Eggs are a staple breakfast food item in the American diet as well as in the cuisines of numerous countries around the world.
Between the versatility in how you can prepare eggs as well as the nutrition facts of eggs, cracking and cooking eggs several mornings per week—if not daily— is how many people choose to jump-start their day.
Hard-boiled eggs are a common snack, and omelets and quiches may also be enjoyed at lunch or even dinner.
However you prefer your eggs, have you ever found yourself asking questions such as: “Why do I crave eggs?“ “What does it mean when you crave eggs?“ and “Why am I craving eggs all of a sudden?“
If you find that you are craving eggs, it may be a sign that your body is in need of certain nutrients.
In this article, we will discuss what it means if you are craving eggs and why craving eggs may be indicative that you are lacking certain nutrients.
We will look at:
- Why Do I Crave Eggs?
- What Does It Mean If You Crave Eggs?
Let’s get started!
Why Do I Crave Eggs?
Many people around the world love eating eggs. You may have a certain egg preparation you love most, or you may be such an egg lover that any style of egg cookery works for you.
But what does it mean when you crave eggs?In other words, instead of just feeling like eating eggs, if you find yourself asking, “Why am I craving eggs?“ it’s a good sign that you might not just enjoy the taste of eggs but rather that your body is in need of certain nutrients.
If you are concerned about the “egg craving meaning, “ the good news is that craving eggs can be normal and not always a sign of nutritional deficiencies.
Eggs are a very healthy food that provides a swath of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, a complete source of protein (all nine essential amino acids), and several potent antioxidants that are particularly beneficial for eye health and reducing oxidative stress in the body in general.
What Does It Mean If You Crave Eggs?
Here are some of the potential reasons why you are craving eggs:
#1: Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
The most common cause of craving eggs is a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that excess intake is excreted in the urine.
Among the many functions of vitamin B12, it is notably required for energy production in cells, brain function, and the production of DNA and proteins.
While short-term deficiency can be troubling enough in terms of causing intense fatigue, depression, nerve issues and tingling, long-term deficiency can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system and can result in a condition called pernicious anemia.
The daily value of vitamin B12 depends on your age and life stage. Most adults require 2.4 µg of this micronutrient every day or more if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is fairly common, particularly for those who follow a plant-based diet as the richest natural food sources of vitamin B12 are animal products, such as shellfish, meat, fatty fish, and dairy products, though nutritional yeast and fortified breakfast cereals do as well.
As can be surmised, another great food source for vitamin B12 is eggs, which is why craving eggs can be a sign of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Egg yolks are rich in B vitamins, especially biotin, with 10 mcg of biotin (33% DV) per whole egg.
However, egg yolks also provide vitamin B12. Each whole egg provides 0.6μg (23% DV) of this energizing micronutrient. One cup of scrambled eggs contains 70% of the DV of vitamin B12.
Note here that egg yolks contain vitamin B12, not egg whites, so if you have a craving for eggs, you should eat the whole egg and not just the egg whites.
The egg whites are essentially just protein and contain no vitamins or minerals in appreciable amounts.
#2: Vitamin D Deficiency
Another reason why you may have an egg craving is that you are lacking vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is the second most common cause of craving eggs for most otherwise healthy people.
Like vitamin B 12, vitamin D is found only in animal-based foods, many of which are not particularly common in the typical Western diet.
The primary source of vitamin D for most people is sunlight, as sun exposure to the skin actually allows the body to synthesize vitamin D, which serves as a precursor to a steroid hormone in the body.
The current daily value of vitamin D for most adults is 800 IU, or 20μg, but your needs may be higher or lower.
Cod liver oil is the best food source of vitamin D. Other fatty fish also contain vitamin D, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, trout, and swordfish. Another food high in vitamin D is beef liver.
The chances are that if you are not eating these types of fatty fish or organ meats in your diet on a fairly regular basis and you are not getting much direct sunlight exposure on your skin, an egg craving cause can be a sign that your body is lacking a sufficient amount of vitamin D.
Cheese and dairy products contain some vitamin D, as do certain mushrooms in smaller amounts, but here again, vitamin D deficiencies are most common in vegans and those following a plant-based diet because the foods with the most vitamin D are animal products.
The reason why vitamin D deficiency is on this list of “egg craving meaning causes“ is because egg yolks are also a rich source of vitamin D.
When your body is craving eggs, it can be a biological mechanism triggered to help you seek out foods with vitamin D to boost your vitamin D levels when you are low in this fat-soluble vitamin.
Each large egg has just over 1 microgram of vitamin D, or about 6% of the daily value of this nutrient, all of which is contained in the egg yolk.
This isn’t a particularly high amount of vitamin D, especially relative to foods like beef liver, cod liver oil, or foods fortified with vitamin D such as orange juice, milk, tofu, or plant-based milk that have synthetic vitamin D added, but egg yolks contain natural vitamin D and if you scramble up several whole eggs, you can get a decent dose of this important nutrient.
#3: Other Causes of Craving Eggs
Generally, the two most common answers to “Why am I craving eggs?“ are a vitamin B12 deficiency or vitamin D deficiency, as just discussed.
However, there could be additional causes for craving eggs, including the following:
- An egg craving can be a sign that you need more protein.
- Egg cravings can be a sign that you need more omega-3 fatty acids or healthy fats in general.
- An egg craving can be a sign that you are deficient in certain amino acids such as leucine and lysine. This is a more likely issue for those who follow a plant-based diet and are getting incomplete proteins.
- An egg craving can be a sign that you need more calories or food in general, or that the nutrient density of your diet is lacking and your body is seeking healthy, filling, real foods.
- An egg craving can be emotional, habitual, or food addiction.
Overall, as can be seen, there are several potential reasons why you may have an egg craving.
Craving eggs is most likely a sign of a vitamin B12 deficiency or vitamin D deficiency, but there are other potential egg craving causes to look into.
Particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, following a restrictive diet, trying to lose weight, or have some other chronic illness or health condition, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider about the potential causes of craving eggs because there may be underlying nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed more aggressively.
However, in many cases, the common “egg craving causes“ are fairly responsive to eating more eggs and adding other foods or supplements that help round out the common egg craving nutrient deficiencies.
To learn more about some of the best supplements when lacking certain nutrients, check out our guide on nutritional supplements for runners here.