CAN EGGS LEAD TO A LONGER LIFE?

According to a 117-year old woman, most definitely.

The oldest living woman, Susannah Mushatt Jones, died last May aged 116 years and 311 days. She was the world’s oldest living person, and the last living American born in the 19th century. After her death, the crown of oldest living person was passed on to the Italian, who celebrated her 117th birthday on the 29th November 2016.

Emma, the oldest of eight siblings, was born in 1899 in Piedmont, Italy. It’s hard to envisage how her perception of the world must have altered after more than a century. When she was born, Italy was still headed by a King (King Umberto I), women weren’t allowed to participate in the Olympic Games, Queen Victoria was still alive, the First Nobel Prize hadn’t been given yet, and no one had as yet ever explored the North Pole. Emma’s life wasn’t an easy one; she suffered through two world wars, an abusive marriage, and the loss of her only son who died when he was just six months old.

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Image above: Emma Morano during her birthday

 

On her 117th birthday, Emma Morano was given an award by Margo Frigatti, Head of Records for the Guinness World Book of Records, who said that “Ms Morano has experienced things first hand that will soon be consigned to memory. She can teach us all a lesson of the value of a life well lived.”

What is the secret to such a long life? When asked, Ms Morano admitted that genetics contributed to a large part of her longevity, since her mother lived till her 90s, and several other female relatives reached beyond their centenary. She also gives importance to her diet, maintaining that it too influenced her lifestyle. Ms Morano was proud of the fact that in her twenties, when she was diagnosed with anaemia after the Second World War, she started to eat three eggs daily, and that her regime never faltered throughout her life. Two of the eggs she ingested were raw, while one was cooked. These days, she says, she only eats raw eggs.

Can eggs really be so galvanizing? Is there something true in this long-lived woman’s theory? Eggs are considered to be a uniquely beneficial nutrient-dense food. They contain high amounts of protein, as well as all nine essential amino acids, and not less than 13 different essential types of vitamins. Eggs are also a source of selenium and choline, which are two nutrients associated with brain development, a healthy metabolism, high energy levels, and other basic processes.

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Many nutritionists and dieticians tell people who want to lose weight to leave out the yolk of the egg, since this may be a source of dietary cholesterol, which for many years has been cited as being something to keep on the lookout for. This is very unwise however, as most of the beneficial vitamins and minerals are lost if the egg yolk is discarded. Dr. Luc Djoussé, an associate professor and heart disease researcher at Harvard Medical School, maintains that “dietary cholesterol does not translate into high levels of blood cholesterol”, while Dr. Robert Eckel, a program chair and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine says that “our focus should be on healthy dietary patterns, not specific foods or nutrients.”

Perhaps it’s more a question of weighing one’s priorities and needs, instead of generalising.

 

So, how do you like your eggs? Let us know in the comment section below?