Animal rights activists aren’t the only ones concerned about factory farming; now nutritionists are shedding light on the detrimental effects the practice can have on our food as well. Research has shown that the restricted grain diets of factory-raised chickens are making their eggs less nutritious than those of their free-range counterparts. Even the USDA has weighed in on the issue, citing the improved nutritional profile of eggs from free-range hens. So what’s so great about free-range eggs?
In conjunction with the USDA’s research, Mother Earth News has conducted extensive studies to compare the nutritional profiles of eggs from factories versus eggs from free-range environments. Their studies concluded that free-range eggs contain roughly 1/3 the cholesterol of eggs from factories, as well as 1/4 the amount of saturated fat.
More Healthy Nutrients
Eggs from free-range eggs typically contain roughly twice as many omega-3 fatty acids as eggs from factories. These essential fats have been shown to contribute to the prevention of heart disease and stroke, and can also reduce inflammation and regulate blood clotting. Free-range eggs also contain as much as seven times the amount of beta carotene as factory produced eggs. Once ingested, this nutrient is converted into vitamin A which benefits vision and immune health.
In addition to vitamin A producing beta carotene, free-range eggs also contain three times as much vitamin E and up to six times as much vitamin D. With health concerns about widespread vitamin D deficiencies mounting, the added vitamin D boost from free-range eggs is an especially exciting health benefit.
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