You have heard about the health and beauty benefits of eggs for years. But what do you do with their shells? Though we never consider eggshells for the same, the tossed out item can actually help us regarding this in a number of ways. Studies reveal that crushed eggshells are a cheap and versatile ingredient with tons of nutritional benefits. Moreover, it could be the way forward in fixing a number of your beauty issues. Feeling interested? This article takes a look at the benefits and beauty uses of eggshells that will leave you surprised. Keep reading.
What Is an Eggshell?
You may think that you are cracking just the outer covering of an egg but an eggshell is much more than just a simple hard shell. It is primarily made of a common calcium compound named calcium carbonate (almost 40%) while the other two elements in it are protein and minerals (1). According to researchers, each gram of eggshell contains as much as 381–401 mg, of calcium (2) (3). In fact, the daily requirements of calcium for adults, which is 1,000 mg./day, can be provided easily by just half an eggshell itself (4).
Calcium is one of the most essential minerals required by the human body, which is found in several food items including leafy greens, root vegetables, and dairy products.
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Anatomy of an Eggshell
An eggshell is composed of three distinct layers. The hard, outermost layer is almost entirely made of chalky calcium carbonate crystals, which contribute to its curved shape along with its bumpy and grainy texture (5). No matter how hard it feels, this layer is basically a semi-permeable membrane with around 17,000 tiny pores for passing air and moisture through them. This layer is also covered with a very fine screen named ‘cuticle’ or ‘bloom’, which prevents the dust and bacteria from entering the shell, thus keeping the egg safe inside. On the other hand, the second layer and third layer of eggshells are known as the inner membrane and the outer membrane respectively. These protein-made transparent coatings are strong, flexible, and smooth. They cumulatively work to defend the egg yolk against bacterial invasion.
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Health Benefits of Eggshells
Including eggshells in your daily diet can be really beneficial for your health. Here is why:
- Being an excellent source of calcium, eggshells have long been used as a natural calcium supplement. Powdered eggshells get absorbed in our body almost as effectively as purified calcium carbonate, thereby meeting our bodily requirements of the mineral. In fact, certain proteins present in eggshells may boost calcium absorption in our body nearly 64% greater compared to pure calcium carbonate supplements.
- Eggshells reduce the risk of osteoporosis by increasing our calcium intake. When taken along with magnesium and vitamin D3, they help in improving bone mineral density (6). They may also work effectively as a source of bone graft materials (7).
- Calcium-rich eggshells also have small amounts of magnesium, selenium, strontium, and fluoride. All these minerals may also be quite effective in enhancing our bone health.
- The protein-rich membrane attached to the eggshell may provide collagen to your joints, thus making them healthy.
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3 Surprising Beauty Uses of Eggshells
Eggshells are not only beneficial for our bone and joint health but also helpful in boosting our beauty and appearance. Here are 3 amazing ways to incorporate these shells in your beauty routine:
1. Eggshell and Egg White Mask for Bright and Flawless Skin
This is an all-in-one eggshell face mask that can beautify you significantly by nourishing, brightening, and firming your skin. To prepare it, beat an egg and separate the yolk from its white portion. Now, mix the eggshell powder with the egg white and whisk properly. Use it all over your face, massage gently for a few minutes by using your fingertips, and allow it to dry. Then, wash it off with fresh cold water. It will give you a healthy and shiny skin while preventing premature aging.
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2. Eggshell and Apple Cider Vinegar for Soothing Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, chances are you get rashes, irritations, and inflammations every now and then. In such cases, eggshells can be of great help. Just take a bottle of apple cider vinegar and drop some crushed eggshells into it. Let them soak for 4 to 5 days. Then, dip a cotton ball in this concoction and apply it to the affected parts of your skin.
3. Eggshells and Comfrey Roots for Pearly White Teeth
Collect some comfrey roots and combine them with a handful of freshly pulverized eggshells. Use this mixture for remineralizing your teeth and restoring their natural whiteness. In short, it will give you back those perfect white teeth and a beautiful smile.]
How to Prepare Eggshells for Beauty Uses?
It is important to prepare the eggshells prior to including them in your beauty routine. Here are the steps that you need to follow for this purpose:
- If you have broken the shells into two halves, place them one by one under the running water of tap and cleanse properly. There is a semi-permeable skin attached to the inner wall of each eggshell. Try to remove it by washing thoroughly.
- Place the clean eggshells in a bowl and crush them completely. You can do this by your hands or make use of a grinder. But make sure that you crush them as small as possible.
- Now, shift them to a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It will make them germ-free and you will be able to use it for beauty purposes without any worry.
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Eggshells are made from calcium carbonate, protein, and certain other minerals. Being rich in calcium, it can improve the health of our bones and joints significantly. Apart from this, they are used for nourishing, soothing, and brightening our facial skin. The shells are also effective in giving the skin a youthful makeover as well as whitening the teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are Some Other Uses of Eggshells?
Apart from health and beauty uses, eggshells can be used for feeding chickens, controlling pests, composting, adding to potting soil, increasing calcium level to your garden, and so on.
Is Eating Eggshells Harmful?
Eggshells are safe to eat, provided they are prepared the right way. Boiling them before eating can reduce the risk of food poisoning caused by a bacteria named Salmonella enteritidis. Also, make sure that you do not have more than 2.5 gm. of eggshells at a time.
- “Chicken Eggshell Matrix Proteins Enhance Calcium Transport in the Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells, Caco-2“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Chicken Eggshell as Suitable Calcium Source at Home“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Mineral, Amino Acid, and Hormonal Composition of Chicken Eggshell Powder and the Evaluation of Its Use in Human Nutrition“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “The 2011 Report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: What Clinicians Need to Know.”, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Anatomy of an Egg“, Exploratorium.edu
- “Short-Term Effects of a Chicken Eggshell Powder Enriched Dairy-Based Products on Bone Mineral Density in Persons with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Eggshells as Natural Calcium Carbonate Source in Combination with Hyaluronan as Beneficial Additives for Bone Graft Materials, an In-Vitro Study“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov