8 Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet for Healthy Eyes
We all know that we should maintain a well-balanced diet to keep ourselves healthy, but did you know that a healthy diet can impact your eye health as well?
The truth is, the food we eat can affect our vision. It can even help reduce the risk of developing certain eye conditions. In some cases, you can even avoid severe eye conditions entirely if you incorporate certain foods into your diet.
Do yourself a favor and extend your vision care routine past your annual eye exam. Keep reading to learn the top 8 foods you should include in your diet to keep your eyes healthy!
What Eye Conditions are Impacted by Food Choices?
Before we get into the types of foods that can improve your eye health, it is important to understand what eye conditions you can affect through your diet. Eye conditions that you may be able to prevent with a healthy diet include:
Even if you don’t suffer from any of the above eye conditions, your eyes will still benefit from eating healthy.
What Vitamins & Antioxidants Your Eyes Need
To keep your eyes healthy, you should include a range of foods with many different vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. Some of these include:
8 Foods that can Improve Your Eye Health
To make sure you’re incorporating the right foods into your diet to maintain healthy eyesight, we compiled a list of the top 8 foods that can improve your eye health.
Seeds & Nuts
Seeds and nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. These nutrients boost your eye health and protect the cells in your eyes from free radicals which can break down the eye's tissue leading to vision issues.
Your retinas are responsible for organizing and sending visual information to your brain, enabling you to see. For your retinas to work correctly, they need two types of omega-3 fatty acids: DHA and EPA. Both of these can be found in fish and other types of seafood.
Omega-3s also appear to protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and dry eye.
There are three main components in eggs that can improve your vision: zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin.
These three components work together to help boost the amount of pigment in the macula of your eye, which is the part of your eye that controls your central vision.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are high in zinc which can help keep your vision sharp and protects your eyes against age-related macular degeneration.
Dairy products, such as milk or yogurt, contain vitamin A as well as Zinc. Vitamin A protects the cornea, while zinc helps bring that vitamin to the eyes. Together, zinc and vitamin A can help with night vision and can help to prevent cataracts. Dairy from grass-fed cows provides the highest levels of vitamin A and zinc.
Orange-Colored Fruits & Vegetables
Orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, mangos, oranges and sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, a specific form of vitamin A. Beta-carotene can help increase your night vision.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach are excellent for promoting eye health. These types of food are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These nutrients lower your risk of developing long-term eye diseases. Unfortunately, most people don’t include enough dark leafy greens in their diet.
Lean Meat & Poultry
Like dairy products, lean meat and poultry are high in vitamin A and zinc, which help better your night vision. Types of lean meat and poultry you can benefit from working into your diet include:
Raw Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are high in vitamin C. In fact, raw bell peppers have the highest vitamin C per calorie compared to any other food. Vitamin C strengthens the blood vessels in your eyes, which can lower your risk of getting cataracts. Heat will break down vitamin C, so you should opt for eating bell peppers raw when you can.
Other Tips for Improving Your Eye Health
Eating the 8 eye-healthy foods previously mentioned is not the only way to protect your eyes. Other ways you can keep your eyes healthy include:
- Visiting an eye doctor and receiving an annual eye exam
- Wearing sunglasses and other protective eyewear
- Avoiding smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing blood sugar by avoiding foods with added sugar