Remember when we were told that eggs were astronaut food and were good for you? Then we were warned they contained too much cholesterol and were not so good for you?
According to Channel 4’s “Superfoods, the Real Story”, eggs share some of the superfood properties of kale, and one of the natural colourings we add to our poultry feed makes eggs even better for your health.
A healthy pigment
At Humphrey Feed and Pullets we add the marigold as a yellow pigment to feed for laying birds. Marigold is rich in lutein so that the birds eating our feed produce eggs with a strongly-coloured, orange yolk. We add food grade pigments, both yellow and red to produce the lovely yellow colour the UK consumer expects from eggs. If we did not add pigment the natural egg yolk colour would look pale and insipid, which consumers do not like.
However, research is now revealing lutein’s wide range of healthy properties:
- Delays the onset of Age-related Macular Degeneration, an eye disease that affects one in ten over-65s in the UK.
- Combats diabetes, helping to control blood sugar levels.
- Protects the skin from the effects of ageing.
- Helps fight some forms of cancer.
- Lowers the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
A natural pigment
Lutein is a naturally occurring compound found in many brightly coloured plants. Superfoods such as kale, broccoli, leafy greens and citrus fruits are also rich in lutein. The pigment we put into our feed includes natural marigold flower extract.
Why is lutein good for us?
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals released into the body, sometimes by our own metabolism and sometimes through external factors including smoking, pollution and strong sunlight. These are linked to diseases such as cancer.
However, lutein is an antioxidant, a compound which destroy free radicals. It is found in high concentrations in the eye and protects the retina from ultraviolet light.
Unfortunately the body can not produce its own lutein and the average person eating a western diet is probably deficient in the chemical. Therefore it is important to have enough in the food we eat or from supplements or by eating more leafy greens, citrus fruit and most importantly eggs!
So, to protect your eyesight, your skin and your heart, keep eating your eggs and we will ensure they stay colourful and healthy.