This is why you start eating eggshells.

Eggshells.

The health benefits of egg whites and yolks are widely known, but what about eggshells? 

A lot of people actually don’t know that eggshells are indeed suitable for human consumption. When prepared correctly, eggshell powder is considered safe and they could be a good addition to your diet.

Eggshells are made up of 95% calcium carbonate, with a single shell providing around two grams of calcium. Comparatively, a glass of orange juice provides just 11 milligrams. Not only does this promote bone and muscle health, but it can also help relieve common issues such as heartburn, acid indigestion and stomach problems.

Half an egg shell can provide you with the recommended daily calcium intake. 

Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis.

The natural calcium in egg shells can have positive effects on bone density and can even help prevent and treat osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a health condition characterised by weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures.

Old age is one of the strongest risk factors for osteoporosis, but inadequate calcium intake may also contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis over time.

In addition to calcium, eggshells also contain proteins and small amounts of other minerals, including strontium, fluoride, magnesium and selenium. Just like calcium, these minerals may play a role in bone health.

One study in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis found that taking eggshell powder, along with vitamin D3 and magnesium, significantly strengthened their bones by improving bone mineral density.

Eggshell membrane.

The eggshell membrane is located between the eggshell and the egg white. It is easily visible when you peel a boiled egg. While technically not part of the eggshell, it is usually attached to it. When making eggshell powder at home, there is no need for you to remove the membrane.

Eggshell membrane mainly consists of protein in the form of collagen. It also contains small amounts of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine and other nutrients.

The trace amounts of these beneficial compounds in eggshell membrane are unlikely to have any significant effects on your health. However, some studies show that regular intake of eggshell membrane supplements may benefit your joints.

Protect Tooth Enamel

Chicken eggshell powder is also a key component to dental studies focusing on the remineralisation of the enamel in teeth.

In research published in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research, eggshell powder was mixed into a glycerin solution or methylcellulose gel and applied to teeth that had been chemically demineralised. The results showed an increase in new enamel to these damaged teeth.

This study also determined that in comparison to other natural calcium sources, chicken eggshell powder contained lower levels of toxic materials, such as lead, aluminum, cadmium and mercury.

In addition, eggshells can be used in the production of Wollastonite, a material used in the synthesis of bioactive materials like dental root prosthetics. These benefits combined help make the eggshell one of the best foods for teeth.

Possess Anti-Inflammatory Effects.

The powdered outer shells aren’t the only components of eggshells proving to have useful medical applications.

One study gauged the effectiveness of using eggshell membranes as an alternative therapy for joint connective tissue disorders, such as arthritis, lupus, gout and back pain. These conditions are commonly treated with analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs, which have limited effectiveness and can create cardiac risks and gastrointestinal issues.

In contrast, the eggshell membrane proved to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with joint connective tissue disorder without these complicating side effects.

How to Eat Egg Shells?

When eating eggshells, it’s important that they are properly cleaned and free from any bacteria. 

This is the process I usually follow:

  1. Boil (organic) egg shells for around 5 minutes to properly clean the shells and remove bacteria. Important: Don’t remove the membrane as this part of the shell is nutrient rich.
  2. Let the shells dry for a bit.
  3. Bake the dry egg shells in the oven for around 10 minutes at 180 degrees to further wipe out any bacteria. 
NOTE: You can skip this step if you’re confident that the shells have been cleaned enough after boiling. The oven will make the shells crunchier though, which makes the grinding easier.
  1. Grind the shells in a coffee grinder until you have a nice powder substance.
  2. You can then store the powder in a container and use it when you want to!
Crushed eggshell powder.
Eggshell Precautions

There are very few risks or side effects associated with eggshell consumption provided the eggshells are prepared properly. If the eggshells are not crushed finely enough, the jagged bits of shell could irritate the throat and cause damage to the esophagus.

Likewise, if the shells are not sterilised, they could harbour salmonella bacteria.

The increase in calcium provided by the eggshells could result in an overabundance of calcium. Too much calcium in the body can manifest in nausea, vomiting, fatigue, irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure.

It may also produce kidney stones. These symptoms are less likely to occur from food-based calcium sources like eggshell, however, because the body processes food-based calcium more slowly.
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