This post is sponsored by Happy Egg Co. All opinions are my own.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about egg labeling. Egg labeling is confusing, to say the least. Most people don’t know an organic egg from a free-range egg from a cage-free egg.
Eggs that come from happy hens who are basking in the sun and foraging on grass are, simply put, far superior to eggs than those that come from conventionally raised hens.
On top of that, Happy Egg Co. hens are the Free-est of the Free Range; they get more than eight acres of outdoor access! They are able to forage freely every day and engage in natural hen behaviors, as they should.
Today, I want to add to the egg-cellent discussion by sharing more about why eggs are so vital to your diet. We’ll be dissecting the egg from the inside out, so you can better understand the nutritional benefits of an egg, and why it’s vital to choose the Free-est of the Free Range eggs when deciding which eggs to buy.
Get Your Protein On!
It’s definitely egg-citing to hear that eggs contain all essential nine amino acids, making it one of the least expensive complete proteins you can buy. Amino acids are the building blocks of life and serve as energy for every cell in the body.
One egg contains six grams of protein. The average man needs about 56 grams of protein, and the average woman needs about 46 grams of protein per day. (Use the USDA calculator to calculate how much protein you need based on your weight, height, age and activity level.) Not only does the protein found in eggs supply energy to your entire body, but also it boosts satiety and helps build muscle and prevent muscle loss.
What the Yolk?
For a long time, the egg yolk was villainized because it carries all the fat and cholesterol. We used to think fat and cholesterol were bad for you, but we have to come to learn that they are indeed not!
Egg yolk contains good fats – the omega 3 fatty acids you hear about all the time. Omega 3s are important for cardiovascular health and building a strong immune system.
If you’re worried about your cholesterol, there is no need to shy away from egg yolks. The truth is you need cholesterol in your diet as it’s fundamental to cellular function. The cholesterol you find in the yolk contains heart-healthy ingredients that actually improve your health.
In other words, if you don’t eat the yolk, you are really missing out.
Additionally, the egg yolk contains some of the most important and bioavailable nutrients found inside an egg. For example, about half of the egg’s protein and all of the egg’s nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E and K, are, you guessed it, all found in the yolk.
It’s interesting to note that egg are one of the very few foods that contain Vitamin D, another essential nutrient that promotes the absorption of calcium, bone growth and overall whole body health. (The other foods that contain Vitamin D are the flesh of a fatty fish, beef liver and some cheeses.)
In that beautiful yellow yolk, you’ll also find choline, an essential nutrient for human healthy. Choline is known for a slew of benefits including its ability to help reduce the risk of neural tube defects, improve liver function and help to maintain a healthy metabolism. Choline consumption by pregnant women has been shown to aid in development of a child’s memory function.
Did you know that the color of the yolk depends on the hen’s diet? I didn’t know this until I researched this article.
Apparently, hens that eat wheat, barley and/or cornmeal yield lighter-colored yolks, while free-range hens that forage on the land and eat plant pigments have vibrant colored yolks, just like the beautiful eggs produced by Happy Egg Co. hens (as seen in the above picture). Happy Egg Co. hens are fed a natural specially formulated recipe of corn and soy mixed with vitamins and minerals. The hens also roam on grassy pastures daily, so they are free to forage for grass and bugs, which adds more nutrients to their diets.
Are Pasture Raised Eggs Better For You?
I think you should make every bite count, but it’s hard to say if there are major nutritional benefits to eating pasture-raised eggs.
What I can say is that you can see a difference. The Free-est of the Free Range eggs from Happy Egg Co come from hens that get to enjoy the great outdoors, soak in the sun, roam free, and exhibit natural behaviors like foraging for food. These “happy” and natural behaviors are clearly visible when you look at the bright orange-yellow yolks.
While the research is fledgling, there is some emerging research that suggestions pasture-raised eggs have the edge of conventionally raised eggs.
For example, a 2014 study published in Nutrition magazine found the vitamin D3 content of egg yolk was “three- to fourfold higher in the groups [hens] that were exposed to sunlight compared with the indoor group [hens].”
It makes sense to me that healthy animals produce healthier products.
I like to think of it this way: If you want to be healthy, eat foods produced by farmers who employ healthy practices and have healthy, happy animals.
What’s in the Whites?
Egg whites contain a little more than half of an egg’s total protein. The white part is very low in calories and contains almost no cholesterol or fat.
Remember what I said before. The fat inside an egg is fat you need to achieve whole body health. Eat the entire egg. It’s perfectly packaged with tons of nutrients that work together.
Eggs are one of the most bioavailable foods on the planet – this means you can easily digest, absorb and utilize an egg’s nutrients – but you must eat it whole.
Most breakfast foods contain a long list of ingredients that you have to sort through just to figure out if there’s hidden gluten or artificial ingredients. They are also typically high in sugar. Your average yogurt, for example, contains more sugar than a can of soda, and your breakfast cereal is loaded with refined grains and sugar. Even your morning bacon likely contains sugar, soy and other processed ingredients.
And then there’s the egg… the most uncomplicated of all the breakfast foods! It contains no sugar, no gluten and no carbs. It is naturally Whole30, paleo and gluten-free compliant, too.
Remember, if you’re going to enjoy eggs, make them count by shopping for Happy Egg Co. Free-est of the Free Range Eggs.
Happy Eggs come from happy hens raised by farmers committed to treating animals kindly and responsibly.
When you buy Happy Eggs, you are sending a loud and clear message to egg manufacturers, grocery stores and farmers that you appreciate the care taken by hard-working, family-owned farms, and that you value quality eggs above all else.
On top of that, Happy Egg, Free-est of the Free Range eggs meet the rigorous standards set forth by the American Humane Association. Happy Egg Co. eggs are “American Humane Certified Free Range.”
Visit Happy Egg Co. to find a Sprouts or other grocer that carries Happy Egg Co. eggs near you.
For a quick and easy breakfast, give this egg-citing Egg & Avocado Breakfast recipe a try. Simply hard boil a Happy Egg and served it alongside diced avocado pieces and top it with lime juice and seasonings.
Egg & Avocado Breakfast
- 1 hard boiled egg Happy Egg Co. Free-est of the Free Egg
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 lime wedge
- 1/4 tsp. Tajin Tajín Clásico Seasoning
- Cut hard boiled egg and 1/2 avocado into bite-sized chunks.
- Squeeze lime wedge over avocado and egg.
- Sprinkle with seasoning.
- Serve immediately.