Before you make a face at the thought of eating raw eggs, find out how it can benefit you, and how you can include it in your diet.
Eating raw eggs has always been strongly promoted because it has been discovered that the protein structure contained in eggs is altered when they are cooked. This means, the protein that is attained from eating raw eggs is of a higher quality and more beneficial when consumed in its raw form. Furthermore, as is the case with any other kind of food, those who propagate the habit of consuming eggs raw believe that cooking them destroys their nutritional value.
Following are the benefits of eating uncooked eggs:
Raw eggs have nutrients that are extremely essential for the body. These help with the healthy and enhanced functioning of the brain, hormones, glands, and nervous system. These nutrients include
- Healthy Fatty Acids
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D (present in egg yolks)
- Vitamin E
Excellent for Bodybuilders
Several bodybuilders have benefited from eating raw egg as they have found this more useful in packing more muscle and gaining the right amount of calories without gaining fat. They have found it extremely helpful when combined with their daily protein shake (pre or post workout) or mixed with a tall glass of milk.
No Association with Cholesterol
Several studies have shown that eggs are high in cholesterol and their consumption should therefore be limited. On the other hand, recent studies have shown that egg yolks contain a compound called lecithin, which in fact, inhibits the absorption of cholesterol by the body. An egg contains about 211 mg of cholesterol. Studies have shown that the cholesterol in eggs is oxidized when cooked, which causes it to be damaging to the body. In its raw form, the cholesterol present in eggs is actually healthy for the body.
If you are still concerned about the cholesterol levels that may be induced by eggs, you can avoid eating the yolk regularly, and take to only eating raw egg whites. Do remember that the yolk also contains important nutrients, so try to include them at least every 2 days in your diet. However, eating just raw egg whites is likely to cause a biotin deficiency in the body. To prevent this, supplement the consumption of raw egg whites with tomatoes, almonds, goat’s milk, cow’s milk, oats, walnuts, strawberries, onions, cabbage, cucumber, romaine lettuce, and chards. These are all great sources of biotin. Most research shows that you should consume an entire raw egg, yolk and white, to attain maximum benefits.
Several people are against eating raw eggs, primarily due to the risk of contracting a salmonella infection. This possibility, however, has been defied by a study that says that only 1 in 30,000 eggs is likely to cause an infection.
How to Eat Uncooked Eggs
It is not possible to wake up one morning and just eat raw eggs. Choosing the right eggs, preparing it in the right manner, and taking a liking to its taste, are all going to take some time. Follow these tips to ease yourself into the habit of eating raw eggs.
Choosing Raw Eggs
The best type of raw eggs to be eaten are those that are organic, free range, and fertile. Such eggs are less contaminated than eggs from hens that have been caged. This means, the risk of contracting a salmonella infection is almost nil. Free range eggs are from those hens who are bred in open areas such as farms, are given a natural diet, and are given a good amount of space to graze and roam. This makes them healthier, rather than caged hens. Furthermore, keep the eggs refrigerated to eliminate the chance of a salmonella infection. Only pregnant women, very young children, or those who have immunity problems should avoid eating uncooked eggs.
Preparing and Consuming Raw Eggs
Most of you may be repelled at the thought, the sight, and probably the smell of raw eggs. The best way to get started is to eat a very small amount initially. Start with a few drops, then half a teaspoon, then one teaspoon, and increase the amount as you develop a taste for it. Not only does this habit give you time to develop a taste for raw eggs, but it also gives your body, time to adapt and prepare a defense against the bacteria contained in them. If you suddenly eat a whole raw egg, you are likely to have loose stools and other stomach problems initially.
To avoid this, start in the aforementioned manner. Include raw eggs in your diet in any of the following ways:
- Add a raw egg to a protein shake after your work out.
- After you have blended all the fruits or vegetables, to prepare a fruit or vegetable juice, crack an egg and pour it into the juice. Lightly beat it with a fork to blend the two together.
- Add a raw egg to a glass of tall milk, gently whisk it in, and drink it.
- Lastly, experts say that the best way to benefit from all the bounties of a raw egg is to swallow it whole, as it is.
Eggs should not be blended in a blender along with other food items. This is because, even blending has been found to damage the molecular structure of the eggs and also affect the properties of proteins present in them.
When to Avoid the Consumption of Raw Eggs
It is always important to check for the freshness of an egg before you consume it. Also, eggs kept in the refrigerator appear fresher than eggs at room temperature. To tell if an egg is indeed fresh, keep it out at room temperature, at least one hour prior to opening and consuming it. You must follow some food safety guidelines, and if you notice the presence of one or more of these traits in the eggs you have chosen, do not consume them under any circumstance:
- The presence of a particular odor in the egg.
- A crack in the egg shell.
- If the eggs don’t wobble when you roll them on a flat surface.
- If the eggs rise to the surface when submerged in cool water.
- If the eggs let out a stream of bubbles, when submerged in cool water, giving the indication of a crack present in the shell.
- A watery consistency instead of a gel-like consistency.
- A very soft or deformed egg yolk.
Apart from these traits, if you yourself are suffering from a health problem, where your body’s immunity is low, avoid eating raw eggs. Also, if you are a smoker, you are likely to experience lack of oxygen after consuming a raw egg yolk.
Finally, if you think you are unable to eat raw eggs, you can lightly cook them, like the sunny side up. This keeps the yolk and the egg whites slightly runny and prevents them from cooking completely. Whether you choose to include them in your diet is a matter of personal choice. Just remember to keep all these tips in mind if and when you decide to start consuming raw eggs.
Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.