Remember all those years our parents told us to eat lots of carrots so we’d have vision like Superman? They wanted us to eat them because they are a big part of a healthy diet, too, but it’s time for carrots to slide over and make room for eggs as a go-to for improving vision. Fry them or boil them; your eyes will love it.
The incredible edible egg has a long-standing reputation as a food packed with nutrients to go along with its all-around versatility in dozens of recipes and breakfast variations. But eggs aren’t stopping there and they score another win as a convenient and effective approach to healthy eyes. How so?
Loaded with Good Stuff
Eggs are full of antioxidants that our eyes adore. For example, egg yolks are high lutein, which is a type of carotenoid that puts up a good fight against macular degeneration; a condition that leads to blurred vision and sometimes blindness. Lutein is also prevalent in leafy veggies like broccoli but experts say our bodies are much more adept at absorbing lutein from eggs, due largely to a component of fat and beneficial vitamins including A, D, and E.
Another powerful, eye-friendly vitamin found in egg yolk is zeaxanthin, which is an antioxidant believed to help protect our eyes against damage from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The retina in the backs of our eyes contains cells that allow us to see. These cells are sensitive to light and packed in the middle of them is the macula which is in charge of our central, focused vision. UV rays cause these cells to die off; a precursor to macular degeneration. This debilitating condition makes reading, driving, and even recognizing faces very difficult.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are also the pigments that make eggs yellow, also found in plant-based foods such as corn and spinach. But what about high cholesterol? Eggs used to be disparaged as a fast track to high cholesterol but the body processes eggs in complicated and beneficial ways. In fact, a University of Massachusetts study revealed patients who ate one egg a day for six weeks saw increases in lutein and zeaxanthin, with no effect on cholesterol.
Another study monitored the effects on the vision of patients with age-related macular degeneration. Eating 12 eggs per week resulted in significant improvements in macular function and related retina health.
Need more convincing? That little white, oval orb packs a big punch in its unassuming form. Check out some of the other benefits from including eggs in your diet:
Get a healthy brain—Egg yolk includes an incredible element called choline, which actively stimulates brain development and function. Eat up to boost brain power!
Weight management—An egg’s natural protein helps people lose weight by controlling hunger and they fill you up (in a good way) and keep you that way longer. Protein is also wonderfully effective at keeping your body’s calorie absorption in check.
Energy pack—The protein in eggs does wonders to help sustain your energy and halt those cravings for junk food.
Vitamin vessel—Consider that an egg is made of only 70 calories but is loaded with 14 essential vitamins. That kind of nutrient power in one convenient package turns an egg into a tasty multivitamin.
In addition to having your eyes checked regularly and diligently protecting your eyes from harsh sunlight, be sure to eat lots of fresh vegetables, seeds, and nuts. A well-balanced diet of proteins, dairy, fruits, and veggies keeps your eyes healthy just as it does your body and goes a long way in reducing the risk of serious eye conditions including cataracts (cloudy vision), glaucoma, dry eyes, and other issues.
Incorporate some of these other foods into your diet to help keep your eyes in great shape:
Fish is an excellent food for maintaining eye health. Fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, or “healthy” fats. They help with visual development and overall eye health.
Almonds are loaded with vitamin E which guards against unstable molecules and helps prevent cataracts. Sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and peanuts are also great choices.
Dairy products include vitamin A and zinc; both of which have direct impact on eye health. Keep the fridge stocked with milk and yogurt.