Symbolically, the egg has multiple meanings – rebirth, fertility, universality, creation of life, luck, happiness. But it is in food that the egg concentrates its greatest benefit, with nutrients capable of promoting health and quality of life. The culinary interest in this delicacy dates back to approximately 3,200 B.C., a period associated with the beginning of the domestication of chickens. Over the years, it gained success at Mesopotamian era banquets, gaining several versions of preparation, thanks to its versatility. Specifically in the Americas, the evidence is that poultry was brought to the continent on Christopher Columbus’ second voyage in 1493. The first chickens – belonging to strains from Asia – would therefore be relatives of today’s laying hens. During the 1920s and 1930s, eggs were produced in backyards and were often sold by farmers to local markets in order to supply their families’ needs. Profitable, the commercialization of eggs generated the construction of sheds, capable of housing flocks of up to 400 hens. In the 1960s, technological advances and new equipment allowed small farms to start producing on a large scale, consequently increasing their intake. At the same time that egg consumption was becoming popular, scientific studies on the health risks of cholesterol were emerging. Consolidated in the meals – by adding nutritional value, accessible cost and availability in the market, the egg was suddenly placed in the list of the great villains of the diet, after the campaign of the American Heart Association (AHA), starting in 1968. In recent years, however, the egg has regained its former status as new scientific data has come out, debunking the belief that it causes increased cholesterol. Contrary to the image of harmful food, eggs today can and should be consumed, because, besides being rich in macro and micronutrients, they promote – among other benefits – satiety, an important factor in managing body weight and related diseases. This review, therefore, aims to present the benefits of egg ingestion – supported by a literature review of the best scientific articles available on the subject -, demystifying prejudices and highlighting its numerous contributions to human health.

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