Fried, scrambled, poached, and boiled, eggs are an incredibly versatile food that are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids.
Although the yolk and whites are usually the reason we crack open an egg, the eggshell itself is truly a marvel of Mother-Nature.
Composed of 95% of calcium carbonate-crystals, the eggshell is covered with as many as 17,000 tiny pores that allow air and moisture to enter the inner egg. The outermost layer of the shell has built in protection, called the bloom or cuticle, which prevents dust and bacteria from getting inside. Between the shell and the egg white is a transparent membrane, made up of proteins that also aid in defense against foreign contaminants.
The next time you eat eggs, you might want to hang on to the shell. Here’s why.
1.Eggshells are an Excellent Source of Calcium
Calcium is necessary for maintaining healthy bones throughout our lives. This is especially true for children in order to reach their full adult height and adults over 40 who are more at risk of developing osteoporosis. Our bodies do not produce calcium and so we must consume calcium rich foods like dairy products and dark leafy greens. For the body to absorb calcium, we also need to ensure we are receiving enough Vitamin-D.
Because eggshells are almost entirely calcium carbonate, half of one eggshell provides 1,000 mg of calcium – enough to meet the daily requirements for adults.
2.Eggshells Help Re-mineralize Teeth
A dental cavity begins when oral plaque becomes acidic. When we consume sugary foods and drinks, the bacterial plaque in our mouths converts the sugars into acids which dissolve (or demineralize) the tooth enamel.
When the tooth is demineralized, it releases calcium and phosphate into mouth saliva. Because eggshell-powder is so rich in calcium, it can be used to help along the remineralization-process.
3.Eggshells Relieve Pain & Inflammation in Joint
The eggshell membrane is the thin yet strong transparent layer that lies between the shell and the egg white. Composed of keratin, collagen, glucosamine, and several other compounds, it has been shown to offer relief from painful-joint and connective-tissue disorders like arthritis.
The 2009 study evaluated the effects of taking 500-mg of eggshell membrane on people who suffer from painful joints, reduced flexibility, and decreased cartilage. After seven days of treatment, joint pain was significantly reduced while flexibility and range of motion had vastly improved.
How to Safely Prep Eggshells?
While you can purchase eggshell calcium capsules, collecting eggshells from the eggs you eat is really easy, reduces waste, and is practically free.
To start, rinse out cracked eggshells and set them out to dry completely. For quicker drying, you can bake them in the oven for about 10-minutes at 150°F. Once dry and brittle, grind them up with a mortar and pestle, in the blender, or a coffee grinder. The consistency should be powdery; you can remove larger fragments by sifting. Store your eggshell powder in a container with a good lid.