The Eye Health Diet
An apple a day might be enough to keep the doctor away, but it’s not enough to protect the health of your eyes or your vision. There are actually a number of foods that contain essential vitamins and nutrients to help keep your eyesight strong and even help to defend you against conditions like macular degeneration or cataracts. So if you want to keep your eyesight sharp and your eyes healthy, take a look at some of the best foods for your vision and your eyes!
Salmon, tuna, sardines, and other cold-water fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Since your retinas contain the omega-3 DHA—which provides critical support for cell membranes and also protects retinal function—eating these fishes can replenish the DHA levels in your eyes. There is also research that suggests eating foods that are high in omega-3s like DHA can help reduce your risk of macular degeneration by as much as 60%. If you don’t eat fish, however, you can still consume omega-3s in the form of pills or supplements.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, an antioxidant that defends your cell membranes against free radicals and slows macular degeneration, nuts are an excellent food to enhance your eye health and vision. As a matter of fact, one ounce of almonds provides about half of your daily dose vitamin E, so you can take care of your eyes in just a few handfuls. Pistachios and walnuts are also good choices.
Particularly in the yolks, eggs contain a number of important nutrients—like antioxidant lutein that fights macular degeneration and cataracts as well as vitamin A—that support your vision and your eyes. Lutein becomes damaged when heated, however, so cook your eggs as lightly as possible or eat them raw if you want the full eye benefits they have to offer.
Kale and spinach, along with swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli, and brussel sprouts, are rich in lutein and the carotenoid zeaxanthin, which protects your eyes from harmful, high-energy light waves.
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
You’ve probably heard about the positive impact that carrots have on your eyesight, but other fruits and vegetables have the same potential. In addition to carrots, look for tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peppers, corn, cantaloupe, and other fruits with a bright yellow or orange color since they are filled with vitamins A and C.