She burst into my office that day with a stack of papers and folders.
I was on the phone, but I could see my friend A.N. just couldn’t wait to talk to me.
So I put the person on hold, and it all started pouring out of her.
“Dr. Sears, Dr. Sears, we got the results!”
I helped A.N. convert her farm in Loxahatchee, Florida – a few miles from my clinic – over to producing organic eggs.
Pretty soon, the hens she and her husband tend started producing the most delicious eggs I had ever tasted. Then she started bringing them to my staff by the dozen.
The containers disappear in about two minutes flat. She makes me and my staff organic yogurt, too.
Not long after her eggs became such a big hit, I decided to have a study done on them. We had a lab in Chicago test them and measure to see how they compared to eggs you can buy at a grocery store.
Eggs are antioxidant powerhouses
Turns out there’s more to eggs than protein and the right kind of fat. They’re antioxidant powerhouses, too.
Protein from eggs is important, don’t get me wrong. Modern advice on eggs is not to eat them at all, or at least to throw the yolk away because it will kill you.
It’s a shame because eggs used to be the standard by which all other proteins were measured.
The protein value of a food is measured on the BV (biological value) scale. It tells you what percentage of a given nutrient source your body uses. Since eggs were considered the best source of protein because your body completely digests and uses them, they have a value of 100. A perfect score.
Soy, considered so “healthy” and full of protein by nutritionists and conventional doctors, scores only a 47 on the BV scale. Whole wheat has a protein score of only 49.
But there’s more going on with eggs than just protein.
A study from Canada shows that egg yolks, the part of the egg you’re warned not to eat at any cost, doesn’t just have protein and minerals like calcium and selenium, but it also has antioxidants.
Nearly TWICE as much antioxidant power as an apple!
The researchers discovered that two egg yolks have almost twice as much antioxidant power as an apple, and about the same power as 25 grams of cranberries.(1)
And the results from the lab tests A.N. brought me on her eggs show they have even more antioxidants than the eggs from the Canadian study.
Her eggs are off the charts with omega-3s, antioxidant nutrients and protein.
The organic eggs my staff and I eat have:
- 65% fewer carbs than a regular egg
- 10% more protein
- 20% more iron
- 72% more vitamin A
- 211% more of the vision-sharpening carotenoid called lutein and zeaxanthin
- 319% more healthy omega-3s
- 1,664% more calcium (2)
You can tell right away organic eggs have more carotenoids because the yolks are more yellow. It has a lot to do with the fact that A.N.’s hens are allowed to run around in the warm sunshine instead of being caged up like commercial chickens are.
When I go there I see them fly over the fences and roam all over her farm, getting into everything. They scratch the dirt with their feet, flapping their wings and clucking softly, just like nature intended them to. You get the feeling they’re content.
You may not know this but modern hen farmers will tell you that their hens are prone to ovary problems. I think it’s because they’re fed too much soy. A.N. tells me hers have very few ovary problems since she stopped feeding them soy.
And the chickens produce more eggs and the eggs are bigger, too.
Improve your vision and fight inflammation
So while I always recommend eating eggs for strong, healthy bones, heart, muscles and a sharper mind, free-range organic eggs give you even more benefit. We now know they’re antioxidant powerhouses that can improve your vision, and fight inflammation.
Many grocery stores will have eggs marked as organic for sale. But it makes me feel good to know where my food is coming from, and I don’t feel comfortable buying eggs at the grocery store. I read one report where a few “organic” egg sellers in California were getting their eggs from huge industrial chicken farms that pack a coop with 36,000 birds that never see the light of day. (3)
I recommend getting to know a local organic egg producer yourself. If you don’t have a local egg farmer or can’t find one, here are three resources you can use to find free-range organic eggs:
1. The Cornucopia Institute has an excellent list of the best organic egg producers in the country
2. An helpful list of how-to’s when approaching a local farm to inquire about eggs and produce
3. Local Harvest provides a complete index of farms near you.
1 Nimalaratnea C., Lopes-Lutza D., Schiebera A and Wu J. “Free aromatic amino acids in egg yolk show antioxidant properties.” Food Chemistry, November 2011, Volume 129, Issue 1, Pages 155-161.
2 Siliker Labs, Dec 23, 2010; Certificate of Analysis no. CHG-34190924-0.
3 Butler, K. “Is Your Favorite Organic Egg Brand a Factory Farm in Disguise?” Mother Jones, Oct. 4, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
Dr. Al Sears is fast becoming the nation's leading authority on longevity and heart health. His cutting edge breakthroughs and commanding knowledge of alternative medicine have been transforming the lives of his patients for over 15 years.
Dr. Sears currently owns and operates a successful integrative medicine and anti-aging clinic in Wellington, Florida with over 15,000 patients. Over the course of his career, he has developed his own approach to heart health, longevity and anti-aging medicine - combining the best of modern medical science with natural holistic techniques and treatments.