While they aren't nearly as ubiquitous in the United States as chicken eggs, quail eggs make up an important part of several cuisines, and they're commonly consumed in Colombia. They're much smaller than chicken eggs, so making a meal of them requires eating several at a time; they still come loaded with nutrients that benefit your health. Quail eggs, however, are higher in cholesterol than chicken eggs, due to their higher yolk-to-white ratio, and they might pose a health risk to some individuals.
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The Basics: Calories and Macronutrients
Quail eggs are low in calories. A serving of five eggs contains only 71 calories -- 4 percent of your daily calorie intake in a standard 2,000-calorie diet and roughly the same as one large chicken egg. Each serving of quail eggs provides you with 6 grams of protein to support the health of your skin and hair. Quail eggs also contain 5 grams of fat, including 1.6 grams of saturated fat per serving. Because saturated fat can boost your blood cholesterol levels -- and, in turn, contribute to heart disease -- you should eat quail eggs in moderation.
Choline and Vitamin A
Adding quail eggs to your diet boosts your intake of vitamin A, as well as choline. Your body relies on choline to help maintain healthy cell membranes and to support nervous system function. Vitamin A has its own set of heath benefits, including improved immune function and healthy vision. Each serving of quail eggs offers 119 milligrams of choline and 244 international units of vitamin A. This provides 22 percent of the daily choline and 8 percent of the daily vitamin A intakes for men, according to the Institute of Medicine, as well as 28 percent and 10 percent of the recommended daily choline and vitamin A intakes for women, respectively.
Iron and Selenium
Quail eggs also serve as great sources of some essential minerals. They're rich in selenium and offer even more iron than chicken eggs. Iron allows you to make adenosine triphosphate -- a chemical that fuels your cells' day-to-day functions -- while selenium activates enzymes that your thyroid needs to function. Your body also relies on iron to aid in red blood cell function and needs selenium for muscle metabolism and to nourish your blood vessels. Each serving of quail eggs provides you with 1.6 milligrams of iron -- 20 percent and 9 percent of the recommended daily intakes for men and women, respectively -- and also contains 26 percent of the recommended daily selenium intake, according to the Institute of Medicine. A large chicken egg, in contrast, contains just 0.9 milligrams of iron.
Quail eggs are high in cholesterol, and each serving boosts your cholesterol intake by 380 milligrams. This is more than the 300-milligram limit set for most people, and almost twice the daily limit of 200 milligrams recommended for people with high cholesterol or heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. The cholesterol in quail eggs can raise your blood cholesterol, especially if you're sensitive to cholesterol from your diet. Eat quail eggs in moderation, as an occasional treat, to avoid regularly exceeding your daily cholesterol limit.
- Allen School of Health Sciences: The Truth About Eggs
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, Quail, Whole, Raw, Fresh
- University of Utah Extension: Finding the Right Mix of Carbs, Proteins, and Fats
- Linus Pauling Institute: Choline
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin A
- Linus Pauling Institute: Iron
- Linus Pauling Institute: Selenium
- Colorado State University: Dietary Fat and Cholesterol
- NutritionValue.org: Egg, Fresh, Raw, Whole