One of the best ways to care for your mental and physical health is by eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet protects you from many diseases while supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to work effectively.
Luckily, the same diet that keeps you healthy is also good for your eyes. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans and fish provides your eyes with essential vitamins and antioxidants to preserve vision and lower your risk for certain eye diseases.
Below are the types of foods to eat to improve your eyesight.
Orange-colored fruits and vegetables
It’s no surprise that orange produce tops the list, as most people know that carrots promote good vision. The Vitamin A is what keeps your vision healthy, as it’s responsible for turning light rays into the images you see. Ample amounts of Vitamin A also keep your eyes moist. Some of your best options include sweet potatoes, apricots and cantaloupe.
Fruits and veggies rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another important antioxidant needed for good eye health. It helps protect the body from damage caused by the foods you eat and the environment you live in. In short, this antioxidant helps repair and grow new tissue cells. Good sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines and grapefruits, as well as red bell peppers, tomatoes and strawberries.
Cold-water fish with omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for tear production and may help people with dry eyes. One of the best types of foods for omega-3s are cold-water fish like salmon, trout, sardines and tuna. You need to eat sources of omega-3 because your body can’t produce it on its own. If you’re not a big fish person, you can get these healthy fats from leafy vegetables, flaxseed oil and vegetable oils.
Nuts and sunflower seeds
Certain types of nuts and seeds – almonds, sunflower seeds – are among the highest natural sources of Vitamin E. This vitamin is important because it prevents free radical damage and keeps the cells healthy. Aside from nuts and seeds, Vitamin E is also found in avocados, pumpkin, asparagus and beet greens.
Zinc (with Copper)
Zinc keeps the retina healthy and might even protect your eyes from UV light. Specifically, zinc helps Vitamin A travel from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, a pigment that protects the eyes and helps maintain retinal health. Beans are a great source of zinc as are oysters, poultry and fortified cereals.
Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green veggies and other brightly colored foods contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants play a key role in protecting the macula, the part of the eye responsible for your central vision. In addition to romaine lettuce, collards and spinach, eggs are also a good source of these nutrients.
There are many ways to preserve your vision, and eating healthy is one of them. Most Americans are able to get the essential vitamins and nutrients they need from their diet. However, if you’re at a higher risk for certain eye diseases, talk to your retinal disease specialist about adding a supplement to your diet.