You know a steaming bowl of oats in the morning lowers your risk for heart disease, that lycopene-rich tomato protects you from cancer-causing free radicals. What about our eyes? They’ll benefit from healthy food, too! If eye health is something you neglect when you’re young, you are facing the risks of macular degeneration and cataracts in your old age.
The National Eye Institute has conducted a large-scale study and found that certain nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat help strengthen our eyesight and protect them from various diseases. These nutrients include beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E.
What Foods are Best for Eye Health?
Some foods are more nutritionally beneficial to the eyes than others. The American Optometric Association names the following foods as the go-to for eye nutrition.
The most popular food for eye health, and appropriately so! Carrots pack on beta-carotene, an antioxidant that strengthens night vision. But do you know that carrots are loaded with lycopene and lutein, too? These are the nutrients you need to fight cataracts and macular degeneration, respectively.
For super beta-carotene boost, don’t stop at carrots. Other rich-colored fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potato, kale, papaya, and winter squash should be on your plate, too.
Salmon and Other Fatty Fish
Eye doctors at the top Houston facility, Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, encourage LASIK patients to consume omega-3s before and after laser eye surgery. Studies show that EPA and DHA, two important omega-3 fats, protect you against dry eyes and also aid visual development and retinal function. You can get your omega-3s from cold water fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel.
Much has been debated about relationship of eggs and cholesterol levels, but eye doctors everywhere agree that eating eggs are good for the eyes. That’s because eggs contain cysteine and sulfur, which protect your eyes from cataract formation. The yolk is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, the things you need to fight macular degeneration.
Vitamin C protects not just your skin from UV ray damage, but also your eyes. According to studies, you need to consume as much as 300 milligrams of citrus a day to prevent cataract formation, so load up on oranges and other citrus fruits, as well as mango, strawberries, blueberries, papaya, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and red bell peppers.
Spinach packs a punch as it comes packaged with four essential eye nutrients: beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C. Eating spinach regularly means you have sunscreen-like protection for your eyes, reducing your risk for cataracts and AMD.
Boost your night vision by adding zinc to your diet. Zinc aids functioning of enzymes responsible for healthy eyes. It is found in great amounts in the liver as well as oysters, beans, whole grains, ostrich, garbanzos, milk, red meat, turkey, tofu, black-eyed peas, and sunflower seeds.
Almonds pack on a lot of vitamin E, which studies show slow down macular degeneration. Just a handful provides the recommended daily dose of vitamin E.
Houston LASIK & Eye leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS, and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston LASIK & Eye, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478.