Hen, duck and quail eggs are the most common kinds of eggs included in our daily diet. Among them, hen's eggs are, in fact, the readily available storehouses of high quality protein. The yolk is a rich source of fat, vitamins, and minerals while the whites have protein in it. The protein in eggs gets broken down and absorbed by the body easily.
The fat in the yolk, which is in small molecules, gets digested easily, too. So, eggs are an excellent source of essential nutrients which can be included in the diet of young kids and people who are sick and on medication. However, health experts warn against consuming raw eggs.
It is ideal to cook the egg in steam as it wouldn't reduce the nutritional value. Vitamins A and D, and magnesium are aplenty in eggs. However, people with heart ailments, high blood pressure, and obesity should avoid consuming the egg yolk as it is fatty.
Though a rich source of proteins, eggs lack calcium which is required for maintaining healthy bones. It is estimated that about a crore of eggs are sold around Kerala in just a day. Among them, 67 lakhs hen eggs are sold while the duck eggs comprise up to 37 lakhs. 80% of the eggs supplied in Kerala are sourced from Namakkal in Tamil Nadu. The shells of such imported eggs is white in colour. These eggs are laid by farm-grown hens that are fed on chicken feed. Health experts say that the nutritional value of such eggs is significantly low compared to the eggs which are laid by home-grown hens which feed on organic substances.
For domestic consumption it is healthier and cheaper to grow chickens at home itself. A hen begins to lay eggs when it turns six months of age. Mixing red chilli powder in the chicken feed gives the yolk an amazing colour which helps make it look appetizing.
A normal chicken egg would weigh between 55-60 gms. It comprises of 13% protein, 11% fat, and 960 calories of energy. Meanwhile a duck's egg weighs up to 75-80 gms. It has 13.3% protein, 14% fat, and 1520 calories of energy. The weight of a quail egg is just 10 gms with 13.2% protein, 10.8% fat and, 170 calories of energy in it. Eggs laid by home-grown hens or organically sourced eggs have a distinct flavour, creamy rich yolk, and high nutritional value as it contains lots of pigments.
Store bought eggs shouldn't be kept out without refrigerating for more than two weeks, as the water content in its whites may get evaporated and the yolk would then get stuck to the shell. Bacteria may enter the egg through tiny holes in the shell and combine with the amino acids in the yolk to create a gas called hydrogen sulphide which has foul door. This is the reason why rotten eggs give off an awful stench. Eggs are likely to get rotten easily during the summers. Similarly eggs which contain the fetus too could get damaged very quickly. Bacteria called salmonella and Ecoli are responsible for this.
Here are a few steps to help keep eggs fresh
Wash the store-bought or organic eggs in warm water (60 degree Celsius) for 5 minutes and pat dry with a clean cloth.
Eggs stored in freezer remain edible for 5-8 months.
Eggs stored in the egg shelf on the door of the refrigerator remain fresh for 2-3 weeks.
Eggs can be kept outside without refrigeration up to 2 months by rubbing oil on the shell.
Soaking the egg in warm water (60 degree Celsius) would eliminate the bacteria and the fetus in the yolk as well. This would help the egg to stay fresh without refrigeration even up to one and half months.
Eggs can be kept edible for one and a half months without refrigeration by soaking it in water mixed with slaked lime for at least 12 hours.
Add a pinch of salt in the water while boiling the eggs as it prevents the shell from breaking or cracking.
Place a metal spoon along with the egg in the water.
Eggs as home remedies
Wash an organic egg and pat dry. Keep the egg soaked in lime juice. The shell would be absorbed into the lime juice within 7 days. This liquid, mixed with a bit of honey, is an excellent home remedy to cure asthma.
Beat the yolk of an organic egg well. Add a spoonful of cumin powder. Consume this mixture for 15 consecutive days. This could cure cold and chest infection as well.
Piles or hemorrhoids
Soak a boiled duck's egg in a glass of salted water after removing the shell. Keep it overnight and consume the egg on the next morning.
The egg whites which are rich in protein can be applied on the hair. This pack would make the hair extra smooth and lustrous.
Apply the egg white on the face and wash off after 15 minutes. This rejuvenates the skin, making it extra glowing and supple.
Known for its medicinal qualities, quail eggs are an excellent remedy to cure asthma. Besides it is proved that regular consumption of quail eggs enhances the sperm count in men, thereby increasing fertility. Quail eggs are also excellent aphrodisiacs, and men can consume 2 quail eggs a day instead of Viagra to make their sex life more active and healthy.