Remember when your mom nagged you to eat all of the carrots on your dinner plate because they “helped keep your eyes healthy?” My mom also told me that if I made funny faces that it might freeze that way. Well, while she may have been wrong about the frozen ugly face she was definitely right about certain food promoting a healthy body and ultimately healthy vision. I know you hate to hear it, but, your mom was right about those carrots at dinner. The Beta-carotene (a type of vitamin A) in carrots and other orange veggies promotes good eye health specifically aiding the retina and other parts of the eye to function smoothly. But eating for good eye sight is not just about orange veggies or Beta-carotene. Let’s look at some of the other foods that help promote good eye health.
- Oranges. Oranges and all of their citrus cousins — grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons — are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that is critical to eye health. Scientists have found that your eyes need relatively high levels of vitamin C to function properly, and antioxidants can prevent or at least delay cataracts and AMD. (Source: Eye Smart)
- Kale and Spinach – One cup of either of these cooked veggies is packed with more than 20 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin—two nutrients that do wonders for your eyes. These nutrients have been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. (Source: US News and World Report)
- Nuts and Seeds – Just one ounce of sunflower seeds or almonds could get you 1/3 the daily allowance of vitamin E that can protect the cells in our eyes from free radicals and slows the progression of cataracts and age-related macular generation.
- Fish – Salmon, tuna, mackerel or anchovies are filled with essential fatty acids that do your whole body good, including your eyes, Some studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acid from cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut reduce the risk of developing eye disease later in life. A 2010 study from Johns Hopkins found that people who had a diet high in omega-3 fatty acid were much less likely to develop AMD. (Source: Eye Smart)
- Olive Oil– A diet that is low in trans and saturated fat helps prevent retina diseases. Several studies suggest that a Mediterranean-style diet (fish, plant-based foods, and healthy fats) is recommended for healthy vision. Not only is olive oil free of trans fats and is low in saturated fat. (Source: Cooking Light)