Happy, healthy duck eggs

February 2019 - Nutrition

Happy, healthy duck eggs

Not all eggs are the same

When we pause to consider eggs as a dietary option, our minds typically conjure up chickens as the provider. With all due respect to the devotees who automatically land at chocolate when pondering eggs, there are other options.

Tiny, delicate, vitamin B1-rich quail eggs, for example.

Or the alternative heavyweight: jumbo, thick-shelled, high-protein duck eggs.

For those who choose pasture-raised chicken eggs as a dietary staple, there is no doubt that the nutrient profile of this superfood is exceptional. Not only are they an inexpensive and easy way to bring nutrition to the table, eggs are one of the best sources of liver- and brain-loving choline. And they bring us plenty of the immune-boosting, antioxidant mineral called selenium – in addition to B vitamins, riboflavin, and vitamins A and D. A powerhouse indeed!

Chicken eggs may not work for you

Nutrition aside, the incredible egg is also one of the top food allergies today. For some of us, eggs aren’t an option. Specifically, an allergy to egg whites is most prevalent, and more common amongst children than adults. In fact, many children outgrow egg allergies by the time they reach their late teens.

It’s also possible to have an egg intolerance. Again, it’s typically the egg white that’s the problem – egg yolks often get a pass. Common egg intolerance symptoms may include bloating, excessive gas, nausea, stomach pain and stomach cramping.

Enter the duck egg

Some folks – especially adults with mild chicken egg malaise – may find duck eggs a tolerable (and delicious!) option. Protein content varies among species of birds, so those allergic to chicken eggs may be able to tolerate eggs from a different type of bird. It is certainly possible to have a cross-reactive allergic response to different bird species, but it is also possible that if you are allergic to one, you may not be allergic to the other.

The duck egg health advantage

Larger than their chicken counterparts, pastured duck eggs provide much more yolk and whites – and hence, more micro-nutrients, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The yolks are incredibly rich and creamy, and ooze decadence.

Tucked inside a tough outer shell, the duck egg brings more nutritional goodness to the plate than the chicken egg, including:

  • 3 times more iron
  • 5 times more vitamin B12
  • 2 times more vitamins A, B5 and folate
  • more selenium, choline, phosphorous, and zinc

Gram for gram, duck eggs are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D and B12, folate, cholesterol, and many minerals.

And everything you do with a chicken egg can be done with a duck egg. Consider baking, for example – the higher fat content creates a richer flavor, and the considerable albumen in the egg whites creates a fluffier texture. This is particularly helpful when baking gluten-free as it helps replace the structure that gluten provides.

And the thicker shell of the duck egg is purported to increase their shelf life, too!

Will you give duck eggs a try?

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