The Benefits and Risks of Eating Eggshells

What Is an Eggshell Exactly?

We’ve all seen eggshells before, but how many of us really know what we’re cracking?

What we think of as the eggshell is actually three distinct layers. The first layer is the hard, chalky substance we pluck out of batter and omelets. That layer is composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate crystals. (1) These crystals form the curvature that gives the eggshell its shape. Although the eggshell is hard, it is actually a semi-permeable membrane, allowing air and moisture to pass through the almost 17,000 tiny pores which cover its surface. The shell also has a very fine, outermost coating called the bloom or cuticle. The bloom serves as a screen, preventing dust and bacteria from passing through the pores and damaging the rest of the egg.

Over the years, eggs have been used when creating supplements. The calcium content of eggshells stands at around 40 percent. This means that every gram of eggshell can give around 381-401 mg. This therefore means that only a half of the eggshell may be adequate for an adult’s daily requirement.

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is very common in nature. It makes limestone, coral reefs, and seashells. As a supplement, it is also one of the cheapest that you can find. Studies have been conducted on piglets and rats and there has been a confirmation that they are indeed a perfect source of calcium. They are also readily absorbed just like the normal calcium carbonate.

The other minerals that can be found in the eggshells include selenium, magnesium, fluoride, and strontium.

The Benefits

Reduces the risk of the disease osteoporosis: this condition can be identified due to the weakness of bones as well as a high risk of getting bone fractures
It helps you achieve the daily calcium requirement, especially when you have a hard time doing it.
It strengthens bones, especially in the women who are postmenopausal. Taking the powder together with magnesium and vitamin D3 actually strengthens bones and improves density.
The membrane in eggshells is also great for your joints. This membrane is usually visible when one boils an egg and peels it. This membrane is included when the supplement is being made.
The shell also has collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and other types of nutrients. These are usually in very little amounts. By taking eggshells on a regular basis, you may actually benefit your joints a great deal. 

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 sealing lid.

To extract the eggshell membrane, simply peel it off of the eggshell. This video shows just how easy it is to do.

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