Nutrition plays an important role in all aspects of well-being, including eye health. The food you eat act as building blocks and defense for your body, and without a proper foundation, your eye health will suffer. Learn what you need to eat for optimal eye health and why it’s essential to incorporate these foods into your everyday diet.
Vibrant, antioxidant-rich foods, are essential for strong eyes. The key antioxidants are lutein and zeaxanthin. Bright, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and collard greens, as well as colorful berries, are packed with these powerful nutrients that protect against damage from the sun or pollution. Incorporating brightly colored food will help prevent eye degeneration from outside stresses.
Vitamin C and E
Vitamin C is an important component for maintaining connective tissue within the body, including eye vessels. In conjunction with vitamin E, these nutrients can help prevent macular degeneration. Citrus fruit, berries, and many vegetables, like peppers, are vitamin C gold mines. Seed and nuts are a good source of Vitamin E. Include these foods in your diet to protect your eye health.
The old adage—carrots are good for your eyes, is true. This is thanks to beta carotene, a nutrient that produces a deep orange or yellow color. Other foods, like sweet potatoes and squashes, are rich in beta carotene. Beta carotene’s power lies in its ability to transform into vitamin A. In regards to eye health, vitamin A is essential for night vision. Without enough Vitamin A, the eyes struggle to adjust to the change in light. Furthermore, it aids in disease prevention, immune support, stronger bones, and healthier skin, nails, and hair.
For overall eye health, zinc is essential. Referred to as the “helper molecule” zinc transports vitamin A, stored in the liver, to the retina, where it converts into melanin. Melanin is pigmentation that defends the eye from damage. Lack of zinc can cause cataracts and poor vision. Oysters and turkey are amazing sources of zinc. Peanuts, many types of meats and whole grains also contain good amounts of zinc.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Many praise omega-3’s for protecting the heart and brain from degeneration. Omega-3’s tame inflammation and help cells work more efficiently, which translates to eye health. Eating a minimum of two serving of fish a week can boost your omega-3 levels. Focus on eating salmon, sardines, and herring for the most potent sources. Walnuts are a great option for vegetarians and vegans.
Want to speak with an eye doctor about your eye health? Book an appointment with a Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor today. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule your next session online.