The turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is a bird species originally from North America. Specimens that still live freely in the wild are called wild turkeys, while domesticated birds are called domesticated turkeys or simply turkeys, but both are the same species. Turkey eggs are rich in protein, iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 and are one of the most nutritious egg varieties, in some respects better than chicken and quail. Indeed, they have a much higher fat and cholesterol content, but moderate consumption should only provide benefits and no side effects, unless there are any pre-existing medical conditions that restrict the consumption of turkey eggs.
What do turkey eggs look like?
Turkey eggs from a mature hen are only slightly bigger than duck eggs. For example, one duck egg weighs about 70 g, while one turkey egg weighs about 79 g. A turkey hen who has just begun laying will produce smaller eggs, the size of duck eggs or slightly smaller. The eggs have a typical ovoid shape, only slightly pointier at one end and their shell is speckled with brown, this being the most distinctive characteristic of turkey eggs.
What do turkey eggs taste like?
Turkey eggs taste almost identical to chicken eggs and you almost can’t tell the difference between the two unless you know beforehand what egg variety you are eating. Unlike duck eggs which taste fattier because they have more yolk compared to chicken eggs, turkey eggs are more balanced, hence their taste. The shell as well as the membrane between the shell and the egg are also slightly tougher than that of chicken eggs. It is also common for turkey hens to lay eggs with two yolks.
What are the benefits of turkey eggs?
Read on for the most surprising 8 nutrition facts and health benefits of turkey eggs:
Turkey eggs are high in cholesterol
How much cholesterol in turkey eggs? 100 g of turkey egg has 933 mg of cholesterol, while 1 egg has 737 mg of cholesterol. In other words, a single turkey egg has as much cholesterol as two large chicken eggs and more cholesterol than 9 quail eggs. Also, 100 g of turkey egg has more cholesterol than both duck eggs and goose eggs.
But that’s not such a bad thing, if turkey eggs are consumed reasonably. Believe it or not, cholesterol is actually an essential nutrient with a wide range of benefits for health. Cholesterol helps the body synthesize vitamin D from sunlight exposure for a strong immune system, hormones for fertility, bile acids for digestion and protects nerve cells from demyelination, contributing to a lower risk of degenerative diseases of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis. All of the cholesterol in turkey eggs is located in the egg yolk.
Cholesterol is not bad for you except if it’s consumed excessively over long periods of time. But that’s true for any component in food, not just cholesterol. Research shows dietary cholesterol does not have such a big impact on blood cholesterol levels as previously thought, that is, cholesterol from foods such as turkey eggs does not raise blood cholesterol levels in otherwise healthy individuals. Instead the body adjust absorption to its needs.
But since cholesterol is found in foods that are naturally important sources of fat and calories, and the fats and calories are what negatively impact cardiovascular and general health, it is recommended to either avoid high-cholesterol foods completely, or eat them infrequently and in small amounts, especially if you are already dealing high blood cholesterol levels, heart disease, obesity or diabetes.
Turkey eggs are rich in fat and calories
How much fat in turkey eggs? How many calories in turkey eggs? A single turkey egg has almost as many calories as two chicken eggs and almost just as much fat. So if you eat too many turkey eggs, over time you risk weight gain and complications associated with excess body weight such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
But eating turkey eggs infrequently and in moderate amounts could provide important benefits for health from the fat and calories themselves. For example, fat is good for constipation relief because it helps move food along in the GI tract. Fat is needed by skin cell membranes and provides antioxidant benefits.
Eating small amounts of fat with foods high in carbohydrates lowers the glycemic effects of those foods, with benefits such as steadier blood sugar levels. This is because the fat in turkey and other types of eggs is digested more slowly and causes the carbs from other foods to get digested more slowly as well, resulting in a gradual absorption of the sugars from the digested food into the bloodstream.
Also, the fats in turkey eggs which account for a great part of the calories help you feel satiated for longer, give you more energy as well as lasting energy. Other benefits of including fats into your diet are better memory, intellectual effort support (improved learning ability) and and clearer thinking.
- 100 g of turkey egg provides 11.88 g (grams) of fat and 171 kcal (kilocalories or calories)
- 1 turkey egg (estimated weight: 79 g) provides 9.39 g of fat and 135 kcal
Turkey eggs are high in protein
Turkey eggs have more protein than chicken, quail and duck eggs and almost as much protein as goose eggs. How much protein in turkey eggs? 100 g of turkey egg has 13.68 g of protein, with 1 egg (79 g) having 10.81 g of protein. The best part is egg protein is quality protein, containing all essential amino acids the body needs to keep us healthy, but cannot synthesize by itself. Half the protein found in turkey eggs is located in the egg white and half in the egg yolk.
Eating turkey and eggs in general helps build muscle mass, encourages weight loss, combats brain fog, mood swings, supports learning, memory and other cognitive functions. Moreover, the amino acids that make up protein help synthesize neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate sleep, appetite and mood, among other benefits.
Turkey eggs have more vitamin B12 than chicken eggs
In terms of vitamin B12 content, turkey eggs have more vitamin B12 than both chicken eggs and quail eggs, but less than duck and goose. How much vitamin B12 in turkey eggs? 100 g of turkey egg provides 1.69 mcg of vitamin B12 vs chicken eggs which have 0.89 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 g vs quail eggs which have 1.58 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 g.
Vitamin B12 is vital for the production of red blood cells and providing energy to muscles, combats fatigue, restores vitality, and is good for pregnant women because it helps with the normal growth and development of the baby in the womb. Vitamin B12 together with cholesterol play an important role in preventing degenerative diseases of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis.
Good source of folate
Turkey eggs are a good natural source of folate, or vitamin B9, with benefits for pregnant women, anemia and fatigue. How much folate in turkey eggs? One turkey egg provides 56 mcg or approximately 14% of the recommended daily intake of folate for an average adult. This makes the eggs a good food for pregnant women, helping prevent neural tube defects of the spine, spinal cord and brain in babies. Folate together with vitamin B12 in turkey eggs are good for both the baby and mother.
Good source of vitamin A
How much vitamin A in turkey eggs? 100 g of turkey egg has 166 mcg of vitamin A out of the 900 mcg RDI, roughly 18% of recommended intake of vitamin A per day for an adult. Vitamin A has anti-aging benefits for skin, helping renew skin cells, promotes visual acuity and good eyesight, and helps maintain the health of mucous membranes across the human body, contributing to better immunity.
Turkey eggs are rich in iron
How much iron in turkey eggs? 100 g of turkey egg has 4.1 mg of iron, about 23% of the RDI or recommended daily intake for the average adult which is 18 mg of iron per day. Iron helps bind oxygen to hemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle cells for better oxygenation of tissues. A sufficient intake combats muscle weakness, shortness of breath and low vitality, with an energizing, revitalizing effect. Iron, which you can get from turkey eggs, also supports learning and boosts immunity.
Other vitamins and minerals in turkey eggs:
- Vitamin B1: 0.110 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.470 mg
- Vitamin B3: 0.024 mg
- vitamin B6: 0.131 mg
- Calcium: 99 mg
- Magnesium: 13 mg
- Phosphorus: 170 mg
- Potassium: 142 mg
- Sodium: 151 mg
- Zinc: 1.58 mg
Turkey eggs also contain selenium, Omega-3 fatty acids and choline for good thyroid, cardiovascular and brain health.
Benefits for hair and skin
Eating turkey eggs is good for skin and hair. Turkey eggs are good for hair because the amino acids making up the protein in the eggs, B vitamins and fats help nourish and strengthen hair. Vitamin A in turkey egg yolk has an anti-aging effect on the skin, while zinc combats acne. Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and even saturated fats in the egg yolk help skin cells better retain moisture, contributing to hydrated, better-looking, more youthful skin.
Turkey eggs don’t happen to be the most popular egg variety, despite being more nutritious than chicken eggs in certain aspects. Although they have a higher energetic value and overall more fat and cholesterol, they are also a better source of protein and several essential vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron. Eating turkey eggs provides benefits for skin, hair, eyesight, boosts immunity and energy levels, combats fatigue, brain fog and mood swings and nourishes the brain for better memory and learning. The only thing to remember is that they are best consumed in moderation, preferably not every day and always cooked well.