Keeping your eyes healthy requires much more than just visiting your local optometrist or ophthalmologist. Your daily habits play a huge role in keeping your eyes in the optimal condition. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to prevent eye health problems in the future. To decrease the risk of future eye problems, here are 10 nutrient-rich foods that will help boost your eye health as well as your overall health.
1. Fish or Omega-3
Including omega-3 fatty acids from fish in your diet, may help reduce the risk of developing eye health problems in the future. Omega-3 is also good for tear production. If you're suffering from dry eyes, eating fish may help! Some fish you should consider including in your next meal:
Carrots are a well-known source of Vitamin A. Have your parents ever told you to eat more carrots to see better? Vitamin A is especially good for your retina, which is the back of your eye. Your retina needs plenty of vitamin A to help turn light rays into the images we see. In addition to carrots, there are other foods/fruits that are good sources of Vitamin A:
Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is critical to eye health. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect the body from damage caused by some things we eat, unhealthy habits and environmental factors. Fried foods, tobacco smoke and the sun's rays can damage and kill cells. Vitamin C helps repair and grow new tissue cells. Antioxidants can prevent or at least delay age-related macular degeneration and even cataracts! Additional sources of Vitamin C when you don't have oranges lying around include:
Red Bell Peppers
4. Leafy Greens
Any leafy green vegetable that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants found in the color of leafy green vegetables and other brightly colored foods. These antioxidants are key to protecting the macula, which is the central area of the eye that provides the most detailed vision. Kale and spinach have plenty of these nutrients. Other greens with useful amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin are:
5. Nuts & Legumes
Like fish, nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain a high level of vitamin E, which helps keep cells healthy. Legumes or beans are high in zinc. Zinc helps keep the retina (back of your eye) healthy and may protect your eyes from the damaging effects of light. Good examples of nuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews & peanuts. Different types of beans that are rich in zinc are: black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lentils and lima beans. Other foods high in zinc are:
Lean Red Meat
Like nuts and legumes, seeds are high in omega-3s and rich in Vitamin E. Some seeds high in omega-3 are:
These are just a few nutrients that will help maintain healthy eyes! Making sure to keep yourself and your eyes healthy is instrumental for a better quality of life! Remember, your eyes are the window to your health. Visiting our doctors for an eye exam is only 50% of the journey, the rest is up to you! A healthy lifestyle means healthy eyes, or vice versa!