This may sound crazy and can even make you say "Yuck"; but yes, there are people in this world who have raw egg yolks as part of a healthy diet. They may not have them every day, but on many days for sure.
Reason? Just consume the nutrients of the superfood as they come, untouched. If you can have raw vegetables thinking that cooking kills their nutritional value, then why not eggs, right?
Here are some points that make raw egg yolks worthy to be consumed:
1. Egg yolks have a high concentration of important vitamins like A, B complexes, D, E and K, besides other minerals.
2. Egg yolks have a high content of cholesterol, which is necessary for the production of hormones and vitamin D. The egg-raises-level-of-cholesterol theory isn't exactly buyable.
3. Egg yolks have healthy fatty acids like omega-3. Especially, yolks of eggs received from pastured chicken have excellent nutritional values.
4. Egg yolks have lecithin which is good for the brain, liver and skin.
But Why In Raw Form?
The above-mentioned nutrients can be absorbed even if we have eggs boiled or fried; but why do some people favour taking them in raw form? Here are the reasons:
1. Heating and cooking make substantial changes in eggs and kill the enzymes. It is not that cooked eggs are less nutritional, but having raw egg yolks means absorbing the nutrients in the purest form.
2. Raw egg yolks leave the least impact on our digestive system. In fact, they are part of the GAPS intro diet, which is prescribed for people who have serious stomach problems.
3. Even if cooked eggs cause allergy in many of us, raw egg yolks are less likely to do so.
Having Raw Egg Yolks? Yuck, That Smell!
For many, the very thought of eating raw egg yolks can be sickening. Those who have them, on the other hand, advise thick and creamy raw egg smoothies instead.
There are also some very good ice-cream recipes that require several egg yolks. There you are. An excellent way to gobble up a raw egg without burning any fuel and yet not upsetting the taste buds.
But, there is another side to the story as well:
Having raw eggs can also have some detrimental effects if certain things are not kept in mind. Here are a few tips:
1. As against the 'purists', there is also a perception that eating eggs in raw form may actually prevent us from getting the protein content. A study has shown that only 50 per cent of protein from raw eggs is digestible, unlike 80 per cent available in cooked eggs.
But in case of vitamins A, B5 and phosphorus and potassium, it is the cooked egg which offers less value.
2. Raw egg whites may block absorption of Biotin or vitamin B7. This water-soluble vitamin is involved in our body's production of fatty acids and glucose, and is important for pregnant women.
However, in case of raw eggs, their whites include a protein called avidin, which prevents the absorption of biotin in the small intestine. In case of cooked egg, the avidin is destroyed and there rises no problem in absorption of biotin. Though this is not going to cause a serious biotin deficiency.
3. This is important. Raw eggs may be contaminated with the harmful Salmonella bacteria, both on their shells and inside. Having contaminated raw eggs, thus can make you vulnerable to food poisoning and in case of children, elderly people, those with weak immunity and pregnant women, it can lead to worse consequences.
However, pasteurisation is a process whereby the eggs are heated to kill the bacteria and hence it is safer to have eggs that have been treated. Also, to be on the safer side, don't buy dirty eggs, or the ones with cracks on them, or those that have gone past their expiry dates, and always store them in the refrigerator. Also, ensure that the shop from where you pick eggs keeps them in cold storage.