Health Benefits of Free-Range Eggs

Health Benefits of Free-Range Eggs

Even a small backyard chicken flock can produce many eggs.
Photo courtesy of Bill McChesney

Why Free-Range Eggs Are Nutritionally Better

Chickens allowed to roam freely on farms are able to get a varied diet.  Caged hens are subject to the same feed daily, much of which is genetically modified.  Free-ranging chickens can eat bugs, grasses, and other plants which will give them a variety of nutrients.  They are often kept with a rooster, which means the eggs are fertilized.  Being in the sunshine and fresh air is a more natural environment for any animal.

Nutritional Differences of Free-Range Eggs

Eggs from chickens who are roaming free have been compared with USDA certified eggs from caged hens in several studies. The free-range hens’ eggs contain 1/3 less cholesterol and 1/4 less saturated fat.  Their yolks are much darker owning to the fact that there is up to 7 times more beta carotene in them.  There is also 2/3 more vitamin A and up to three times the amount of vitamin E.  One nutrient in which more people are becoming deficient is vitamin D. Free-range eggs contain 3-6 times the amount of vitamin D than those bought in the typical supermarket.

Eat the Yolk or Just the White of an Egg?

While many dietitians tell you to only eat the white of the egg, they are basing their research on nutritional levels from caged hens. Most people will not be satisfied with just the white of the egg. As the Bible states in Job 6:6: “Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?”  It’s simply bland. The vitamins E, D, and K are found in the yolk. The yolk contains at least half of the protein in the egg and is where the omega 3’s are. There are 2 times the omega-3’s in range-fed eggs verses caged chicken eggs. The yolk also contains lecithin.  Lecithin with the omega-3’s will balance the cholesterol and saturated fat content.

Eggs Are a Powerhouse of Nutrition

When range-fed eggs can be purchased, there is not nearly as much reason to limit our egg intake.  They contain many valuable nutrients and are a good protein source. Moderation is the key to all things, but eggs certainly don’t derserve the bad rap they’ve been given if the hens are raised the way they were intended to be.

About jrhein

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