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Exploring the Nutritional Value and Potential Health Risks of Century Eggs

Century eggs, also known as thousand-year eggs or preserved eggs, are a Chinese delicacy that have been consumed for centuries. The eggs are made by preserving duck, chicken, or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice straw for several weeks or months. The result is a pungent and flavorful egg that is typically eaten as a snack or added to dishes like congee, porridge, or noodle soups.

Despite their popularity in Chinese cuisine, century eggs are often met with skepticism and criticism from those who are unfamiliar with them. Some people are turned off by their appearance and strong smell, while others are concerned about their nutritional value and potential health risks. In this article, we will explore whether century eggs are good for you and what health benefits or drawbacks they may have.

Nutritional Value of Century Eggs

One century egg (50g) typically contains around 77 calories, 6.2g of protein, 5.1g of fat, and 0.6g of carbohydrates. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus.

However, it is important to note that century eggs are high in sodium, with one egg containing up to 400mg of sodium. This can be a concern for people with high blood pressure or other health conditions that require a low-sodium diet. It is also worth noting that century eggs are high in cholesterol, with one egg containing up to 186mg of cholesterol, which is more than half of the recommended daily intake.

Potential Health Benefits of Century Eggs

Despite their high sodium and cholesterol content, century eggs may have some potential health benefits. For example, they are rich in protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. They also contain vitamin B12, which is important for healthy nerve function and the formation of red blood cells.

Potential Health Benefits of Century Eggs

In addition, some people believe that century eggs have probiotic properties, meaning they contain beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health and digestion. However, more research is needed to confirm this claim.

Potential Health Risks of Century Eggs

One of the main concerns about century eggs is their high sodium content, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and other health problems. People with kidney disease or other health conditions that require a low-sodium diet should avoid or limit their intake of century eggs.

Another potential health risk is the presence of harmful bacteria or toxins in poorly made century eggs. The preservation process can create an environment that is conducive to the growth of harmful bacteria, which can cause food poisoning or other illnesses. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, it is important to purchase century eggs from a reputable source and to ensure that they are properly stored and prepared.


In conclusion, century eggs can be a nutritious and flavorful addition to your diet, but they should be consumed in moderation and with caution. While they are a good source of protein and vitamins, they are also high in sodium and cholesterol, which can be a concern for some people. Additionally, the preservation process can create a risk of foodborne illness if not done properly. As with any food, it is important to consume century eggs in moderation and to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or health conditions that may be affected by their consumption.

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