10 Foods That Support Healthy Eyes
They say you are what you eat, and this is especially true for your eyes. That’s why a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, and protein is needed to keep your vision sharp and protect against the environmental factors that can cause it to deteriorate over time.
Here are ten foods that contain the essential nutrients needed to boost your vision and lower your risk for many common eye diseases, like cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Essential Nutrients for the Eyes
Vitamin A is a vital nutrient that supports several eye structures, including the cornea, retina, rods, and cones. In this way, vitamin A helps the eye convert light into the colorful images you see while fighting against night blindness. Not to mention, this compound helps keep the eye moist, which reduces dry eye.
- Orange Fruits and Vegetables – Carrots and sweet potatoes, which contain twice the daily requirement; cantaloupe and apricots
This powerful antioxidant helps protect against free radicals that damage and kill the cells. Smoke, UV rays, and fried foods all cause oxidative damage, which can lead to macular degeneration and cataracts as you age. Vitamin C aims to prevent or slow the progression of these prominent eye diseases.
- Citrus Fruits – Oranges, tangerines, lemons, and grapefruits
- Berries – Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.
Another antioxidant, vitamin E, helps keeps the cells healthy and protect against AMD and other atrophic eye diseases. If you do not get enough of this nutrient, you may be at increased risk for visual degeneration and even blindness.
- Nuts & Seeds – Sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios, etc.
Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid antioxidants that protect the macula — the structure responsible for central, detailed vision. These nutrients are said to protect against harmful blue light, which is especially important for office workers.
- Leafy Greens – Kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, collard and turnip greens, broccoli, and peas
Omega-3s promote proper development, preserve the eyes — namely the retina, and aid in healthy tear function to ease dry eye symptoms. These fatty acids may also strengthen the immune system to ward off eye infections.
- Fish – Cold-water fish, like salmon, tuna, trout, halibut, and sardines
Zinc transports vitamin A from the liver to assist with the formation of melanin. In this way, zinc helps form visual pigments and protects from night blindness. It may also lower the risk of cataracts and slow AMD.
- Beans/Legumes – Black-eyed peas, lima beans, kidney beans, etc.
- Meats – Lean red meats and poultry, as well as oysters, which are the most significant source of zinc in this list
Eating healthy is a major component of maintaining good vision, but it is not the only factor. Genetics and lifestyle habits can play a role in the development of your eyesight, so it’s important to wear proper protective eyewear and schedule an annual eye exam with the best eye doctors in the greater Dallas area. Frequent comprehensive exams allow your optometrist to catch any changes in your vision and provide appropriate treatment, including corrective eye surgery.
Schedule an exam with Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers to get a comprehensive view of your eye structures and learn which foods may support your eyes.
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