Nutrients In Eggs

Eggs are a nutrient goldmine!

One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, all for 70 calories.

While egg whites contain some of the eggs’ high-quality protein, riboflavin and selenium, the majority of an egg’s nutrient package is found in the yolk. Nutrients such as:

  • Vitamin D, critical for bone health and immune function. Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D.
  • Choline, essential for normal functioning of all cells, but particularly important during pregnancy to support healthy brain development of the fetus.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that develops with age.

Does Egg Yolk Color Impact Nutrition Quality?

Egg Yolk Color

Eggs come in a variety of colors (not just on Easter!). From the shell to the yolk, the color of your eggs may vary significantly from one to the next. Many people assume that egg yolk and shell color are reflective of quality, taste or nutritional value of the egg. When it comes to the shell, this is not the case. Shell color depends on the hen breed (find out more here). But what about the color of the yolk? Continue reading “Does Egg Yolk Color Impact Nutrition Quality?”

New Research: Animal vs Plant Protein and Adult Bone Health

Eggs Bone Health

For years, research questioned the role of dietary protein in bone health. Metabolic balance studies in the 1970s and early 1980s showed higher protein intakes increased urinary calcium but did not enhance intestinal calcium absorption, leading to the conclusion that the source of the additional urinary calcium must be from bone breakdown (1-8). However, recent short-term dietary intervention studies using more sophisticated methodologies have refuted this conclusion, demonstrating that protein increases intestinal calcium absorption more than urinary calcium excretion, therefore not leading to bone breakdown as originally hypothesized (9-11).

Continue reading “New Research: Animal vs Plant Protein and Adult Bone Health”

Are free-range eggs more nutritious?

Blog Mineral Content of Eggs

One of the top questions we receive here at the Egg Nutrition Center is whether the nutritional profile of an egg is influenced by the housing conditions of the hen, particularly free-range versus caged.  It’s a reasonable question to ask.  Free-range hens may forage for bugs and plants, which could conceivably alter the nutritional intake of the hen and hence affect the nutritional content of the egg.  It has also been questioned whether certain housing systems affect stress levels of the hens that may in turn, lead to changes in the nutrient content of an egg.

Continue reading “Are free-range eggs more nutritious?”

Choline During Pregnancy Improves Infant Cognition

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Choline is hot! In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration established a Reference Daily Intake value for choline of 550 mg. Then in June of 2017, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates recommended the addition of choline to prenatal vitamins because of its essentiality in promoting cognitive development of the offspring. This was followed in August by a study that showed that more than 90% of pregnant women (as well as adults in general) do not consume recommended intakes of choline.

Now the story continues. This month, Dr. Marie Caudill and colleagues at Cornell University published evidence that infants exposed to higher levels of maternal choline (930 mg/day) during the third trimester have improved information processing speed during the first year of life, an indicator of cognition and intelligence. Similar studies have been conducted in rodents and shown that the cognitive effects of maternal exposure to choline last beyond infancy. Whether the same will be observed in humans remains to be determined. But one thing is clear: there’s much to learn about the role of choline in brain development. Hopefully this study will be a catalyst for other scientists to start unraveling the unknowns about this previously underappreciated nutrient.

 

Reference: Caudill MA, et al. Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study. FASEB J. 2018;32:2172-2180.