Good Eye Health
Eyes need nutrients to help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other sight woes. Do your eyes get all the nutrients they need? Popping a vitamin to get these nutrients aren’t your best sources of vitamins and antioxidants. Those come from whole foods, since it may be a food’s combination of nutrients that have a synergistic effect. Learn more about the top foods for good eye health.
You can get a a good source of beta carotene from these lovely orange tubers. Your body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, a nutrient that helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Beta carotene and vitamin A also may help reduce the risk eye infections. If sweet potatoes aren’t your favorite, try other deep orange foods, such as carrots, butternut squash or dark green foods like spinach or collard greens. Liver, milk and eggs are other great sources of vitamin A.
Similar to lutein and zeaxanthin, beta carotene and vitamin A are absorbed best when eaten with a little healthy fat such as olive oil.
Strawberries are great for your eyes, and contain plenty of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may help lower your risk of cataracts. Be sure to load up with other vitamin C-rich foods including bell peppers, broccoli, citrus (such as orange and grapefruit) and cantaloupe.
Salmon is a great source of vitamin D, may help protect against macular degeneration. You get vitamin D by enjoying sardines, mackerel, milk and orange juice fortified with vitamin D. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for eye health. Eat some healthy fats every day in the form of salmon or other types of fish (two to three times per week), walnuts (also contain eye-healthy vitamin E), flax and chia seeds.
Green tea is more than relaxing and delicious — its antioxidants help keep eyes healthy. It contains healthful substances called catechins, which are responsible for its antioxidant properties. Other foods that are that are high in catechins include red wine, chocolate, berries and apples. Black tea also boasts catechins, but in lower amounts than its green cousin.
This leafy green is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are related to vitamin A and beta carotene, and help protect eye tissues from sunlight damage and reduce the risk of eye changes related to aging. Other sources of these nutrients include dark green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, turnip greens and spinach, broccoli, peas, kiwi, red grapes, yellow squash, oranges, corn, mangoes and honeydew melon. Your body needs fat to absorb lutein and zeaxanthin, so be sure to eat them with a bit of healthy fat such as a drizzle of olive oil or a few slices of avocado. And kale isn’t just a one-note food — it contains vitamin C and beta carotene, other eye-friendly nutrients.
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