Ever imagined that eggs are a factor in influencing human behaviour and eating them could make you more generous? A recent study claims just that, writes Deeba Hasan
If you want better marks in your exams or want your boss to raise your salary, perhaps eating a few eggs can do the trick. A new study conducted by psychologists from Leiden University in the Netherlands suggests that eating eggs can make a person more generous and charitable.
According to the study, a compound called Tryptophan (TRP) – an essential amino acid found in eggs, fish and milk – has been proven to make people more benevolent. It further claimed that people tend to donate twice as much when they consume eggs – stingy people beware.
The Leiden University researchers have explained their recent findings in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. The experiment was carried out as a result of the scientists’ curiosity to find out whether certain compounds could influence human behaviour and mood.
“For the first time, we investigated whether the administration of a compound contained in food such as fish, eggs, soy and milk can promote charitable donating,” they said.
Lionel Bonnaud, a chef at the Grand Hyatt Muscat Hotel, is a big advocate of eggs. “They are a very good source of nutrients,” he says. “They are packed with choline and contain antioxidants and vitamin A that benefits our eyes. They are also high in proteins, which can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure and optimise bone health.”
People have loved eggs for centuries, not only for their nutritional value but also for their versatility. They can be cooked in a variety of ways and can be added to other dishes to create delightful combinations.
Tryptophan is converted by the body into the feel-good chemical serotonin, which induces well-being and happiness. So eating eggs can also make you a more cheerful person.
Dr Adam Perksin, a neurobiologist at King’s College London, belives the egg study could be useful in institutions such as prisons to encourage harmony among inmates. “These results are interesting because they raise the possibility that dietary supplements containing TRP could be used to assist with boosting charitable attitudes and behaviour in the population,” he says.
The team of psychologists at Leiden University carried out the study with 32 healthy students. Half the group was given a placebo and the other half the equivalent TRP contained in three eggs. They were also given $15 (RO5.78) to be part of the study. At the end of the study, they were asked if they would donate the money to charity and those who took TRP, on average donated twice the amount given by placebo students.
Everyone has their own favourite ways to cook eggs, but we asked chef Lionel for his preference. “I personally like them simply sunny side up with a bit of thyme, a dash of raspberry vinegar reduction, a slice of sourdough country bread and farm’s butter, just like my grandmother used to prepare them.”
Chef Lionel’s Brittany Crêpe:
§ 250g buckwheat flour
§ 15g salt
§ 25g honey
§ 2 eggs
§ ½ tsp of baking powder
§ 20g melted butter
§ 250ml milk
§ 150ml water (to adjust the texture if needed)
§ 30g grated cheese
§ 20ml of cream
§ 30g of turkey ham
§ In a mixing bowl, pour in the buckwheat flour, the salt and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients with a spoon.
§ Add the honey and one egg, mix with a whisk.
§ Add the melted butter and mix well. Gradually add the milk as well, mixing as you go.
§ Adjust the texture with some water, but avoid too much liquid.
§ Let the batter rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
§ Heat up a pan, brush it with a bit of butter and pour some of the batter in it. You must “swirl”the pan at the same time you pour the batter for an even spread. If there is too much liquid the crêpe will be thin and fragile, if too thick, the batter won’t run and it will be thick like a pancake.
§ Let the crêpe cook until the edges turn brown, unstick the sides.
§ Add the egg in the middle, sprinkle the cheese on the egg white, some pieces of turkey ham and the cream, some pepper and close the side of the crêpe inward.
§ Set on a plate when the egg is cooked and enjoy.