Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. A whole egg contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into a baby chicken. Pasture-raised eggs are one of the richest sources of bioactive nutrients that enhance hormone function, reduce inflammation, improve fat-burning, and enhance brain function.
Chickens are designed to naturally graze on grass, weeds, worms, and insects. When they are able to do this, they bioaccumulate omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoid antioxidants and major minerals like magnesium.
It is a great idea to consume pasture-raised, organic eggs. Unless you have an immune sensitivity to them (lab test) or feel tired, have to clear your throat, feel inflamed, etc. than you want to have these as a staple item in your diet.
Eggs Are a Dense Source of Bioactive Compounds
Eggs provide nutrients that help to prevent human health degeneration. One study released in 2005 provided that eggs contain 18 vitamins and minerals, some of which are commonly deficient in the western diet. Carrots seem to get all the credit for its carotenoid content, but this pigment also gives yolk its yellow/orange color.
Carotenoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that play a role in the central nervous system and are responsible for eye and vision wellness. Carotenoids are required for vitamin A production, assist in neural retina function, and provide protective macular pigment (responsible for field of vision in the center of the eye). Lack of this key nutrient is linked to macular degeneration and cataract formation. A study published by the Journal of Alzheimers Disease released in 2014 states that a link exists in carotenoid intake and cognitive function observed by Alzheimer’s patients.1-4
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two types of carotenoids and are an essential dietary component because the body’s tissue does not synthesize these compounds on its own. Specifically, aside from being found in the yolk of eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin are naturally occurring in dark leafy greens.
Providing more reason to not limit egg consumption to egg whites, egg yolk is a source of lecithin, choline, and phosvitin. Lecithin provides cellular support and aids in the secretion of bile, which inhibits the buildup of stones in the bladder. Among metabolism promoting factors, choline is essential for brain development. The choline content alone in egg yolks is one reason why pregnant women supplement their diet with eggs. Phosvitin is a protein that chelates iron ions, or in other words behaves as an antioxidant in the removal of metals, and assists in detoxifying the body. Specifically, phosvitin aids in inhibiting excessive melanin synthesis in skin.3, 5
The choline content alone in egg yolks is one reason why pregnant women supplement their diet with eggs. Phosvitin is a protein that chelates iron ions, or in other words behaves as an antioxidant in the removal of metals, and assists in detoxifying the body. Specifically, phosvitin aids in inhibiting excessive melanin synthesis in skin.3, 5
Eggs Are a Nutritive Powerhouse
Eggs provide a valuable source of protein, especially for individuals with gout because it does not contain purine (3). One entire large egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and is a good source of protein for vegetarians.6
Mostly found in the yolk, biotin is a B-complex vitamin that contributes to metabolic pathways by serving as a transport mechanism for vitamins and minerals into eggs during development and makes eggs an excellent source of this nutrient. Also responsible for the vitamin and mineral transportation, riboflavin and iron are two other nutrients found in trace amounts in both egg whites and egg yolks.7
- Nolan JM, et al. Macular pigment, visual function, and macular disease among subjects with Alzheimer’s disease: an exploratory study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014 Jul;42(4):1191-202. PMID: 2502431
- Shapira N. Not All Eggs Are Created Equal: The Effect on Health Depends on the Composition. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2011 Mar-Apr;27(2):264. DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2010.11.01
- Miranda JM, et al. Egg and Egg-Derived Foods: Effects on Human Health and Use as Functional Foods. Nutrients. 2015 Jan;7(1):706-729. DOI: 3390/nu7010706
- A 2010 Report and Scorecard by The Cornucopia Institute: Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture Link Here
- Iishikawa S, et al. Egg Yolk Phosvitin Inhibits Hydroxyl Radical Formation from the Fenton Reaction. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. 2004 May; 68(6): 1324-1331. DOI: 1271/bbb.68.1324
- Berkeley Wellness: The Sunny Side of Eggs
- White HB, et al. Biotin-binding protein from chicken egg yolk. Assay and relationship to egg-white avidin. Biochem J. 1976 Aug;157(2):395-400. PMCID: 1163865