We've heard more than once that carrots are good for our eyes. But they're certainly not the only food that can benefit our sight!
Here are some of our favorite foods that help promote and maintain healthy eyes.
Vegetables And Leafy Greens
Have you ever wondered why they say carrots are so good for your eyes? Carrots contain beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that prevents night blindness and promotes a healthy retina. Similarly beneficial orange-colored vegetables are sweet potatoes and pumpkins.
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, watercress, and collard greens are all filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin—important nutrients for healthy vision. Lutein and zeaxanthin absorb 40-90 percent of blue light intensity, meaning these protective greens act like sunscreen for your eyes! The antioxidants they contain also help protect against eye damage that results from cigarette smoke and air pollution.
Fruit is a must when it comes to getting that all-important vitamin C in your diet. Citrus fruits and berries are a great source of vitamin C and help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration—two of the leading causes of adult blindness.
Açai, for instance, is loaded with both vitamins A and C and protects the retina from free radical damage. Blueberries are especially good for your health, reducing your risk of cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, and cancer.
Seeds And Nuts
Vitamin C has a companion: vitamin E. This duo works together to keep healthy tissue strong. Nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and almonds; and seeds such as sunflower seeds, for example, are excellent sources of vitamin E and zinc. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which tremendously boost your eye health.
A tablespoon of wheat germ oil in your salad is also a great way to get your vitamin E. Fun fact: it only takes one handful (an ounce) of almonds to get about half of your daily dose of vitamin E. It’s as easy as that!
Seafood, red meat, and eggs are the best proteins for your eyes. Fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
Oysters, crab, beef, and eggs are great sources of zinc, which helps keep your retina healthy. Egg yolk is also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, just like the leafy greens we talked about.
Do Your Eyes A Favor
The next time you want to pass on the vegetables, remember the important benefits they provide for your eyes as well as your whole body health! We’re passionate about helping you see the very best you can! If you have questions about how your diet can benefit your lifelong vision health, let us know!