Maintaining a well-balanced, healthy diet is key to keeping your eyes healthy, and may help reduce your risk for developing eye conditions. Serious eye conditions can be avoided if you consume food that contains a range of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals known as antioxidants. Eye conditions that you may be able to prevent with a healthy diet include:
- cataracts, which cause cloudy vision
- age-related macular degeneration
- dry eyes
- poor night vision
Now, let’s have a glimpse of the top ten easy to find and consume edible items that can make your eyes healthy and prevent various optical disorders.
Seeds are found to have half the amount of recommended vitamin E for adults. A large study found that vitamin E, together with other nutrients, can help slow age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from getting worse. It may also help prevent cataracts. Sunflower seeds are particularly recommended by nutritionists.
- Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a good source of eye-friendly vitamin C. These plant-based forms of vitamin A lower the risk of long-term eye diseases, including AMD and cataracts. Most people who eat Western diets don’t get enough of them. Some well-known and commonly available examples are kale, spinach, and collard greens.
Retinas need two types of omega-3 fatty acids to work right: DHA and EPA. Oily fish have oil in their gut and body tissue that offer higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil. Omega-3s also seem to protect your eyes from AMD and glaucoma. Low levels of these fatty acids have also been linked to dry eyes. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, tuna, and trout, as well as other seafood.
- Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps with night vision, your eyes’ ability to adjust to darkness. They are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E. One sweet potato also has more than half the vitamin C you need in a day and a little vitamin E. Other vegetables and fruits with similar characteristics are carrots, cantaloupe, mangos, and apricots.
Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration. The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina, and the vascular tissue surrounding the retina. Beef contains higher level of zinc than chicken breast and pork loin.
Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain a high level of vitamin E, which can protect the eye from age-related damage. Nuts that are good for eye health include, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews and peanuts.
It’s a great package deal: The zinc in an egg will help your body use the lutein and zeaxanthin from its yolk. The yellow-orange color of these compounds blocks harmful blue light from damaging your retina. They help boost the amount of protective pigment in the macula, the part of your eye that controls central vision.
- Broccoli and Brussels
Broccoli and Brussels come with another winning combination of nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. They are all antioxidants that protect the cells in your eyes from free radicals, a type of unstable molecule that breaks down healthy tissue. Your retinas are especially vulnerable.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Just like vitamin E, vitamin C is an antioxidant that is recommended by the AOA to fight age-related eye damage. Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits also include lemons and grapefruits.
If you prefer a vegetarian, low-fat, high-fiber option to help keep your vision sharp at night and slow AMD, then legumes are your thing! Chickpeas are also high in zinc, as are black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and lentils.
It shall be no surprise that a fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which may reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.