Eat These Foods for Healthy Eyes
Submitted by Elman Retina Group on February 15, 2020
A healthy diet is important to more than just your waistline. Research suggests that eating certain eye-friendly foods helps protect your eyes from diseases, so you can enjoy clear vision longer. Here, the team at Elman Retina Group reveals the foods you should eat to promote excellent ocular health.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and turnip greens are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help make up the macular pigment that protects the macula, the area of the eye responsible for clear central vision.
Eating a lot of these leafy greens is believed to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. Other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include eggs, peas and corn.
Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Orange-colored fruits and vegetables, including carrots, apricots and sweet potatoes, are chock-full of beta-carotene, a nutrient essential to healthy eyes and clear vision. Our bodies convert beta-carotene to vitamin A, which helps with low light vision and color vision, and helps the eyes stay moist enough to prevent dry eye disease.
Salmon and other cold-water fish like sardines, tuna and halibut are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Omega-3s are also good for tear function and may improve the symptoms of dry eye disease.
Consuming a lot of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and other citruses is good for the eyes because they contain vitamin C. This antioxidant is crucial to the function of the eyes, and counters the risk of diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Other great sources of vitamin C include strawberries, peaches, red peppers and tomatoes.
Legumes such as kidney beans, black beans, lima beans and lentils are fantastic sources of zinc and bioflavonoids. These nutrients help protect the eyes from the damaging effects of light and reduce the risk of diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Zinc can also be found in red meat, poultry, oysters and fortified cereals.
What About Supplements?
Consuming a healthy, balanced diet is generally the best way to get the nutrients your eyes need. One exception is macular degeneration. People with the dry form of the disease are encouraged to take supplements with the AREDS/AREDS2 formula; the vitamins and minerals in these supplements have been shown to reduce the risk of dry macular degeneration advancing to wet macular degeneration, which can cause vision loss.
To learn more about these supplements or to get additional tips on keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear, contact the team at Elman Retina Group today.