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- Nutrivore Score for Chicken Egg Yolk – 342
- Chicken Egg Yolk Nutrition Facts
- Chicken Egg Nutrition Varies With Component
- Chicken Egg Yolk Nutrition Varies With Processing
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 217% DV Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 149% DV Choline
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 102% DV Selenium
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 81% DV Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 60% DV Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 59% DV Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA)
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 50% DV EPA + DHA
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 42% DV Vitamin A
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 41% DV Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 37% DV Vitamin B9 (Folate)
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 15.9 g of Protein
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 31% DV Phosphorus
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 27% DV Vitamin D
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 27% DV Vitamin E
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 21% DV Linoleic Acid
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 21% DV Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 21% DV Zinc
- How Many Chicken Egg Yolks Should We Eat Per Day?
Synonymous with breakfast, whether you prefer them boiled, fried, over-easy, poached, scrambled, sunny side up, or in an omelet, frittata or quiche, eggs are the definition of versatility. A staple in most homes around the world, they are affordable, convenient, nutritious, and most importantly delicious!
When we think of eggs, we’re generally referring to chicken eggs, but females from many species (including amphibians, birds, fish, reptiles, and even a few mammals) lay eggs. They have been part of the human diet since before the dawn of agriculture and remain incredibly important across the globe today. Even though eggs were harvested and consumed dating back to the prehistoric era, the chicken was only formally domesticated for consumption and egg production in Southeast Asia and India before 7500 BCE.
Of course, chickens aren’t the only birds whose eggs are a valuable food source! Duck eggs, quail eggs, and goose eggs can all be found commercially (though sometimes it takes some searching!), and ostrich, turkey, pelican, pheasant, and gull eggs are sometimes eaten as a delicacy (with gull eggs being part of the traditional diet in many indigenous North American cultures, in England, and in Norway). Guinea fowl eggs are abundant at markets in some countries in Africa, as well as elsewhere in the world where they’re farmed. Guinea fowl eggs are much richer than chicken eggs, with a greater yolk-to-white ratio, while ostrich eggs are so large, they can serve about 24 for breakfast!
Despite all these options, when someone refers to eggs in a culinary sense, you can “eggs-psect” they mean chicken eggs. In the US alone, Americans consume an average of 281 chicken eggs per year! The chickens farmed primarily for eggs are called layer hens, with some breeds able to produce over 300 eggs per year! How “eggs-emplory” is that?
Each egg consists of a protective shell surrounding the egg white (albumen) and egg yolk (vitellus), the latter containing the vast majority of the egg’s nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, the color of the eggshell is not a reflection of its nutritional value or taste but varies according to species and breed. In general, chickens with white ear lobes lay white eggs, red ear lobes lay brown eggs, and those with bluish-green ear lobes produce bluish-green eggs, while the color of the yolk depends on the diet of the chicken. Speaking of, eggs can vary widely in nutrition depending on the hen’s diet and living conditions. At the grocery store you may encounter numerous options to ‘eggs-plore’ including cage-free, conventional, free-range, hormone free, omega-3, organic, pastured, and vegetarian fed (not necessarily something to strive for since chickens are omnivorous by nature). Eggs are also graded based on the size of the air cell within the egg, measured during candling. Smaller air cells mean fresher eggs and a rating of AA. With increasing air cell size and decreasing freshness, eggs receive lower grades such as A or B. In Canada and the United States eggs are washed before sale, which is why they need to be refrigerated, whereas unwashed intact eggs can be left unrefrigerated for months without spoiling, as is the case in many European countries. This is because eggs naturally contain a thin protective cuticle designed by nature to protect them from bacteria, which is removed with washing.
And while eggs are important, also critical is their packaging! Though it might be hard to picture life without them now, the first egg carton didn’t appear until 1911, when a man named Joseph Coyle (from British Columbia, Canada) invented a hand-made paper holder to prevent eggs from breaking during shipment. An “eggs-straordinary” invention indeed! (Hyuck!)
Nutrivore Score for Chicken Egg Yolk – 342
Chicken egg yolks have a Nutrivore Score of 342, making them a medium nutrient-dense food! Plus, they are a low-carb food; chicken egg yolks contain 3.6 grams of net carbs per serving.
Per serving, chicken egg yolks are a best source (>50% daily value) of choline, EPA+DHA, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), selenium, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B7 (biotin), and vitamin B12 (cobalamin); an excellent source (20-50% daily value) of linoleic acid, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc; and a good source (10-20% daily value) of calcium, carotenoids, iron, and vitamin B1 (thiamin).
Chicken Egg Yolk Nutrition Facts
One serving of chicken egg yolks is standardized to 100 grams (3.5 ounces). To put this into perspective: one serving of chicken egg yolks is approximately equivalent to yolks from 6 eggs. When you cook chicken egg yolks, the volume remains relatively consistent.
|Chicken egg, yolk, raw||Nutrivore Score: 342||Nutrient Density: Medium|
|Serving Size: 6 eggs (100 grams)||Protein: 15.9 grams||Net Carbohydrates: 3.6 grams|
|Calories: 322||Total Fat: 26.5 grams||Dietary Fiber: 0.0 grams|
|Vitamin A||381.0 μg RAE||42% DV|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||176.0 μg||15% DV|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||528.0 μg||41% DV|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.0 mg||0% DV|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||3.0 mg||60% DV|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||350.0 μg||21% DV|
|Vitamin B7 (Biotin)||65.0 μg||217% DV|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||146.0 μg||37% DV|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||2.0 μg||81% DV|
|Vitamin C||0.0 mg||0% DV|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||5.4 μg||27% DV|
|Vitamin E||4.1 mg||27% DV|
|Vitamin K||0.8 μg||1% DV|
|Choline||820.2 mg||149% DV|
|Calcium||129.0 mg||10% DV|
|Copper||77.0 μg||9% DV|
|Iron||2.7 mg||15% DV|
|Magnesium||5.0 mg||1% DV|
|Manganese||55.0 μg||2% DV|
|Phosphorus||390.0 mg||31% DV|
|Potassium||109.0 mg||2% DV|
|Selenium||56.0 μg||102% DV|
|Sodium||48.0 mg||2% DV|
|Zinc||2.3 mg||21% DV|
|AMINO ACIDS & PEPTIDES|
Chicken Egg Nutrition Varies With Component
The Nutrivore Score of chicken eggs varies based on the portion of the egg being consumed, as does the taste! Eggs can be eaten whole, or separated such that the yolk is removed from the egg white. It’s important to note that the vast majority of an egg’s nutrition is found in the yolk.
Chicken Egg Yolk Nutrition Varies With Processing
The Nutrivore Score of chicken egg yolks varies based on how they have been processed. Dried and frozen yolks are readily available to use in place of fresh egg yolks and are conveniently already separated from the egg whites.
|Chicken egg, yolk, dried||379|
|Chicken egg, yolk, frozen, pasteurized||293|
|Chicken egg, yolk, raw||342|
Health Benefits of Chicken Egg Yolk Nutrients
Let’s take a closer look at all of the best and excellent source of nutrients found in a 100-gram serving of chicken egg yolks and see how they benefit our health.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 217% DV Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Chicken egg yolks are a best source of vitamin B7 (biotin), providing a whopping 217% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin, also known as vitamin B7. Like other B vitamins, it plays an important role in energy metabolism (serving as a coenzyme for five carboxylase enzymes), neurotransmitter production, cellular function, and the function of various organs. Getting enough biotin can help support healthy nail and hair growth. It’s also particularly important during pregnancy, with low intakes increasing the risk of premature delivery and birth defects. There’s even some evidence biotin can benefit diabetics and reduce functional disabilities in people with multiple sclerosis. Learn more about biotin here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 149% DV Choline
Chicken egg yolks are also a best source of choline, providing 149% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Choline is often grouped together with B-complex vitamins, and sometimes referred to as vitamin B4. It plays an essential role in building cell membranes. Choline also serves as the backbone for a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is involved in heart health, gut motility (the movement of contents through the digestive tract controlled by the coordinated contraction and relaxation of specialized gut muscle tissue), and muscle movement. Adequate intake during pregnancy can help reduce risk of neural tube defects.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 102% DV Selenium
Chicken egg yolks are a best source of selenium, providing 102% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Selenium is a trace mineral needed by all mammals to sustain life. It serves as a component of the non-proteinogenic amino acids selenocysteine and selenomethionine, and also helps form over two dozen selenoproteins involved in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense, DNA synthesis, and immunity. Observational research suggests selenium could play a protective role against cancer, heart disease, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease, although human trials have generally been lacking or contradictory. There’s also evidence that selenium can play a preventative role in asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, while also reducing mortality in patients with sepsis. Learn more about selenium here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 81% DV Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Chicken egg yolks are also a best source of vitamin B12 (cobalamin), providing 81% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor for enzymes involved in energy metabolism, red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitter production, nervous system health, and folate metabolism. As a result of these roles, vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining brain and nervous system health, and may have a protective effect against dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. There’s also some evidence vitamin B12 may be cancer-protective, possibly through supporting folate metabolism (which then assists in repairing DNA damage). Learn more about vitamin B12 here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 60% DV Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Chicken egg yolks are a best source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), providing 60% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Pantothenic acid (or vitamin B5) is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor for coenzyme A—which itself is critical for metabolizing many drugs and toxins, as well as forming derivatives (acetyl-CoA and succinyl-CoA) that participate in the synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, melatonin, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, steroid hormones, heme, and vitamins A and D. Coenzyme A is also needed in the Krebs cycle, giving pantothenic acid a role in energy metabolism. Research suggests that a pantothenic acid derivative (pantethine) can help improve blood lipid profiles and reduce fatty streak formation and lipid deposition in the arteries, giving it a cardio-protective role. Additional research shows that panthothenic acid can accelerate wound healing, boost cellular production of the important antioxidant glutathione, and possibly help improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more about vitamin B5 here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 59% DV Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA)
Chicken egg yolks are also a best source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), providing 59% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), the most abundant of which is oleic acid, play an important role in cellular function due to its presence in phospholipids in cell membranes. Oleic acid is beneficial for cardiovascular health—both in reducing risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation, and oxidative stress, and in reducing actual cardiovascular disease incidence and events. Oleic acid has even demonstrated anti-cancer activity, with an ability to inhibit the progression, proliferation, and metastasis of several types of cancer cells. Research shows this fat could benefit body weight regulation and obesity through its effects on energy metabolism and lipogenesis. In fact, human trials show that enriching diets with oleic acid leads to decreases in central obesity, abdominal fat, body weight, and food intake, while also possibly increasing energy expenditure! Oleic acid also possesses some benefits for diabetics—influencing genes and pathways involved in insulin signaling and glucose metabolism, as well as helping protect against some complications of diabetes, like diabetic retinopathy and atherosclerosis. Learn more about oleic acid here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 50% DV EPA + DHA
Chicken egg yolks are a best source of EPA + DHA, providing 50% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are long-chain omega-3 fats that play important roles in neurological health, immune function, eye health and vision, inflammation, pain signaling, gut health, fetal development, and some aspects of cardiovascular health (like triglyceride levels and blood clotting). They exert many of their effects by helping form chemical messengers called prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes. EPA and DHA also serve as a structural component of the cell membrane, influencing important properties such as membrane fluidity and permeability. Small amounts of them can be synthesized from a shorter-chain omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Learn more about EPA and DHA here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 42% DV Vitamin A
Chicken egg yolks are an excellent source of vitamin A, providing 42% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Vitamin A is actually a group of fat-soluble retinoids with vitamin A activity in the body. This nutrient is essential for a number of physiological functions—particularly vision, reproduction, thyroid health, immunity, and cellular communication. Getting enough vitamin A helps protect against some vision disorders (like night blindness and macular degeneration), supports a healthy menstrual cycle and sperm production, reduces infection risk, and allows for proper growth and development from the fetal years through childhood. Learn more about vitamin A here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 41% DV Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Chicken egg yolks are also an excellent source of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), providing 41% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Riboflavin (or vitamin B2) is a vitamin that helps form two important coenzymes involved in oxidation-reduction reactions: flavin mononucleotide (FMN), and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Collectively, these coenzymes are involved in antibody production, energy production, growth and development, skin and hair health, and the metabolism of several other nutrients (vitamin B6, niacin, folate, and iron). Research suggests a role for riboflavin in preventing or treating migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and preeclampsia during pregnancy. It also possesses some anti-cancer properties due to its involvement in folate metabolism and MTHFR activity. Learn more about vitamin B2 here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 37% DV Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Chicken egg yolks are an excellent source of vitamin B9 (folate), providing 37% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Vitamin B9 (folate) is an essential B vitamin that plays roles in blood cell production, the formation of genetic material (including DNA), and cell growth and function. It’s particularly important during pregnancy, when folate demands increase due to the rapid creation of new cells and DNA. Along with helping protect against fetal development problems, folate can support cardiovascular health, potentially protect against certain cancers, and reduce the risk of cognitive and neurological disorders later in life. Learn more about vitamin B9 here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 15.9 g of Protein
Chicken egg yolks are also an excellent source of protein, providing 15.9 g of protein per 100-gram serving!
Proteins are the molecules that actually perform most of the various functions of life. In addition to being major structural components of cells and tissues, they have incredibly diverse roles from driving chemical reactions (e.g., enzymes) to signaling (e.g., some types of hormones) to transporting and storing nutrients. Dietary protein is necessary to supply the amino acid building blocks for all of the proteins in our bodies. The recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.36 grams per pound body weight (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). That amounts to 56 grams for a 150-pound person. However, it’s important to emphasize that this number is considered a minimum daily allotment, and there is no established upper limit. In fact, many studies have evaluated diets containing three to four times more protein than this minimum and proven benefits to weight management, body composition, hormone regulation, and cardiovascular health. These studies suggest that an optimal protein intake for most people is probably in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight (82 to 122 grams for that same 150-pound person), and that people who are very active may see the best results at even higher intake. Learn more about protein and amino acids here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 31% DV Phosphorus
Chicken egg yolks are an excellent source of phosphorus, providing 31% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that makes up about 1% of the total weight of the human body. Along with serving an important structural role for building nucleic acids and cell membranes, phosphorus is involved in numerous biological processes—including acid-base regulation, energy production, cell signaling, and bone mineralization. Excess phosphorus has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, fractures, and osteoporosis, especially in the context of a low-calcium diet. Learn more about phosphorus here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 27% DV Vitamin D
Chicken egg yolks are also an excellent source of vitamin D, providing 27% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Rather than being a “true” vitamin, vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble steroid hormones that can be either obtained from the diet or synthesized from sun exposure. It plays a major role in cellular differentiation, immune function, endocrine health, cardiovascular health, and even the intestinal absorption of several other nutrients (namely calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus). As a result of these diverse functions, getting enough vitamin D is important for protecting against chronic disease (including diabetes, cancer, and degenerative neurological conditions), maintaining good gut health, and keeping a healthy immune system (including protecting against both infectious disease and autoimmunity). Learn more about vitamin D here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 27% DV Vitamin E
Chicken egg yolks are also an excellent source of vitamin E, providing 27% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Vitamin E is actually a group of eight different vitamins, though the form alpha-tocopherol is the most biologically important. Its most significant role is as a fat-soluble antioxidant, protecting the lipids in cell membranes from oxidative damage. Its free radical-scavenging abilities make vitamin E helpful for cardiovascular health, cancer protection, neurological health (including slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease), and any situations where oxidative stress increases (such as during pregnancy). There’s even evidence that getting enough vitamin E can reduce the risk of the common cold! Learn more about vitamin E here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 21% DV Linoleic Acid
Chicken egg yolks are an excellent source of linoleic acid, providing 21% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Linoleic acid is the only essential omega-6 fatty acid. Along with being required for human growth and development, it serves as a structural component of cell membranes, plays a role in maintaining skin health and integrity, and is a precursor for bioactive lipid mediators. Although linoleic acid can lower LDL cholesterol levels, research hasn’t consistently shown any protective effect against heart disease. Likewise, there’s mixed evidence (some showing benefit, some showing harm) for the effects of linoleic acid on cancer. Higher intakes have also been associated with depression and obesity, although it may have a protective effect against diabetes. Learn more here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 21% DV Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Chicken egg yolks are also an excellent source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), providing 21% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a group of six water-soluble compounds with a similar chemical structure, all of which can be converted into their active form of pyridoxal 5’-phospate (PLP). Over 100 different enzymes require vitamin B6 in order to carry out their various functions in protein metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, neurotransmitter production, gluconeogenesis, hemoglobin synthesis, the release of glucose from glycogen, and energy metabolism (particularly the production of ATP in the Krebs cycle). Research suggests vitamin B6 may help protect against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, could reduce the risk of depression among the elderly, and even reduce symptoms of morning sickness and PMS. Learn more about vitamin B6 here.
Chicken Egg Yolks Provide 21% DV Zinc
Chicken egg yolks are an excellent source of zinc, providing 21% of the daily value per 100-gram serving!
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that serves as a cofactor for over 300 enzymes and 1000 transcription factors, giving it important roles in immune function, sensory organ function, reproduction, gene regulation, DNA synthesis, wound healing, and the metabolism and activity of multiple other nutrients. Research shows it can reduce the duration of the common cold when taken shortly after the onset of illness, and can also benefit immune health in the elderly and among HIV/AIDS patients. Some studies also suggest a protective role of zinc in neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Learn more about zinc here.
How Many Chicken Egg Yolks Should We Eat Per Day?
Eggs are nutrient-dense food sources of highly-digestible complete protein, in addition to being a good source of many other nutrients! (How ‘egg-cellent’ is that?)
Proteins are the molecules that perform most of the various functions of life which is why protein deficiency is detrimental to all of the body’s organs and systems, including impacting function of the brain (especially in infants and young children), immune system, gut barrier, and kidneys. Dietary protein is necessary to supply the amino acid building blocks for all of the proteins in our bodies. Physical signs of protein deficiency include edema (swelling), poor musculature, dull skin, thin and fragile hair, and failure to thrive in infants and children.
The Accepted Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) were established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine using evidence from interventional trials with support of epidemiological evidence that suggest a role in the prevention or increased risk of chronic diseases, and based on ensuring sufficient intake of essential nutrients. The AMDR for protein is 10% to 35% calories from protein.
The recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.36 grams per pound body weight (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). That amounts to 56 grams for a 150-pound person. However, it’s important to emphasize that this number is considered a minimum daily allotment, and there is no established upper limit. In fact, many studies have evaluated diets containing three to four times more protein than this minimum and proven benefits to weight management, body composition, hormone regulation, and cardiovascular health. These studies suggest that an optimal protein intake for most people is probably in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight (82 to 122 grams for that same 150-pound person), and that people who are very active may see the best results at even higher intake. Learn more about protein here.
Eggs are one of the most hotly debated animal foods in terms of their health effects because, for decades, research has given us conflicting results on the association between eggs and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and other health outcomes. However, the risk of harm purported in the media is not supported by the scientific literature and overall, eggs are nutrient-dense sources of complete protein.
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