See the Light with Eye Health Nutrition!

March 8th, 2013
fruits and vegetables

Good nutrition does more than build a strong, healthy body, but eye health nutrition actually aids in preventing many common eye diseases.  Many foods provide important nutrients to the eyes that promote retina health and increase oxygen, improving vision health.

Vitamin C, E, and Zinc

A decade ago, researchers found that foods rich in vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and zinc provide protection from advanced, age-related macular degeneration which is one of the leading causes of age-related blindness.  Red and green chili peppers, guava, bell peppers, oranges and fresh thyme or parsley are all rich in vitamin C.  Green leafy vegetables such as mustard greens, Swiss chard and spinach, broccoli, whole grain wheat and nuts have high levels of vitamin E.  Foods high in zinc include oysters, low fat roast beef, pumpkin or squash seeds, dark chocolate and peanuts.  Orange vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes are also good for eye health nutrition since they contain beta-carotene.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

In a 2008 Tufts study, researchers found that people who consumed foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin were 23 percent less likely to develop cataracts than those who consumed small amounts of those nutrients.  Kale, spinach, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts all contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin.  In addition, carrots, artichoke, tomatoes and eggs are also high in these nutrients, making them perfect for eye health nutrition.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Found predominantly in fish oils, Omega-3 fatty acids are the latest discovery in eye health nutrition.  Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel contain the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.  While studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the likelihood of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, researchers are not sure why.  They believe it may be due to a reduction in inflammation which may protect against cell damage.

Your eyes are just as vulnerable to diet-related illnesses as the rest of your body, so adding these foods to your menu could promote healthier eyes.  For more information about eye health nutrition, feel free to visit us at LASIK Surgery.

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