There are over 200 breeds of chickens.  Their eggs are one of the most efficient protein sources and the most commonly eaten of eggs. The average American consumes 250 eggs a year.  Here are ten fun facts about this nutritional powerhouse.

It is believed that the first jungle fowl to be domesticated took place in East India about 3200 B.C.  Historians note that it was the fowl who were considered to be edible not the eggs; the eggs was where the fowl came from.  Columbus is credited with bringing the ancestors of today’s egg producers to the U.S.

Brown eggs are not more nutritionally dense than white eggs but are more expensive. Bigger breeds produce brown eggs, and because they require more feed than their white egg producing cousins their eggs cost more.

A chicken with a white earlobe will produce white eggs, and chickens with red or brown earlobes produce brown eggs

Yolk color does indicate the nutritional value of the egg. Grain-fed chickens produce light-colored yolks. Free-range hens produce deeper colored yolks.  A red yolk egg comes from chickens eating feed blend high in red peppers.

Caged hens are fed right in the cages they never leave. Pasture fed free-range chickens diet includes insects (protein) and grasses making for more nutritious eggs.

The thickness of the egg shell depends on the age of the hen. The younger the hen, the thicker the shell.

A large egg contains 185 milligrams of cholesterol. Because the body needs cholesterol to function, eating the whole egg including the yolk provides 35% of daily choline, the nutrient that may protect against Alzheimer’s.  The yolk also provides vitamins B12 and D.

Studies show that eating up to 3 whole eggs a day has no detrimental effect on cholesterol levels. However since the Liver makes cholesterol, if there is an excessive amount coming into the body, the Liver will produce less.

All eggs are hormone free because the FDA banned hormones in poultry products in the 1950s.

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