be aware that some people are allergic to eggs.
Where can I find Eggs?
Egg can be found in grocery stores and some outdoor markets.
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