Pastured Eggs | endo-diet basics
Eggs aren’t detested in the endo community like meat and dairy are, but there’s still a good amount of competing information out there to make us wonder about their impact on our pain and health. That’s because some books — like Recipes and Diet Advice for Endometriosis by Carolyn Levett — recommend using egg replacers in the place of eggs, saying eggs cause inflammation, while others in the paleo + ancestral health community applaud eggs and nutrient dense gold in a shell.
So what gives?
The basic truth: eggs from healthy, pastured chickens (you know, the real bug eating, sun bathing, grass scratching kind of chickens) are some of the most nutrient dense of any food in the world, especially the yolks which house an assortment of nutrients so many of us endo girls are utterly deficient of: omega 3’s, choline, B vitamins, vitamin A, E, D, K, calcium, iron, phosphorus, folate, and pantothenic acid. It’s like a delicious multi-vitamin in a shell that your body can actually absorb.
The endo truth: your body may react negatively to eggs, as studies are showing a trend of about 1 in 3 folk with chronic illness react poorly to eggs. The reaction may not be black and white though. You may react to the whites, but not not yolk, may react now but not in a few months after healing-and-sealing the gut, or may react a whole egg, for the whole of your life. Bummer. And confusing AF, right?
A few real reasons that eggs cause reactions
1) Too many Omega-6 fats: eggs from factory farmed birds fed an atrocious diet that sets their omega 6:3 balance askew will tip your precious balance off and lend to inflammation in your body. They also won’t offer the nutritional benefits of their outdoor sisters who eat bugs, greens, and sunbathe, so what you get instead is a nutritionally void egg that upsets your omega balance and can indeed lead to more pain.
2) Your gut is broke: if you have intestinal hyper-permeability (aka leaky gut), and have thus developed an allergy or sensitivity to them, your immune system may be provoked continuously if you eat eggs. That means no eggs for you until you heal and seal your precious gut, and then you’ll be able to see if you react by slowly reintroducing them.. Indeed eggs yolks themselves are one of the most tolerable foods to eat, since they're one of the very first foods allowed during the re-introductory phase of gut healing.
3) You’re one of the 1 in 3 folk in the chronic community that will never be able to tolerate eggs. Yup, even if you heal your gut, even if you buy your own hens and pamper them with love, your own body may never be able to tolerate eggs without a hefty dose of inflammatory symptoms (maybe pain, maybe insomnia, maybe something else).
So here’s the takeaway, eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat when they're sourced well from pastured chickens, and can fill up your nutrient stores in ways you never imagined! But your own body may not tolerate them. Or it may! Here I’ll go through the good eggs, the bad eggs, and how to know if you can tolerate them at all.