First of all, I want to make it clear that there is a big difference between pasture-raised eggs and just ‘organic or cage-free eggs’, which I’d never eat raw or recommend. As long as your eggs are pastured-raised, eating them raw is completely safe.
In the past, I thought that eating raw eggs were for bodybuilders (remember Rocky?) and that it was ‘simply nasty’ (even if I had never tried it).
Only after I learned from my professor, Naturopath David Getoff, about the real benefits of raw pasture-raised eggs and started adding them to my smoothies I noticed great improvements on my overall health, energy levels, hypoglycemia and skin texture. But don’t worry you don’t have to eat raw eggs straight from the shell (I never did!)
Blending raw eggs into smoothies, actually gives them a thick and creamy milkshake texture. Most of my smoothies recipes have a raw egg in it. Click here for a delicious smoothie recipe!
I also make delicious desserts and sauces with raw eggs. When I make any of these recipes, my friends, family, and clients (including picky eaters) can’t tell that there are raw eggs in them. The secret is to always add a pinch of sea salt to any recipe that you use raw eggs!
Here in France, it’s very common that people eat raw eggs by adding them into recipes such as mousses, béarnaise sauce and ice cream.
I find easy to satisfy a chocolate craving with something healthy when, for example, I blend a banana, ½ avocado, 1 raw egg, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, 1 pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of cacao powder and stevia or raw honey. It’s like a chocolate mousse! For kids you could substitute the avocado with almond butter.
BENEFITS OF RAW EGGS:
– Eggs contain high quality proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. And, according to new research, you can also add antioxidant properties to the list. The antioxidant properties are due to the presence of two amino acids, tryptophan and tyrosine. Two raw egg yolks contain nearly twice the antioxidant properties of an apple. Egg yolks are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, a class of carotenoids that offer powerful protection from age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness.
– Fat soluble vitamins are highly concentrated in raw eggs. This is where all the valuable vitamin A, D, E and K are stored. These are the vitamins that were revered in cultures studied by Dr. Weston A. Price.
– The yolk is also where you’re going to find plenty of B vitamins (like the very crucial B6 and B12, which many people are short on), plus minerals like calcium and zinc.
– Raw eggs are rich in cholesterol. And that’s a good thing! Cholesterol is imperative for hormone and neurotransmitter production (i.e. it keeps you feeling good), and is also crucial for the production of vitamin D. The latest studies show that eggs were never the problem.
– Yolks contain essential fatty acids like omega-3 DHA. Egg yolks, especially those from pastured chickens, have an excellent omega 3:6 ratio, too.
– Egg yolks are also a great source of lecithin, which is great for your liver, your brain and your skin.
BUT WHY EAT RAW EGGS?
– Heat alters the nutrients in eggs and destroys the enzymes that help us assimilate them. Cooked eggs are still a decent source of nutrition, but eating raw egg takes the nutrient-density to a whole new level. Raw eggs are highly digestible and full of readily-available nutrients.
– Raw eggs are super gentle on the digestive system. In fact, raw egg yolks are one of the first foods available on the GAPS diet intro, which is for people who have severe health problems originating in the gut.
– In addition, eating raw pasture-raised eggs is much less likely to trigger an allergic reaction, so even sensitive individuals may be able to tolerate them.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I eat cooked eggs too, and I don’t think cooking totally destroys an egg’s nutritional value. But consuming your eggs raw will optimize their nutritional benefits and you might as well take advantage.
If you would rather cook them, I’d suggest going easy on the heat to avoid overcooking. The next best approach are poached or lightly soft (like sunny side up or soft boiled) because of concerns about oxidizing the cholesterol. Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to cook them as it oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk, which may in fact harm your health.
WHAT ABOUT THE RISK OF SALMONELLA?
The CDC and other public health organizations advise you to thoroughly cook your eggs to lower your risk of salmonella, but as long as they’re pastured-raised, eating your eggs raw is completely safe. Also, make sure to wash and dry your eggs shells well if they haven’t been cleaned.
The salmonella risk is increased when hens are raised in unsanitary conditions, which is extremely rare for small pasture farms where the chickens are raised in clean, spacious coops, have access to sunlight, and forage for their natural food. Conventional, cage-free or even organic eggs, making up the vast majority of eggs in typical grocery stores, have an increased risk for salmonella, which is why I advise against eating them raw.
A healthy body is equipped to fight bacteria on its own. We encounter bad bacteria all the time. If we take good care of our bodies they can put up a good fight against the bad stuff. If you have a weak or compromised immune system, though, you might want to be more careful.
WHERE TO FIND FRESH PASTURED-RAISED EGGS?
It is important to know where your food comes from. The key is to buy your eggs locally. Locating high quality pasture-raised eggs is fairly easy. If you live in an urban area, visiting the local health food stores is typically the quickest route to finding high quality local pastured egg sources.
Farmers markets are another great way to meet the people who produce your food. With face-to-face contact, you can get your questions answered and know exactly what you’re buying.