The Nutritious Egg
Eggs are nature’s perfect food! They contain everything needed to create a new life and are considered to be a complete food source. Eggs are a wonderful addition to a carnivore’s diet.
In order to build and repair body tissue, protein is needed. Protein is made up of twenty different amino acids. There are certain essential amino acids that that cannot be produced internally and these must be supplied through food. Within a single egg all twenty amino acids are present.
The bio-availability of the protein found in eggs is rated at 100%. No other food source can compete with this level of bio-availability. Fish meal is rated at 92%, beef at 78% and corn at 54%.
In addition to being a great source of protein, eggs also provide many other nutrients. They are a good source of vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, iron, selenium, magnesium, niacin, manganese, zinc, sulpher and fatty acids. The yolk is a source of choline, which is needed for normal brain development and memory. The yolk gets its color from the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These two carotenoids have been shown to reduce the risks of cataracts and age related macular degeneration. Egg yolks are also one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D.
Eggshells provide calcium and can be a useful food for animals that have difficulty eating bones. The shell can be ground up and added to the pet’s food. If you are feeding the shell it is best to use organic eggs to avoid any chemicals or wax typically found on commercial eggshells. Pasture raised free range hens tend to produce eggs that contain higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids.
On the inside the shell there are two membranes that surround the egg. These membranes are the richest known source of natural glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and collagen. These nutrients are needed to build and repair cartilage and connective tissue. If you are not feeding the shell, you can simply scrape out these membranes so your pets can reap the nutritional benefits of consuming them.
Contained within the egg white is a substance called avadin, which binds to biotin, making it unavailable to be absorbed. Biotin is a B vitamin which is important for cellular growth and for maintenance of healthy skin and coat. The egg yolk is rich in biotin. To avoid a biotin deficiency feed the whole egg - white and yolk together. Feeding only egg whites over a period of months does have the potential to cause a biotin deficiency. Biotin is also found in raw chicken and liver.
The most advantageous way to feed eggs is raw. Cooking the egg will change the chemical composition and is often a source of allergy symptoms. Raw eggs are exceptionally easy to digest and are nutritionally balanced.
A study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2002 indicated that one in every 30,000 commercially produced eggs was contaminated with salmonella. The rate of contamination is very low. In addition to that, our carnivore pets are very well equipped to deal with any such bacteria. They have enzymes in their saliva and gastrointestinal system that are efficient at destroying pathogens in the food they consume. Fresh eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. If the eggs smell off when the shell is opened, discard.
Eggs are easy to obtain, packed full of excellent nutrition, simple to store and inexpensive. Get those eggs cracking for your carnivore pets!
Eggs are good for people as well. Here is an Egg Nog recipe for the humans to try out during the holiday season:
Egg Nog (makes 3 servings)
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/3 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dash ground nutmeg
Blend ingredients together and serve chilled.
EGG FACT: It takes a hen about 24-26 hours to produce an egg. After the egg is laid, the hen starts all over again about 30 minutes later.
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Author - Jennifer Lee
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