Do Your Eggs Fight Cancer?

December 30, 2013
Photo credit: Some rights reserved by Jocelyn | McAuliflower http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcauliflower/

The answer is in the color. Eggs from grass-/greens-fed chickens have a beautiful orange-ish colored yolk. This is an indicator that these eggs are nutritional powerhouses — ready to help prevent heart-attacks, improve brain function and reduce the risk of cancer.

Dr. Cindy Daley, a professor with the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico, provided the best argument at a recent conference for eating vegetables. And for eating meat, milk and eggs from animals who ate their vegetables, too. 

Plants can’t run away from predators or move away from catching a disease or virus. They have to do a lot to protect themselves, she explained. They protect themselves by producing anti-oxidants. The animals consume the plants and pass these benefits on to us through meat, milk and eggs. 

Two of the most touted nutrients in grass-fed (or pastured) eggs are Omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). There are many other benefits including higher levels of Vitamin A and E and healthier birds. Eggs from pastured hens produce as much as 10 times more omega-3s than commercially produced eggs from hens with a diet low or devoid of greens. No wonder the supermarket egg looks nothing like the backyard-raised egg. Turns out those backyard eggs are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

Omega-3s are produced in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae and passed into the eggs. The benefits of eating a diet high in Omega-3s include:

  • reduced risk of cancer
  • lowers blood pressure
  • reduces risk of heart attack
  • reduces risk of depression, attention deficit disorder or Alzheimer’s disease

Although, less likely to make the cover of an egg-carton label in health food stores, CLA does amazing things for our bodies, too. It is also anti-carcinogenic, reduces arterial plaque, reduces the risk of heart attack and even suppresses Type II Diabetes, Dr. Daley explained. CLA is two to three times higher in grass-fed vs. grain-fed animals. 

 Yolks don’t lie. If they are orange, then the hen got her greens and all the greatness that goes along with them.

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I am a digital project manager with Swift Digital. I started at Swift in June 2007 and joined the Backyard Poultry Magazine team in 2012. I hold a master's degree in interactive journalism from the Un...


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