For many years, we have heard of the health benefits of eggs. We all know that eggs are inexpensive, and a versatile source of protein. People scramble, poach, bake and whip it into custards or soups. But what about the eggshells? Studies actually suggest that we may be missing out on the essential source of calcium when we throw eggshells. In addition to the nutritional or health benefits of eggshells, it also has a lot of some other uses in the garden and all over the house. If you want to know more facts about the eggshells, feel free to give this article a read.
Eggshells: What is this?
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All of us have seen eggshells before, but how many of us really know what we are cracking?
In the actual fact, eggshells have three layers. The first layer of it is the hard layer, a chalky substance that we pluck out of omelettes and batter. That certain layer is composed almost completely of calcium carbonate crystals. These crystals form the shape or curvature, which gives the eggshell its unique shape. Even though eggshell is hard, it’s a semi-permeable membrane, thus allowing the moisture and air to pass into the 17000 small pores that covers its surface. Furthermore, the shell also has a fine, outermost coating known as cuticle or bloom. The bloom is the ones that acts as a screen, thus preventing bacteria and dust from passing through the pores and damaging the other parts of the egg.
The other two parts of the eggshell are the inner and the outer membranes. These transparent and smooth membranes of the eggshells are mostly composed of proteins, and are both strong and flexible. Working together, the outer and the inner membranes work in defending the egg yolk against the invasion of bacteria. Moreover, one protein in that make up the aforementioned layers is the keratin –the same protein present in the horn of rhinoceros and our hair.
Is Eggshell Edible?
Well, the answer to this question is yes. If you clean and prepare it properly and thoroughly, there is no problem with eating eggshell. The bigger question is in fact, “Why would I want to eat eggshells?” If you ask this for yourself, we need to look at the levels of calcium in it. This is for the reason that it provides a large portion of the benefits of eggshell.
Health Benefits of Eggshells
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of eggshells:
- Have anti-inflammatory properties. The eggshell membranes can be an alternative therapy for joints connective tissue conditions. In fact, the eggshell membrane is beneficial in relieving pain and discomfort that comes with joint connective tissue condition with no side effects.
- Helps in protecting the tooth enamel. The eggshell powder is an essential component to the dental studies that focus on the remineralisation of the teeth’s enamel. Studies actually show that eggshell powder has lower levels of toxic minerals like mercury, cadmium, aluminium, and lead.
- Helps in making the bones stronger and help treat osteoporosis. The calcium content of the eggshell is in ample amount. This is beneficial in making the bones much stronger. Not just that, research also suggests that this may be beneficial in treating osteoporosis.
- Rich in calcium. One average-sized eggshell may provide twice the daily allowable allowance of calcium, thus making it a good calcium-rich food. Remember, calcium is essential for the growth and development of the bones. This is the best of all the health benefits of eggshells.
Uses of Eggshells
Apart from all the health benefits of eggshells, it also have a wide variety of uses both around the home and in the garden.
- Add stupendously crushed eggshells to bird or dog food to add a boost in calcium
- Use eggshells to start seedlings
- Use eggshells in deterring garden pests
- Sprinkle eggshells straight into the garden soil to have a nutrient-dense soil
- Eggshell face mask
- Add it in your dish soap
- Boil eggshells in your coffee
- Compost your eggshells to have a nutrient-rich soil
Precautions in Consuming Eggshells
There are some risks or side effects that come with the consumption of eggshell. Yes, you read it right. Even though you properly prepare it, there will always be a precaution in consuming it. In case that the eggshells are not finely crushed, the jagged bits of the shell may irritate the throat and may cause damage to your esophagus. Similarly, if the shells are not well-sterilized, they may harbour some salmonella bacteria.
Moreover, the increase in the calcium in the eggshells may result into the overabundance of calcium. Excessive amount of calcium in the body may manifest low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, vomiting, and nausea. Not just that, it may also produce kidney stones. All of these symptoms are unlikely to happen from food-based calcium sources like the eggshells, nevertheless, since the body processes food-based calcium much slower.