An Eggs-ellent Breakfast

8 Oct

After my youngest cutie-pie was born, I started taking a prescription drug called Lisinopril. Lisinopril is in the ACE inhibitor class of drugs for hypertension. I took this for 5 years and it was keeping my blood pressure in check. On an unrelated visit to my regular doctor, my blood pressure reading was around 140/90 and she decided my dose of Lisinopril should be increased. Like an idiot, I didn’t question her, I just went with it. Six months later, I developed a cough that would last me almost four months before online research helped me figure out it was a side effect of the Lisinopril.

Despite the fact that the drug caused this side effect, it worked to keep my BP controlled. An ACE inhibitor blocks the formation of angiotensin II in the kidneys which relaxes the arteries, lowering blood pressure. Now, if only I could find a natural way to get the same results, right?

Enter…the egg.

The Incredible, Edible Egg? Quite possibly. A study last year at The University of Alberta, Canada, tested the effect of stomach enzymes on the proteins in a cooked egg. The result? Proteins in eggs, in combination with stomach enzymes, can produce peptides with ACE-inhibitory activity. The greatest results were found with fried eggs, although the study doesn’t state if scrambled eggs were tested.

So what does this mean for me? Well, I’m not sure yet. The results are astounding, but the study was done in a lab. It has yet to be tested on people. I avoided eggs completely until a couple of months ago. Then I allowed myself to eat a veggie burger that had egg as the binder holding it together. Once I realized how little egg I was actually consuming (the recipe used one egg and made eight burgers), I relaxed a little about it, especially since I buy my eggs from a local farm.

Many vegetarians eat eggs but don’t eat meat because of the cruelty to animals, but egg-laying hens on factory farms live a horrific life. Factory-farmed chickens live in conditions where they can’t even turn around or stand up. Happy chickens generally lay one egg a day. Factory-farmed chickens live in buildings where the lights are on for 7 hours and then off for 1 hour and then on for 7 hours and so on…to trick the hens into thinking it’s a new day so they will now lay three eggs a day instead of one a day as nature intended. It’s disgusting.

You can help put an end to that by not buying grocery store eggs. Don’t be fooled by packaging that says “cage free.” Most factory-farmed chickens are cage free — they live in window-less barns. Buy your eggs from local farms where the chickens roam in green grass. It may take some work to find one, but they’re everywhere. I buy my eggs from a farm in Ida, Michigan, but the Grand Rapids, Ohio, farmer we bought our beef from also has egg-laying chickens. You can buy his eggs directly from him or they sell them at many of the health food stores in Toledo. On a recent trip to Monette’s in Toledo, I found eggs from a local farm. I haven’t visited that specific farm, but I would almost guarantee they have *happy* chickens.

I came into this journey with the intent to try anything that might possibly get my BP under control. After reading the study from the scientists in Canada, I gave eating eggs a little more thought. Knowing that the eggs I buy are from hens who have not been mistreated and are living as nature intended, I decided the occasional egg was worth a shot. The study suggested one to three eggs a week. I’m starting with one. Everything in moderation, right?

So here’s today’s breakfast: one fried egg (using nonstick cooking spray), one vegetarian sausage, one slice of the Cinnamon Pecan bread I made yesterday, and some fresh pineapple. Delicious. If you haven’t had a vegetarian sausage, you should try one. They are surprisingly good. The one I had with breakfast is from Trader Joe’s, but you can make your own. It takes a little bit of time, but the end result is worth it. I’ve made the breakfast sausages on Vegan Dad’s website and they are tasty. You can find the recipe here. Enjoy!

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