September is Healthy Aging Month, a time to focus on the positive aspects of growing older and encourage responsibility for one’s health (physical, social, mental and financial). One way to promote healthy aging is through sound nutrition. Following a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can help prolong a healthy life. Additionally, some foods contain specific nutrients that have been shown to benefit older adults.
Eggs should be included as part of a healthy diet as we age. They have nutrients that support eye health, cognition and muscle mass. Additionally, research has shown eggs’ benefits on weight loss and stroke prevention. Below are examples of how eggs can benefit the body as we age.
Eye health: Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants found in egg yolks that are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that develops with age.
Stroke: Research suggests eggs can be part of a heart-healthy diet. A recent review showed eating eggs may reduce the risk of stroke by 12 percent.
Cognition: One large egg is an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient critical for brain function. Additionally, eating eggs has been associated with improved cognitive performance in older adults.
Sarcopenia: Muscle loss due to aging results in frailty and increased risk for falling. Research suggests that exercise, along with optimal protein intake, can minimize muscle loss.
Weight loss: Maintaining a healthy weight is important as we age. Research has shown eating eggs for breakfast compared to eating a bagel breakfast helped overweight dieters lose 65% more weight, reduce their BMI by 61% and feel more energetic.
Strong bones: Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D, a nutrient critical for bone health.