Being surrounded with all the unhealthy products in shops and markets around us makes it a little bit difficult to pick out the healthy products. One of the choices we can’t make nowadays is whether we are eating yolks from healthy or unhealthy chicken. Chicken eggs vary in size, color of the shell and yolk. Most of the time if an egg is coming from the family farm, the yolk is always with darker color and it is thicker.
In the United States all the eggs that can be bought at our local supermarket are yellow. Whether we are talking about organic, vegetarian, cheap or expensive; they are all yellow and the yolk is not as thick. Well the reason behind this might be that we area eating eggs from unhealthy chicken. Orange yolks represent eggs that are coming from healthy chicken.
The eggshell is much denser and harder to crack, eggs are thicker and fuller. There are few reasons for the orange color of the egg, such as xanthophyll, omega-3 acids and meats. Xanthophyll are yellow pigment that comes from a class of carotenoids. Carotenoids are natural plant pigments found in many fruits and vegetables. It’s often thought that beta-carotene, one of the more well-known carotenoids, is responsible for giving yolks the orange pigment that people associate with carrots. But in reality, beta-carotene provides for yolks nutritionally, rather than its color. The carotenoids that cause deeper yolk coloring are xanthophylls, which are more readily absorbed in the yolks. For example lutein is one such xanthophyll, and a lot of lutein means the yolk will have more orange color. By being omnivores, chickens are eating mostly insects, or some even small rodents. Xanthophylls can be found in dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, broccoli, zucchini and Brussel’s sprouts. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in flax seeds and sea kelp. When you have all of these sources incorporated into a hen’s healthy diet, the nutrients they consume are passed on to their eggs and concentrated in their yolks. New research is showing that pastured eggs contain higher than usual levels of vitamins A, D and E; beta-carotene and omega-3s.
Should you decide to raise some on your own, we offer you these tips.
We advise making a small garden and planting amaranth, collards, broccoli and kale. The greener the plants are the better. As we know green plants are increasing the lutein in their yolks. If it’s the middle of winter and your garden greens are lacking, you can feed them alfalfa. The best about chicken is that they are quite useful at the end of the season. The garden becomes infested with insects and small rodents which we already know are on the hen’s menu. Let the chickens clean up those plants from insects before you pull them out for your compost pile. It’s a win-win combination!
After everything, buy some eggs from the store and compare the yolks with your own. You’ll be surprised by the huge difference. As a conclusion when it comes to yolks, the color is determined by a hen’s diet, not its breed or the freshness of the egg. Hen diets that are heavy in yellow corn, green plants, alfalfa and other plants rich with xanthophyll’s pigment will produce a darker yolk.