TOP 7 FOODS FOR EYE HEALTH
You love your eyes. They’re your window to the world—they allow you to see beautiful oceanscapes, stunning mountains, and exquisite artwork. They’re the focal point of your face—they express your personality, convey your emotions, and say all the things words can’t describe.
But you only get one set of eyes, which means you need to protect them as much as possible. Although eyes tend to deteriorate with age, there are numerous things you can do to keep them healthy.
One of the best ways to care for your eyes is to eat a balanced diet. You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes but have you ever wondered what other foods deliver essential nutrients to your eyes? We’ve put together a list of the seven best foods for your eyes—keep these foods in mind as you strive to eat a balanced diet.
- Spinach and Other Leafy Greens
Spinach is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that fight against cataracts and macular degeneration. In fact, a single cup of spinach contains 20 milligrams of these antioxidants. Lutein and zeaxanthin also help the eye recognize subtle contrasts in colour.
Not a fan of spinach? Not a problem. Choose one of these leafy greens to mix into your salad, smoothie, or main dish:
If you can’t stand the sight of green foods, don’t worry. Eggs are also an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs also contain DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids work wonders for eye health—they aid in eye development and fight against dry eye syndrome and macular degeneration. Eat one egg per day to keep your eyes in great shape.
- Salmon and Other Fatty Fish
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The same fatty acids that protect your heart and brain also boost your eye health. As mentioned above, they reduce your risk of macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome. They also fight inflammation and help rejuvenate the cells in your eyes.
Don’t like salmon? Try incorporating two servings of any of these fatty fish into your weekly diet: Sardines
- Berries and Citrus Fruits
Strawberries and oranges pack a vitamin C punch. Vitamin C helps lower blood pressure and fight inflammation throughout the body, which doctors have linked to macular degeneration. Aim for two servings of citrus fruits per day to improve your circulatory system and eye health.
In addition to strawberries and oranges, excellent sources of vitamin C include:
Nuts contain all sorts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins that your eyes will love.
- Pistachios contain more lutein and zeaxanthin than any other nut. They’re also rich in vitamin E, which slows macular degeneration.
- Almonds pack a significant amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E defends your eye’s cells against free radicals, which cause a number of eye diseases. All you need is two ounces of almonds every day to get your daily dose of vitamin E.
- Walnuts are your go-to nut source for omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts contain even more fatty acids than pistachios, and just a handful a day fights against eye deterioration.
Other great sources of vitamin E include pecans, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and hazelnuts.
- Colourful Vegetables
The more colourful the vegetable, the better it is for your eyes. Colourful vegetables get their pigments from carotenoids. Carotenoids strengthen the retina and help prevent light-induced damage to all parts of the eye. Further, researchers theorize that this compound helps reduce your risk of multiple eye diseases. Orange-coloured foods also contain a lot of vitamin A, which improves night vision and reduces your risk of cataracts.
Try to eat 3-4 servings of colourful vegetables each day to boost your eye health. Although 3-4 servings might seem like a lot, there are plenty of delicious veggies to choose from:
- Tomatoes, which also contain vitamin C
- Corn, which is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin
- Orange and red bells peppers, which contain beta carotene. Beta carotene converts itself into Vitamin A.
- Sweet potatoes
- Squash, including pumpkin
- Lean Meat
Not only does lean meat provide your eyes with protein, they also contain zinc. Zinc plays several important roles when it comes to your eye health:
- It aids in vitamin A-absorption, helping you see at night.
- It protects the retina, keeping it in working order.
- It fights against age-related eye diseases, including cataracts and macular degeneration.
The important thing to remember is that lean meat in moderation boosts eye health. You should avoid eating meats at every meal and should also cut back on fatty meats. Great sources of lean meat include lean beef, turkey, oysters, crab, and liver. If you’re a vegetarian, baked beans and whole grains also contain significant amounts of zinc.
These are just a few of the foods that boost your eye health. Avocados, legumes, and flaxseed oil are also great sources of nutrients.
Incorporate these foods into your diet and you’re sure to keep your eyes healthy for years to come. Take a look at our other blogs for more tips on caring for your eyes.