Food for healthy eyes
Remember that scene? When your mom once piled carrots on your plate, claiming sternly that they will improve your eyesight? Well, she wasn’t wrong.
There are many other foods that are also great for the eyes. They contain vitamins and nutrients known as antioxidants that are important for keeping your eyes in good health.
While these foods may not have you throwing your prescription glasses out the window any time soon, they help to prevent many age-related eye diseases like macular degeneration, which can lead to loss of vision, cataracts, and poor night vision.
Fishes like salmon, tuna, sardine, mackerel, and cod contain omega-3 fatty acids. These are “healthy fats” that can contribute to visual development and healthy retinal functions. They can also prevent dry eyes.
Green vegetables like kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and broccoli are packed with the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These two nutrients are known to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
These vegetables easily make a great salad base, or can be blended to make green smoothies.
For breakfast lovers, or those who just aren’t fans of green vegetables. Eggs are also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as zinc and vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for nourishing the cornea – the clear cover over the front of your eyes – and zinc is necessary for a healthy retina.
And, dessert! Dark chocolate may be high in fat and sugar, but when eaten in moderation, it is a healthy source of copper, which prevents optic nerve damage, and flavonoids, which help to maintain a healthy cornea and blood vessels in the eye.
Choose a dark chocolate that is at least 70% - 80% cocoa. And no, Cadbury chocolate doesn’t count.
Carrots & orange/yellow fruits and vegetables
Inevitably, this list just has to wrap with Bugs Bunny’s favourite food. Carrots – and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables – like sweet potatoes, squash, and apricots, are rich in Vitamin A and beta carotene. Beta carotene is essential in strengthening eye health and vision, decreasing the risk of macular degeneration.
Carrots and apricots also make great snacks, while sweet potatoes and squash have been growing in popularity as healthy substitutes to fries.
Beyond a diet that is high in antioxidants, an active lifestyle, and good eye care habits, regular visits to your eye doctor and wearing sunglasses outdoors can also go a long way in protecting your eyes.