Eating a healthy, wholesome diet is not just good for your body but your eyesight, too! The risk for certain eye conditions increases with age, so it’s important to consider the types of foods you are eating and where you can add more nutrients into your diet. While it is still recommended that you see an eye specialist regularly, there are many foods that can help protect your eyes from serious conditions.
Here are 10 of the best foods you should be incorporating into your diet to boost your eye health.
1. Dark, Leafy Greens. Greens like spinach, kale and collard greens are high in antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. These plant pigments can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are peas, broccoli and avocados.
2. Fish. It’s the omega-3 fatty acids in fish that the eyes benefit from. Fish high in omega-3s include salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines. Omega-3s may help prevent macular degeneration, dry eyes and cataracts.
3. Nuts. If you’re not much of a fish eater, there’s another way that you can get your omega-3s: nuts. Nuts like pistachios, walnuts and almonds contain both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost eye health.
4. Eggs. Like leafy greens, eggs also contain lutein as well as vitamin A. Both have benefits for the eyes, including protecting them from night blindness and dry eyes. Also, the vitamins and nutrients in eggs naturally promote optimal eye function.
5. Whole Grains. Foods that have a high glycemic index (refined carbs) are not good for the eyes, but foods that have low glycemic indexes are. Whole grains are an example. Eating a diet that includes whole grains like seedy breads and brown rice is believed to protect against macular degeneration.
6. Citrus and Berries. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons are high in vitamin C and can protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Berries also contain high levels of vitamin C.
7. Colorful Veggies. Fill your plate with colorful vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, bell peppers and tomatoes. They are good sources of vitamins A and C as well as carotenoids (the compounds that give these vegetables color) that may reduce the risk for eye disease.
8. Legumes. Lentils, kidney beans and black-eyed peas are all good sources of zinc and bioflavonoids that reduce the risk for macular degeneration and cataracts. These vitamins and nutrients can also help protect the health of the retina.
9. Sunflower Seeds. Sunflower seeds make a great snack, and they’re good for your eyes, too. They are an excellent source of vitamin E and zinc, so add them to salads or trail mixes for in between meals.
10. Beef. People are often happy to see beef on the list. When it comes to eye health, beef contains zinc that can protect against age-related macular degeneration. Zinc also helps the body to absorb vitamin A. Just be sure that when you do eat beef, it’s lean and in moderation.
Boost your eye health today by adding more of the above foods into your diet!