Believe it or not, age doesn’t have to mean bifocals and eye disease. In fact, a well-balanced diet can protect your entire body, including your eyes, and keep your peepers strong and healthy for years to come. Never underestimate the power of food and incorporate these important veggies, fruits, and proteins into your diet today. Your eyes will thank you!
These foods are loaded with critical nutrients such as zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene, which, according to studies, could help reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by up to 20 percent. In fact, healthy eating could prevent a number of eye issues, including cataracts, which cause cloudy vision, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eyes, poor night vision, and more.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) support healthy eating as a way to protect and preserve your delicate optic orbs and encourage a diet rich in the following foods:
Raw, red peppers are loaded with vitamin C, which is essential for protecting the delicate blood vessels in your eyes and helping to prevent cataracts. Enjoy crunchy red bell peppers as a snack with your favorite healthy veggies dip or work them into a yummy salad.
As you probably know, fish are a wonderful source of omega 3-fatty acids. These healthy fats can contribute eye health by keeping the eyes well moistened and can even help prevent and reverse dry eye caused by too much screen time or allergies. Salmon is best for eye health, but be sure to purchase wild-caught salmon to ensure you are getting good quality fish.
Another food rich in healthy fat, almonds also contain vitamin E, which is critical for protecting your eyes. In fact, this vitamin can actually prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Enjoy 1 serving (about 23 nuts) of unsalted almonds each day for optimal benefit.
Kale is a bonafide superstar in the health world. If you are looking for a delicious, easy to enjoy vegetable that delivers a wealth of crucial vitamins and minerals, kale will not disappoint. This leafy green is jam-packed with nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are essential for protecting the eyes from sun damage and macular degeneration. As if that wasn’t already good enough, kale also boasts hearty levels of vitamin C and beta carotene.
Beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, is responsible for giving sweet potatoes their distinctive orange color. It is also known for helping reduce the risk of eye infection, preventing dry eyes, night blindness, and other eye diseases.
Another wonderful source of vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc, egg yolks are critical for preserving eye health and protecting the cornea and retina. Plus, eggs have been shown to help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Though the idea that carrots can improve your eyesight is a myth, there is some truth behind the legend. These orange vegetables are (unsurprisingly) another wonderful source of beta carotene and vitamin A and can help keep your eyes free from infections and other serious conditions.
Ditching refined wheat and eating an appropriate amount of healthy grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole oats is a great way to protect your eyes. These grains are loaded with vitamin E, zinc, and niacin, which all promote overall eye health.
Hemp, chia, and flaxseeds are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet and are a great alternative source of omega 3-fatty acids if you’re not a fan of fish. Toss seeds into smoothies, on salads, or mix them into greek yogurt with fruit for a healthy breakfast.
Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which isn’t just good for keeping seasonal colds at bay and boosting your immune system. It is also a potent antioxidant that can help protect your eyes and prevent or reverse macular degeneration.
Though it is not a food, water deserves mention since it is such a crucial way of maintaining eye health. Stay hydrated, and your eyes will stay happy.