Several Foods Can Help Improve Your Eye Health
It is often thought that losing your eyesight is just an inevitable part of aging and life. However, you can significantly reduce vision loss and declining eye health by living a healthy lifestyle. This includes protecting your eyes, avoiding harmful activities like smoking, and much more. One such lifestyle change that can help your eyes is eating vision healthy foods.
Our eyes contain and need certain nutrients that many foods contain. By consuming them, you are increasing the likelihood that you will retain your eye health over a long life.
Omega-3 fatty acids are often found in many different types of fish. Oily fish typically have oil in their gut and throughout the tissue in their body. These omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in protecting you from dry eye, macular degeneration, and even cataracts. Here are some fish that contain high levels of this acid:
If you don’t prefer fish, there are plenty of omega-3 supplements available to you that offer a good supply of it.
Well-known leafy green vegetables including spinach, kale, and collard greens are rich sources of vitamin C and E. Not only that, but they also contain plant pigments called lutein and zeaxanthin that help prevent the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. In most Western diets, leafy greens are not as commonly found as in other cultures, so it is important to add them to your diet to protect your eyes from harmful diseases.
Nuts, Legumes, and Seeds
Like fish, nuts are full of helpful omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain high levels of vitamin E, protecting you from age-related diseases like macular degeneration. Some nuts and legumes that have been proven to be vision healthy include:
- Brazil nuts
- Kidney beans
- Black-eyed peas
These legumes are great sources of zinc which helps protect the retina as well as preventing age-related diseases.
Outside of nuts and legumes, seeds are also excellent foods to ensure your eye’s health. Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds are all rich sources of omega-3’s and vitamin E.
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits all contain high levels of vitamin C which like vitamin E is a rich antioxidant that helps fight age-related eye damage. Whether eating these fruits or consuming their juices, making sure you consume them can help protect your eyes from cataracts, macular degeneration and more.
Lean Meat, Poultry, and Eggs
High levels of zinc can be found in many meats. Zinc helps the body bring vitamin A from your liver right to your retina, acting as a protective pigment melanin. Many shellfish like oysters contain more zinc than other meats, but that doesn’t mean you need to love shellfish to get this nutrient. Beef, pork, chicken, and turkey are all great sources of zinc.
Eggs operate differently than meat but still involve zinc. Eggs contain zinc, but they also have lutein and zeaxanthin found in their yolk. The zinc in the egg helps your body utilize the lutein and zeaxanthin. The yellow-orange color of the compound acts as a shield, blocking blue light from attacking your retina. Eggs also contain vitamin C and E.
Sweet Potatoes and Carrots
Orange-colored vegetables including sweet potatoes and carrots are rich sources of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that improves night vision. Outside of this, sweet potatoes also contain more than half of the vitamin C your body needs in a day as well as a little under half of the vitamin E it needs.
Taking care of your vision goes far beyond just wearing glasses to reduce eyestrain and putting on sunglasses when you’re out in the sun. It includes living a healthy lifestyle that eliminates harmful products from your body while putting vision healthy foods in. At First Eye Care McKinney, your vision and eye health are our top priority, and we are here to inform you of the proper ways to ensure your health.