Benefits of Drinking Raw Eggs – How To the Best Secrets
What’s the most off-putting health habit you’ve ever heard of?
We never run short on health fads to snicker at, fall in love with, or drop at a moment’s notice.
But there are some strange habits that stick around for decades, like the benefits of drinking raw eggs.
I recall the first time I saw a bodybuilder do exactly this many years ago. I thought it was an anomaly, some sort of derangement, and to be sure, a very risky practice.
But is any of that true?
As it turns out, lots of people swear by the benefits of drinking raw eggs.
Today, I want to finally get to the bottom of this age-old health trick. Should you be drinking raw eggs?
What makes a raw egg better than a cooked one? Are eggs even any good for us?
Stay with me and find out...
Are Eggs Healthy?
For years, the health-conscious were wary of their egg intake. They’re high in cholesterol, especially the yolk. Personally, I have to admit I’ve eaten more egg-white omelets than ones that include the yolk.
Today, however, I feel a little sad when I think of all those discarded yolks. As it turns out, we may have been a little off the mark. In part, this was due to the fat-phobic health era that lasted through the 1990s.
Now, we know that fat isn’t just healthy; it’s essential. In fact, it’s reduced-fat foods that can pose a real health risk. Not only are some low-fat foods higher in sugar, but there’s also evidence to suggest going fat-free shortens your life.
None of this is to say that the egg debate is over. It isn’t. But there’s an important fact to remember about cholesterol. Eating something high in cholesterol doesn’t necessarily translate to having high cholesterol.
For instance, an egg (with the yolk) will contain approximately 180-220 mg of cholesterol. Not all of this will survive digestion and enter the bloodstream. After all, the chief purpose of digestion is to break things down.
Still, let’s assume that you do get a good deal of cholesterol from eggs. There isn’t a firm, definable link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. An egg a day and heart disease? They aren’t related.
Of course, if you have certain health conditions, like diabetes or obesity, the recommendations may vary. But the truth is, eggs are dense little packages of nutrients that absolutely fit into a healthy diet.
Here’s a snapshot of what one egg (the generally accepted daily intake) can provide:
- 1Choline - A nutrient that contributes to brain health, as well as moderating how our bodies use fat and cholesterol.
- 2Riboflavin - Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin can help us use carbs, protein, and fat more efficiently for energy. It may also be beneficial to migraine sufferers.
- 3Biotin - Also known as vitamin B7, biotin’s common association is with healthy hair, skin, and nails. It may also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- 4Protein - The essential macronutrient that’s responsible for healthy hormone production, tissue repair, and building bone and muscle.
- 5Fat - The majority of an egg’s fats are healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are crucial for healthy cholesterol, blood sugar, and brain health.
- 6Selenium - Antioxidant that could be protective against heart disease and beneficial to the immune system and hormone metabolism.
- 7Lutein and zeaxanthin - These carotenoids are superstars when it comes to eye health. May additionally reduce risk of heart disease.
Additionally, eggs typically contain smaller amounts of many vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, folate, and more.
Are There Any Benefits of Drinking Raw Eggs?
So, it’s easy to see why some people want their eggs. But why raw? Are there enhanced benefits of drinking a raw egg?
For starters, sometimes eating eggs raw is for convenience. Athletes and bodybuilders, for example, recognize the superior nutrition an egg can provide.
Having no way to cook eggs at the gym or on the field, they’ll consume them raw.
Still, there’s another large fraction who sincerely believe eating eggs raw is best. They’ll add them to their smoothies and protein shakes without a second thought. They believe that the nutrients we get from eggs degrade with cooking. In particular, the B vitamins like biotin.
Eating them raw, apparently, delivers more vitamins and minerals to the body. But is this really true?
In the first place, eating raw eggs for enhanced biotin absorption will have the opposite effect. Along with the biotin in raw eggs whites, there is the protein avidin. When you eat a raw egg white, this avidin clings to the biotin and prevents you from absorbing it.
Does this mean that we can’t actually get biotin from eggs? No, as the solution is simple - cook the egg! Avidin won’t survive the temperature, while a good amount of biotin will.
It’s possible that if you consume a lot of raw eggs over a period of time, you’ll become biotin deficient. Hardly a health benefit.
Then we have another important feature, protein. This is perhaps the largest draw for athletes and bodybuilders, but again, raw is not best. You will not get more or better protein from raw eggs. In fact, you might reduce the amount of protein you absorb by 40% when you go raw.
Raw egg lovers might also say that raw eggs supply more vitamin D. Personally, I haven’t found any evidence that this is true, but it’s almost beside the point.
On average, an egg provides 10% of your daily vitamin D - assuming it’s properly absorbed. You have a choice here - eat 10 raw eggs, or spend 15 minutes in the sun.
The sun exposure is more reliable, bioavailable, and easier to enjoy.
Overall, there aren’t any glaring upsides to consuming eggs raw instead of cooking them. In the end, it can even hinder you from getting the biotin and protein you’re after. And we haven’t even gotten to the real drawback - the risk of illness.
Raw Eggs and Salmonella
While you inquire about the benefits of drinking raw eggs, don’t forget to ask where the danger lies. Raw eggs bring with them the risk of salmonella poisoning.
Symptoms of salmonella usually appear one to three days after ingesting the bacteria. About a million of us get salmonella poisoning every year, and the symptoms include:
Most people recover in approximately one week, although roughly 500 people die each year as a result of salmonella. Death from salmonella poisoning is more likely among children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
Now, if you’ve eaten your fair share of cake batter and cookie dough, despite your mother’s warnings, you won’t worry. The truth is, salmonella sickness from raw egg isn’t incredibly common. It is estimated that only one in 20,000 eggs carries salmonella.
However, if a contaminated egg is graded and packaged along with many other eggs, the bacteria can spread.
To combat this, pasteurization is commonly used to treat eggs, reducing the amount of bacteria present on shells.
Is buying pasteurized enough?
If you really want to prevent salmonella, consider the source of your eggs. Salmonella is present on eggs when chickens are forced to live in dirty, substandard conditions. This is common on factory farms, which is the source of so much salmonella.
Many people are unaware that factory farming isn’t just a problem with meat. In total, nearly 98% of eggs sold in stores come from factory farms. Shockingly, this may include some of those cartons with a “cage-free” label.
After all, cage-free is little consolation when you do not have space to move and cannot go outdoors.
How to Make Eggs a Healthy Part of Your Diet
In addition to a smaller risk of salmonella, choosing farm fresh eggs can have real impacts on nutrition. The eggs you buy in a store may already be months old.
The age of these eggs can mean smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals. Evidence of this can be seen in the yolk of a store bought egg versus a fresh one.
The fresh egg’s yolk will be richer in color, almost a deep, sunny orange. The store bought egg is more likely to have a pale yellow yolk.
This information isn’t lost on many; farm fresh eggs and homesteading with chickens is incredibly popular. So locate your local source for fresh eggs, or find the space for a few hens in your own backyard. It's the best way to ensure you get safer, healthier eggs.
Once you have the best eggs, you can incorporate them into a healthy diet with the following tips.
1. Keep an eye on your cooking method.
Are hard boiled eggs healthy?
You bet, since you’re adding precisely nothing to a whole, nutritious egg. Typically, many opt to fry eggs, and this requires an extra fat source. If you do fry your eggs, stick to plant oils like olive.
Still, hard boiled might be the best way to enjoy eggs. Keep them in the shell, and they’re very convenient to tote along to the gym, work, or school.
They’re also a suitable, satiating addition to all kinds of recipes. Try them on top of salads, with ramen, or on sandwiches.
2. Eat the right amount of eggs for your needs.
How many eggs you eat in one sitting will depend on how frequently you eat eggs. In general, medical sources advise that we stick to an average of one egg per day.
If you only eat eggs once or twice a week, two is totally excusable.
If eggs are healthy, why stop at one? We do so in order to allow room for a range of fat sources. You might still want your avocado, oil, or cheese.
Furthermore, there are few studies that demonstrate what happens when you eat more than a few eggs per day. Individuals with diabetes or a history of heart disease will likely be instructed by a doctor to limit eggs.
3. Pair your egg with other healthy foods.
One of the biggest problems we see with eggs isn’t the egg itself, but what we eat with them. As part of a classic American or English breakfast, we tend to eat eggs with greasy meats and carbs.
Think bacon, sausage, toast, and potatoes.
While some of these foods are fine in moderation, do what you can to achieve balance. You don’t want to cancel out the nutritional benefits of eggs by eating them with all of the above.
If you want your egg with toast, add in some antioxidant tomato slices. If you want a strip of bacon, have some fruit and oatmeal for fiber as well.
Nutritional Substitutes for Eggs
Eggs aren’t for everyone.
Some are allergic, some only eat plant-based diets, and some of us just don’t like eggs.
But what if we want the benefits we read about today? In that case, we can eat other foods instead to provide nutrients similar to what we find in eggs.
- 1Choline - Peanuts are another good source of choline. Veggies like beets and spinach contain a precursor to choline, betaine, and are worth eating as well.
- 2Riboflavin - Mushrooms, yogurt, almonds, and beans are great alternative sources.
- 3Biotin - Cauliflower, cheese, and sweet potatoes all contain various amounts of biotin.
- 4Protein - Meat, oats, Greek yogurt, beans, and soy are good protein picks.
- 5Fat - Nuts, avocados, seeds - check price, and dark chocolate provide nutritious fat.
- 6Selenium - In addition to meats, Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium, offering more than double the RDA per nut.
- 7Lutein and zeaxanthin - Leafy greens are an excellent source of these two eye-savers. If you cook your kale and spinach, it might be even better.
My Conclusion on the Benefits of Drinking Raw Eggs
A raw foods diet can be very healthy, but it’s probably best that you cook your eggs. If you like raw eggs because they’re easy to ingest on the go, try hard boiled eggs instead.
Raw eggs are not necessarily more nutritious than cooked. While you may find that cooking does degrade some nutrient amounts, cooking can also enhance the absorption.
Biotin and protein, for instance, are more available in cooked eggs.
Additionally, food safety is a concern with raw eggs. While the chances aren’t high, consuming eggs raw can lead to salmonella poisoning. Although your chances can be reduced by avoiding eggs from factory farms, it’s safest to skip raw altogether here.
What about you - would you ever eat raw eggs?
Why or why not?
Do you still stick to egg whites, or do you love the nutrient-dense yolk as well?
Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be back with more soon.