Eggceptional Benefits to the Eyes

Eggceptional Benefits to the Eyes

Posted on Sep.08, 2014, under Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info, Low Vision Tips, The Eye

Eggs have come in and out of health “vogue” many times over the last several years. Now it is not uncommon to hear eye specialists supporting the benefits of eggs to our eyes. There are three good reasons why you may want to include eggs in your eye healthy diet.

Omega 3’s
Egg yolks are high in omega 3s. The amount varies depending on the feed the hens are given or if they are allowed free range to eat plants and insects. Michael A. Samuel, M.D. and author of Macular Degeneration: A Complete Guide for Patients and Their Families, writes about sources of good fats and bad fats. He explains that our cell membranes are made of fat and we want them to be built from good fats. He reports, ”Omega 3s are good fats that benefit us at the cellular level.” He recommends chicken eggs that have been fed omega-3 rich feed as a good source of omega 3s.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A can come from plants or animals. According to Stephen Pratt, MD and ophthalmologist, “Vitamin A found in foods that come from animals is called preformed vitamin A. It is absorbed in the form of retinol, one of the most usable (active) forms of vitamin A.” Egg yolks are one source of getting your Vitamin A in the most usable way.

Lutein is the primary carotenoid or antioxidant found in the macula. It serves to protect our eyes internally much like sunglasses protect our eyes externally. This antioxidant filters out damaging forms of light. According to Beth M. Leh, Ph.D and author of Bilberry and Lutein, the Vision Enhancers, “Egg yolk and corn contain the highest percentage of lutein and zeaxanthin (more than 85%) of the total carotenoids. “

A 12-Week Egg Intervention Increases Serum Zeaxanthin and Macular Pigment Optical Density in Women
This study sought to determine if eating more eggs would increase lutein and zeaxanthin levels and result in increased macular pigment density. The American Society of Nutrition posted the results of this clinical trial:
“Although the aggregate concentration of carotenoid in 1 egg yolk may be modest relative to other sources, such as spinach, their bioavailability to the retina appears to be high. Increasing egg consumption to 6 eggs/wk may be an effective method to increase macular pigment optical density (MPOD).”

How to Buy Them
Choose organic eggs that are free range when possible. Organic ones usually have a higher nutrient quality and are anti-biotic free.

How To Cook Them
Gary Price Todd, M.D.,ophthalmologist and author of Nutrition, Health and Disease recommends soft boiling, poaching or cooking eggs sunny side up otherwise, “the cholesterol quickly oxidizes to the toxic form” and that that eggs “cooked scrambled or in an omelet or pastry are harmful.” So go ahead and enjoy a sunny side egg at breakfast knowing that you are doing something good for your eyes.

For a list of more foods high in lutein visit:

Foods High In Lutein

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN