You already know the importance of eating healthy. However, did you also know that certain foods can promote good eye health? In the National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) it was found that nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids are essential for eye health. If you aren’t eating them already, here are some eye-healthy foods that the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends adding to your diet.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens like broccoli, collards, kale, peas, romaine lettuce, and spinach are loaded with eye-friendly lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help protect the eye’s macula.
Vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A. This vitamin helps keep your retinas healthy and it also helps prevent dry eye.
Eating eggs can help reduce your risk of age-related vision loss. They are a great source of lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and vitamins C and E.
Fish oil from cold-water fish species are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that can help prevent or reverse dry eye. The fish with the highest levels of omega-3s are:
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and high levels of vitamin E that can prevent age-related eye damage. Those that are good for maintaining your eye health include:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Hemp Seeds
Fruits and Vegetables High in Vitamin C
Citrus fruits like grapefruit, lemons, and oranges are loaded with vitamin C. This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps repair damaged cells and grow new ones and can help prevent or delay cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. If you do not like or cannot eat citrus, you can also get plenty of vitamin C from peaches, strawberries, red bell peppers, and tomatoes.
Beans and Legumes
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart…well you know the rest. But did you know they are loaded with zinc that is essential for eye health? Zinc helps keep your retinas healthy and may protect your eyes from light damage. There are plenty of types of beans and legumes to choose from, including:
- Black beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Lima beans
- Kidney beans
Eating a healthy diet is only part of the recipe for healthy eyes. You also need to have your eyes examined to catch any changes in your eye health as early as possible. Call the Valley Eyecare Center R (602) 955-02700 to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.