When you think of eye health and nutrition, orange veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes often come to mind due to a well-known compound called beta-carotene. But we can’t let carrots get away with all the glory! It turns out that two lesser-known compounds found in eggs and green leafy veggies also play a significant role in eye health.

In addition to being a good or excellent source of 8 essential nutrients, eggs contain lutein + zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that play a role in maintaining eye health over the long term. [1] Research suggests it works as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and filter of blue light (the short wavelengths found in smartphones and other digital devices). [2]  While higher amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in green leafy vegetables and supplements, the lutein from enriched eggs is more readily absorbed by the body compared to spinach or dietary supplements, [4] making eggs an important food source of lutein to eat along with green leafy vegetables.

New research further supports eggs’ role in long term eye health. In a recent study, moderate consumption of eggs significantly reduced the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss for Americans aged 65 years and older. The study followed a suburban Australian population for 15 years to assess signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  Research showed that people who ate eggs had a reduced risk of developing the condition over 15 years, concluding that there is a beneficial relationship between eating eggs and long-term eye health. [4]

For ideas on how to incorporate eggs and green leafy vegetables into your daily routine, please visit the recipe section of our webpage, and try Quinoa Crust Vegetable Quiche for breakfast, Kale Chicken Cobb Salad for lunch, or Curried Eggs with Spinach for dinner!

Written by Dr. Jen Houchins, RDN


  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. 2019; Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/index.html.
  2. Mares, J., Lutein and Zeaxanthin Isomers in Eye Health and Disease. Annu Rev Nutr, 2016. 36: p. 571-602.
  3. Chung, H.Y., H.M. Rasmussen, and E.J. Johnson, Lutein bioavailability is higher from lutein-enriched eggs than from supplements and spinach in men. J Nutr, 2004. 134(8): p. 1887-93.
  4. Gopinath, B., et al., Consumption of eggs and the 15-year incidence of age-related macular degeneration. Clin Nutr, 2020. 39(2): p. 580-584.

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