When it comes to having healthy eyes, you need to have a healthy lifestyle. Your eyes are always exposed to the elements, which is why they need proper care at all times. Exercise, good diet, regular visits to an eye doctor, and wearing prescription sunglasses are all good ways to protect your eyes.
When it comes to foods that are good for your eyesight it takes more eating more than just carrots. There are lots of foods that are nutrient-rich and will give your eyes the right support. While your parents were right when they insisted you eat those carrots (which are rich in beta-carotene, a good source of vitamin A which is beneficial to your eyes) there are other foods that will help help as well
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables like kale are high in lutein which will help contribute to healthy eyes. Read more about the Benefits of Regular Eye Exams. Lutien is known to lower the risk of developing various age-related eye conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration. In a study, women who are known to have lutein in their diet were proven to be 23% less likely to develop cataracts compared to women who consumed less of the nutrient. Other dark leafy vegetables including romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, collards, and arugula are great choices that contain lutein.
2. Citrus and Berries
Citrus (oranges, grapefruits, lemons…) as well as, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries …) are great sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial in boosting your immunity and reducing your chances of developing cataracts. Vitamin C is also important in regenerating other nutrients in the eyes like Vitamin E.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A—one serving provides double the recommended daily amount. This essential vitamin is used by the eyes to maintain good vision. The beta-carotene in the vegetable is converted to vitamin A in the liver and then goes on to combine with a protein called opsin to form rhodopsin. This substance is needed for night and color vision. Regular consumption of carrots may also help to protect the eyes from age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Learn more about how Blue Light Can Contribute to Macular Degeneration.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E works together to keep tissue healthy. However, you may not get enough vitamin E from the food that you consume. To boost your vitamin E reserves, eat a handful of almonds every day. They're filled with vitamin E, which slows macular degeneration, research has shown. One handful (an ounce) provides about half of your daily dose of E.
Rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, eggs are a fantastic source of zinc which is a excellent nutrient that can help reduce macular degeneration. It is considered one of the healthiest breakfast foods to help you start your day. Eggs are a good source of protein and will provide other nutrients like omega 3s and vitamin E. Load up on eggs for protein and healthy eyes.
Fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, trout, and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids DHA. This nutrient is concentrated in your eye’s retina and provides structural support to the cell membranes which achieve healthy eyes, as well as, protect retinal function. Research suggests that eating fish can reduce macular degeneration. In fact, those who consume large amounts of these animal-based omega 3 fats have a 60% lower risk of developing advanced macular degeneration in comparison to those who consume less. Some studies have found that fish oil can help reverse dry eye. Even if you don't like to eat fish, Dr. Johnson recommends a high quality fish oil supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Learn more about Dr. Johnson's Modern Approach to Eye Exams.
7. Sweet Potatos
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber, just like carrots, so they're also good for your eye health. The sweet flavor makes sweet potatoes a hit at mealtime, so it's easy to get all that good nutrition into your diet, even if you're a picky eater.
Serve baked sweet potatoes with olive oil, or a touch of a sweet glaze or top with baked beans, onions, cooked spinach or nuts. Take a break from regular French fries and make sweet potato fries instead, with a little bit of molasses drizzled on the top.
8. Black-Eyed Peas and Other Legumes
All kinds of legumes like black-eyed peas, lima beans, kidney beans, and peanuts contain zinc, an essential trace mineral found in the eyes. Zinc can help provide protection from the damaging effects of light in your eyes. Other food that is high in zinc include lean red meat, oysters, poultry, and cereals.
9. Whole Grains
It turns out whole grains are not only good for your waistline; they contain vitamin E, niacin and zinc, which provide many benefits for the eyes. Not only do they reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, but they also reduce the likelihood of blood sugar spikes that could damage the retina over time. The zinc in whole grains also protects eye tissue from light and inflammation.
A diet which contains low glycemic index (GI) can help in reducing your risk for age-related macular degeneration. You can swap refined carbohydrates for brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, and whole wheat breads.
There are plenty of other great food choices that will help keep your eyes healthy. It is important that you keep a good diet because bad health choices can easily affect your eyes and vision. Also, remember to always have annual eye exams to check the health of your eyes.