8 Foods That Promote Eye Health
Nutrition and Your Eyes: 8 Foods That Promote Eye Health
Your eyes are more than just part of your body. They’re your window to the world, allowing you to see stunning landscapes and beautiful artwork. They’re the focal point of your face, expressing your personality and emotions. They’re a catalyst for productivity and creativity, helping you focus on important tasks.
Because your eyes do so much for you, you strive to keep them healthy. But how, exactly, do you keep your eyes healthy? You know to visit your optometrist yearly and to wash your hands before you touch your eyes, but is there more you can do?
One of the best and easiest ways to maintain your eye health is to eat a balanced diet. Like other parts of your body, your eyes benefit from foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Several months ago, we wrote an article about various vitamins and nutrients that protect your vision. Now, we want to follow up on that article by detailing eight foods that promote eye health.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two of the most effective carotenoid antioxidants at fighting macular degeneration and cataracts. Because the human body doesn’t produce these substances, you should eat 2–3 servings of leafy greens each day.
Try making a main dish, salad, or smoothie with one of the following leafy greens:
• Collard greens
• Romaine lettuce
2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids work wonders for your heart and brain, and they also keep your eyes in great shape. Like lutein and zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids fight macular degeneration. On top of that, they also prevent dry eye syndrome and prevent eye inflammation.
To reap the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, simply eat two servings of any of the following fish each week:
Don’t like leafy greens or fatty fish? You’re in luck. Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. They’re also a great source of vitamin D, which helps fight against macular degeneration.
Try to eat at least one egg per day. If you don’t eat fatty fish or leafy greens, you’ll need to eat 2–3 eggs every day to get the necessary amount of lutein, zeaxanthin, and fatty acids.
4. Citrus Fruits and Berries
Fruits and berries are rich in vitamin C, which fights inflammation throughout the body and also helps keep blood pressure at a reasonable level. High blood pressure and inflammation contribute to macular degeneration, so eating vitamin C will help prolong the life of your eyes.
Eat two servings of vitamin C per day to maintain your eye health. Great sources of vitamin C include:
5. Colourful Vegetables
Vegetables are colourful because they contain carotenoids, which are naturally occurring pigments. Carotenoids are beneficial for several reasons:
• They help prevent light-induced damage to the eyes.
• They protect and strengthen the retina.
• They reduce your risk of developing eye diseases and cataracts.
Eat 3–4 servings of colourful vegetables each day. Although this sounds like a lot, you have a wide variety of vegetables to choose from.
• Carrots also contain vitamin A, which improves night vision.
• Tomatoes also contain vitamin C.
• Corn also contains lutein and zeaxanthin.
• Bell peppers also contain beta carotene, which converts itself into vitamin A.
If you’re looking to incorporate a few extra vitamins and nutrients into your diet, stock up on nuts next time you go to the grocery store.
- Almonds have significant amounts of vitamin E, which defends your eyes against a number of diseases. Just two ounces of almonds provide your daily dose of vitamin E.
- Walnuts contain fatty acids and vitamin E—just one handful per day helps prevent eye deterioration.
- Pistachios pack more lutein and zeaxanthin than any other nut. The mono and polyunsaturated fats in pistachios also aid in the absorption of carotenoids.
7. Lean Meat
You know meat contains protein, which benefits your entire body. But did you know meat also contains zinc? Zinc is vital to eye health for several reasons:
• It aids in vitamin A absorption.
• It protects the retina.
• It prevents against age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
You don’t need to eat meat at every meal to get the proper amount of zinc. Eat 2–3 servings of lean meat, such as turkey, liver, oysters, and crab, each week.
Soy is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Soy is rich in isoflavones that fight against age-related diseases throughout the body, including cataracts and glaucoma. Isoflavones also aid in tear production, preventing dry eye syndrome.
To reap these benefits, incorporate 1–2 servings of soy milk, soy sauce, miso, or tempeh into your daily diet.
Proper nutrition is essential to your eye health. Keep these foods in mind next time you head to the grocery store, and be sure to talk to our optometrists about any extra nutrients your eyes might need.