Nutritional Values of Commercial Eggs Vs. Natural-Raised Eggs
Eggs found at the grocery store are laid by caged chickens confined indoors and fed an unnatural diet of corn, soy and cottonseed. Naturally raised chickens have access to pastures where they can forage for their own food. Free-ranging chickens enjoy eating green plants, fruits, insects and worms. Chickens are not vegetarians and are healthier when they can eat a natural diet. Choosing eggs from naturally raised chickens is also a more ethical and environmental choice. To find the best quality eggs, visit your local farmers market to ask farmers how their chickens are raised and what they eat .
Omega-3 is a beneficial fat that can help reduce the low-grade inflammation in your body. This inflammation can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Instead of buying omega-3 eggs that come from chicken fed flaxseeds, choose eggs from naturally raised chickens, which naturally contain two to ten times more omega-3 fats compared to regular eggs.
Vitamin E is an important but hard-to-get nutrient that has beneficial antioxidant properties. In other words, vitamin E contributes to lessening the damages caused by the normal aging process and exposure to pollution and other toxins in your environment and diet. Eggs laid by free-range hens contain twice the vitamin E found in commercial eggs and can help you better meet your dietary requirements for this vitamin.
Commercial eggs come from hens confined indoors that never see the sun. Pastured chickens can synthesize vitamin D by being exposed to the sun, and part of this vitamin D is transferred to the eggs. Natural eggs have three to six times the vitamin D content of regular eggs.
The varied natural diet of free-ranging chickens allow them to pack a lot more nutritional value into their eggs, which is mainly concentrated in the yolk. In addition to the extra omega-3 fats, vitamin D and vitamin E, natural eggs contain more vitamin A as well as two important B vitamins -- folate, the natural form of folic acid, and vitamin B-12. Natural eggs also deliver more lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants important for eye health.
Decreased Contamination Risk
Naturally raised chickens do not receive hormones or antibiotics. Their natural diet, regular exercise, happier life and sun exposure make them a lot healthier and more resistant to infections than caged chickens. Excessive use of antibiotics also contributes to increased antibiotic resistance and new strains of superbugs that are harder and harder to treat. Natural eggs can help decrease this problem.
- Richard Blossom