For Omega 3 Eggs Can Be An Excellent Source
How important is the hen's diet?
According to The Omega Diet, the eggs produced by the chickens on Artemis Simopoulos's family farm in Greece contained twenty times the n
-3 of supermarket eggs, with a n
-3 to n
-6 ratio of 1 to 1 rather than 20 to 1.
The difference is attributable to the diet of the hens, which in the former case, ate green plants, insects and worms while ranging freely out of doors. The greens apparently included purslane, a plant rich in ALA.
Eggs from pastured hens: Hens benefit from a diet of grass just as other farm animals do. They also obtain protein from bugs, insects and worms. Furthermore, they are exposed to sunshine and so make more vitamin D. This is why eggs from pastured hens are far more nutritious.
Genuine free-range eggs, from chickens that have access to pasture, contain very much higher levels of Omega-3 EFAs (e.g. Lopez-Bote et al 1998, Animal Feed Science and Technology 72:33-40). They are also richer in other important nutrients, including:
- Beta-carotene and Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Many eggs sold in shops are labelled "free range" even though the chickens that produce them do not have a traditional diet in which their food is obtained by foraging on rough ground or pasture.
Learn the effect on food quality of changes in production practices
Read a review of The Omega Diet by Artemis Simopoulos and Jo Robinson