Super foods for your eyes

If you think about the good things you can do for healthy eyes, eating well is a pretty appealing option. In popular culture we often associate carrots with good vision, but the truth is there are delicious superfood choices for all tastes, and each stand to benefit your eyes:

Orange foods – Carrots are indeed good for your eyes, but so are yams and sweet potatoes. All three are chock full of beta carotene, an anti-oxidant known for cutting risk associated with macular degeneration and cataracts.

Leafy greens – More anti-oxidant power here in the form of lutein and zeaxanthin! These are found in spinach and kale and they protect against UV damage from sun exposure.

Vitamin C rich fruits and veggies – It’s always a smart choice to add strawberries, grapefruit, bell peppers and broccoli to your menu. Vitamin C is also a strong contender in counteracting harmful UV rays.

Chickpeas and other legumes – Grab the hummus and dig in with cut up peppers and carrots for an extra dose of goodness for your eyes. In this case Zinc is the magic ingredient which your liver needs in order to create and drive Vitamin A to the retina to produce melanin (a key protector against ultraviolet light).

Turkey – Zinc and Niacin, a B vitamin, are found in abundance in this lean meat. This combo delivers UV protection and can help prevent cataracts.

Fish – Omega 3 fats have become popular for their disease-fighting powers, but they are also a help in the fight against age-related macular degeneration and dry eye!

Making smart food choices can also help with maintaining a healthy weight, so it’s really a win-win.

Did you know? Overweight and obese individuals are at an increased risk for a number of eye diseases and conditions including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

Source: Canadian Association of Optometrists

6 Categories of Essential Foods for Good Eye Health

This article from Tmag Optical Trends recommends including some beneficial foods in your daily diet as an easy way to improve your eye health and take care of your sight.

1) Green Vegetables
Cabbage, spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, broccoli, peas, beans

These cooked vegetables provide your body with lutein (a pigment abundant in the macula of the eye) and zeaxanthin (nutritive pigment that accompanies lutein) as well as vitamin C.

2) Fatty Fish
Wild salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel and tuna

Research has demonstrated their protective effect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and dry eyes. The omega-3 acids these fish contain make them strongly beneficial for your overall health.

3) Orange Vegetables
Sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, pumpkins and carrots

These vegetables contain beta-carotene, an essential antioxidant to protect not only your eyes but also your whole body from diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

4) Eggs
2 eggs, twice per week

Eggs contain significant amounts of vitamin E, lutein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, you should seek advice from your doctor regarding the desired amount of eggs to consume.

5) Lean Meats
Turkey, lean beef, seafood

Turkey and lean beef contain a lot of zinc and vitamin E, which is important for the eyes. Crab, oysters, mussels and scallops also provide a beneficial ratio of minerals and vitamins.

6) Nuts, Whole Grains, Beans and Lentils
Almonds, nuts of all kinds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and all cereals

All these foods are particularly rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and zinc, which are very effective for ocular and general health.

Source: Eye Foods, a Food Plan for Healthy Eyes, Dr Laurie Capogna, O.D. and Dr Barbara Pelletier, O.D.

Photo by Clint McKoy on Unsplash