“Kumain ng itlog, pagkaing pampalusog,” parents and teachers would often say to encourage children to eat eggs.
Indeed, eggs, specifically chicken eggs, are on the list of the most commonly-consumed foods.
Eggs top the most consumed protein-rich foods in the Philippines, based on the food consumption survey conducted in 2008 conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST).
Chicken eggs ranked eighth among the most commonly-consumed foods, next to rice, sugar, coconut oil, salt, instant coffee, garlic, and bombay onion.
Among the protein-rich food sources, egg is followed by powdered choco milk drink, powdered filled milk, canned fish sardines and galunggong.
Based on the average per capita food intake in 2008, 14 grams of egg or about one-third piece is consumed daily which, over the years, has risen from only eight grams in 1978.
An egg is a cheap source of good quality protein and other nutrients such as fat, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, B-vitamins and iron.
Eggs contain all the amino acids needed to build and repair body tissues and transport other nutrients, while the protein helps maintain healthy muscles, hair, skin and nails.
It is also good for the eyes because of the carotenoid it contains, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin.
Eggs have naturally-occurring vitamin D for proper absorption and use of calcium which is needed for strong bones and teeth and proper muscle contractions.
The B-vitamins in egg help the body use carbohydrates, protein and fat, sustain good appetite and normal digestion, promote growth and keep the nerves healthy.
The iron in eggs helps build and maintain blood supply, give healthy red color to the blood and prevent simple anemia.
Chicken eggs are also a good source of choline, a nutrient important to cells, the liver, and brain.
The fat in eggs gives additional energy needed to sustain daily activities.
According to Dr. Celeste C. Tanchoco, Scientist III of the FNRI-DOST, an egg a day is alright for healthy and normal individuals.
A study conducted by the FNRI-DOST showed that consumption of up to one egg daily is unlikely to have substantial increase in blood lipid levels.
No wonder, egg is a favorite food of Filipinos. It's a nutritious and relatively cheap source of nutrients.