It’s no myth that our diet determines our overall health. Luckily, scientists have found several foods and nutrients that are not only beneficial for the eyes, but also help reduce the risks of failing eye health. Here are the top 5 foods you should incorporate into your daily diet in order to promote healthy eyes and vision.
Fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote visual development and retina health. These nutrients can help protect against cataracts, reverse dry eyes (including those from digital eye strain), and even prevent or reverse macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes vision loss. Fish that contain these high levels of omega-3s are tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and several others; however, if you’re not a fan of fish there are also fish oil supplements to help increase your omega-3 intake!
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and broccoli are good for promoting healthy eyesight and preventing age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. They are important because they contain a good source of eye-friendly vitamin C, and are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are necessary for eye health.
3. Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes
Nuts, seeds, and legumes are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Examples include walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, peanuts, and lentils. They all contain high levels of vitamin E which act as an antioxidant and protect the eyes from age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
4. Orange Fruits & Vegetables
Orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, orange bell peppers, and mangoes are important to incorporate into your diet because of their rich nutrients. Carrots in particular are good for the eyes since they have high levels of both Vitamin A and beta carotene. Vitamin A is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina absorb light. And beta carotene, which give carrots and other vegetables their orange color, is needed to make vitamin A.
Beef has been shown to have high levels of zinc, which has a significant correlation to better long-term eye health. Zinc can also help reduce risks with age-related eye disease and vision loss. Because the eye itself already contains high levels of zinc, specifically in the retina, it’s important to include and replenish with zinc-rich foods in your diet. Other proteins such as chicken breast and pork loins also contain zinc, however at much lower levels.
This is a bonus tip, but water is critical for eye health! Many people forget how valuable water is for every part of your body, but making sure to take in enough water is essential for keeping your eyes in good shape. Doing so can prevent dehydration and dry eyes, as well as help flush out any impurities and rehydrate your eyes to reduce eye strain.
Make sure to continuously incorporate these foods into your diet in order to maximize their benefits for your eyes.
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