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Emma Morano, who turned 117 in November of 2016 and was the only human being born in the 1800s still alive, passed away in April of 2017. She passed quietly in her home in Northern Italy.

Her secret to a life spanning three centuries? She loved eating eggs. Over 90 years of eating eggs means she ate over 100,000 eggs in her lifetime!

Emma Morano, 116, poses for AFP photographer in Verbania, North Italy, on May 14, 2016. Emma Morano is the oldest living person in the world, and the only one left who has touched three centuries. Susannah Mushatt Jones, a New York woman several months her senior, died on May 12 evening, making Morano the world's oldest known person at 116. / AFP / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Emma’s Story

Emma Morano was born on November 29, 1899 in the Piedmont region of Italy. She withstood the test of time, which included an abusive marriage, the death of her baby boy, and outliving all eight of her younger siblings, many of who also lived to be centenarians.

Emma contributes much of her longevity to her brave decision to leave her abusive husband, a year after she lost her six month old son.

“I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.” She said in an interview with the New York Times.

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After losing the true love her life to World War One, when she was twenty-six years old, another man threatened to kill her if she didn’t marry him. She finally made the decision to leave him in 1938, however they were still technically married until he died in 1978. She never married again, choosing instead to work until she was seventy-five years old.

Why All the Eggs?

Beyond genetics and her resilient nature, Emma contributed much of her long life to eating eggs. A brush with anemia in her twenties sent Emma to the doctor who prescribed eating three eggs a day, and her health never faltered again. But some people still believe that eggs contain too much cholesterol to be good for you. Simply put, they are wrong.

Eggs the super food

Eggs by themselves are some of the most nutritious food on the planet. A single egg contains:

They also contain reasonable amounts of:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Calcium
  •  Zinc

As you can see, there’s hardly anything an egg does not offer. Including the fact that an egg is roughly 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats, it’s easy to call it a super food.

Eggs and cholesterol

scrambled eggs

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The problem that people have always seen with eggs is that they are high in cholesterol and they are not wrong. An egg contains about 212 mg of cholesterol, which is over half of your daily recommended amount. But proponents of eggs like to point out that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t mean higher cholesterol in the blood. Our livers, which produce cholesterol every day, make less when we eat eggs. One study determined that 70 percent of people who eat eggs have no effect on their cholesterol levels whatsoever.

In fact, eggs have been shown to increase the ‘good’ form of cholesterol known as High-Density Lipoprotein or HDL and are linked with reduced heart disease and stroke.

Eggs and antioxidants

In addition to all the nutrients, an egg hosts two critical antioxidants that have a fundamental impact on your eye health. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are found in large amounts in egg yolks and tend to congregate in the eye, and high levels of both of these reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. It’s been found that eating just 1.3 egg yolks a day for 4.5 weeks increased blood levels of Lutein by nearly 50 percent and Zeaxanthin by 140 percent.

Eggs and weight loss

fried eggs

Eggs bring so much to the table, they are delicious and filling and can even contribute to a diet in which weight loss is the goal. In one study done at the Rochester Centre for Obesity Research, it was found that eating eggs for breakfast helps limit overall caloric intake by as much as 400 calories per day. Not only are eggs low in calories but they are also high in protein, so you can get a lean snack out of eggs without tipping the scales.

In an eight-week study, overweight men and women on a diet were given either a breakfast of two eggs or bagels. The group that had eaten the eggs every day had a greater weight loss by more than 65 percent, 34 percent reduction in waist circumference and 16 percent greater reduction in body fat. The secret is that eggs satisfy your hunger more quickly.

Eggs the cancer fighter

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If you weren’t already sold on the benefits of eggs, one study done by researchers from the University of North Carolina found that eating eggs can even have an impact on the risk of breast cancer in women by 24 percent due to the presence of Choline in the egg yolk. A single egg contains 125.5 mg of Choline which is roughly a quarter of your daily intake.

So if you want to be like Emma Morano and live to be well over one hundred years old like she did, better start cracking those eggs.

 

Sources

Today. At 116, the world’s oldest living person loves eating eggs every day. http://www.today.com/health/world-s-oldest-living-person-emma-morano-eats-eggs-every-t104523 Published: October 31st, 2016. Accessed: November 8, 2016.

Authority Nutrition. Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Eggs. https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-health-benefits-of-eggs/ Accessed: November 8, 2016.

Best Health Magazine. 5 Reasons to Eat More Eggs. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/5-reasons-to-eat-more-eggs/ Accessed: November 8, 2016.

Authority Nutrition. Why are eggs good for you? An Egg-ceptional superfood. https://authoritynutrition.com/why-are-eggs-good-for-you/ Accessed: November 8, 2016.

International Journal of Obesity. Egg Breakfast Enhances Weight Loss. http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v32/n10/abs/ijo2008130a.html Published: 2008 Accessed: November 8, 2016.

Youtube. Emma Morano: 116 Years Old & Last Person Born In 1800s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2J3SzGA33U Published: May 14, 2016. Accessed: November 10, 2016.

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