Our eyes need certain nutrients, just like the rest of the organs in our body, to be healthy and serve their specific purpose of helping us see! Here are some foods that contain a good source of these nutrients that will help to prevent certain eye problems like cataracts, macular degenerations, and glaucoma.
This leafy green vegetable is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients help protect your eye tissues from damage from the sun and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Other beneficial foods containing these nutrients include dark leafy green vegetables like collard greens, turnip greens, and spinach, broccoli, peas, kiwi, red grapes, yellow squash, oranges, corn, mangoes, and honeydew melon. To ensure that your body is absorbing lutein and zeaxanthin, make sure to eat them along with healthy fats like olive or canola oil, almonds, or avocado for example.
This vegetable is a good source of beta carotene which is a nutrient that may slow the progress of macular degeneration. Once consumed, your body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, which helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Other foods that are good sources of beta carotene include carrots, butternut squash, spinach and collard greens. Similar to lutein and zeaxanthin, beta carotene and vitamin A are nutrients that are absorbed best when eaten with a little healthy fat.
Packed with vitamin C, this fruit provides antioxidants that can help lower your risk of cataracts. Other foods rich in vitamin C include bell peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit, and cantaloupe.
Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that can help prevent dry eyes and vitamin D which helps protect against macular degeneration. Other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax, and other fatty fish. Good sources of vitamin D also include sardines, milk, and orange juice fortified with vitamin D.
The antioxidants found in green tea may help lower the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Catechins found in green tea contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Other foods high in this substance include berries, red wine, and apples.
Other things that you can do to help keep your eyes healthy include wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B sunrays, keeping your blood sugar under control, quitting smoking if doing so currently, and scheduling annual eye exams. All these factors along with eating an overall healthy diet can impact your overall health and the health of your eyes.