I was rather surprised when I read an article earlier this year about a woman who is 116 years old. Yes, 116 years old. No type there.
She lives in Italy, and when asked about what she contributed her longevity to, she first mentioned her daily glass of homemade brandy, but then quickly added, she eats two eggs a day – one raw and one cooked. This diet was suggested by her doctor when she was 20 years old and had anemia. She’s been doing it ever since.
Yes, she does eat a small portion of meat and pasta, cereal and milk – yes milk – usually two glasses every day. She is in good health – and takes no medication. Wow!
It was the eggs that intrigued me. I remember when eggs were bad for you and was told they contributed to high cholesterol. Yet, this woman has been eating two a day for almost 100 years! So I decided to find out the real story about eggs.
About six months ago I blogged that eggs were good for your eyes because the yolks are a source of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of these may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. What I also learned is the egg contains choline which can enhance brain development and memory.
Although the egg contains a large amount of cholesterol compared to other foods, it is no longer labeled as a risk for high cholesterol. In fact, while the egg can raise the HDL (good cholesterol) level, it also changes the size of LDL (bad cholesterol) from small to big. Big LDL is ok for your blood.
Low in calories – only 77 in an average egg – it is packed full of the vitamins and minerals your body needs – 9 essential amino acids, iron, phosphorous, selenium, vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5, and, if you eat eggs from range fed hens, Omega 3!
Now for the best part. Eggs can help you lose weight! In a study that provided overweight women with two breakfasts that were identical in calories – a bagel or an egg – the group that ate the egg for breakfast ate less for lunch and ate less over the next 36 hours! [ref] At the end of 8 weeks, the egg diet participants showed a 61% greater reduction in BMI and a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference. [ref]
I’m beginning to understand why that 116 year old woman is so healthy! I’ll pass of the raw egg, but I’ll take mine over easy every morning from now on.