Every part of the human body affects every other part. For example, although diet and exercise relate primarily to the overall health, performance, and appearance of the body, they also affect eye health. In a large human clinical trial, the National Eye Institute linked lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc to reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a disease of the eye that affects the central portion of the eye, the macula, that is responsible for your sharp, central vision.
Everyone stands at a high risk of losing some level of eyesight as they age, but there are things we can do to reduce our risk of developing AMD. The study mentioned above shows promising results linking diet to eye health. Finding out what healthy foods promote healthy vision matters. In this blog, we explain where to find all the key nutrients for improved eye health.
We’ve created a pie chart for you to remember the best foods for your eyes. Click below for more details as to why these foods are good for your eyes!
1. Leafy Green Vegetables
2. Fatty Fish
3. Lean Meat & Poultry
4. Orange Colored Fruits & Veggies
5. Beans & Legumes
As a bonus, check out the video below with recipes for 3 different vitamin infused smoothies. This is a great way to get a boost for your eyes!
Dark Leafy Greens
Unquestionably one of the healthiest foods you can eat, dark leafy greens have close ties with eye health. They contain ample vitamins C and E, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. To get the ocular benefits of these nutrients, eat more of the following:
As an added bonus, try broccoli and brussel sprouts. These may not fit in the category of “leafy greens,” but these green veggies come with the winning nutritional combination of vitamins A (in the form of lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene), C, and E.
Fatty fish has a reputation for high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These fatty acids, although not linked positively to improved ocular performance, can help prevent other issues: low levels of these fatty acids have been linked to dry eyes. Some great fatty fishes are listed below:
Lean Meat and Poultry
Lean meat and poultry contain high levels of zinc. That zinc brings vitamin A from your liver all the way up to your retina. Increased visual vitality follows from that vitamin infusion. Regular, moderate consumption of the following meats and legumes offer this eye opening benefit:
Orange Colored Fruits and Vegetables
You might have heard the rumor that carrots help you see in the dark. While that old tale may not be exactly true, orange colored fruits and vegetables are high in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A. When the eye gets enough vitamin A it can more easily adjust to darkness.
In addition to carrots, try some of the following:
- Sweet Potatoes
One fruit you shouldn’t forget is oranges, of course. We just wanted to make special note that oranges and other citrus fruit have high levels of vitamin C, which helps maintain eye pressure and normalize blood pressure.
Beans and Legumes
Chickpeas, peanuts, wax beans, and other legumes contain low fat and high fiber. They offer holistic and healthy protein infused nutrients. Not only that, but they contain high levels of zinc, which means great vitamin A concentration in the retina. Try some of the following beans and legumes.
- Black-eyed peas
- Kidney beans
The lesson here is simple: eat healthy for healthier eyes.
A well-balanced and healthy lifestyle ensures greater overall health, including eye health. Luckily, most overall dietary recommendations for a healthy lifestyle apply to the question of vision improvement as well. With everything listed above to look out for, remember to avoid sodium, saturated fats, and sugar for a more generalized healthy diet. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well.
Try making these smoothies at home to get a ton of your recommended vitamins for good eye health:
In addition to the various recommendations for a diet focused on healthy eyes, many other factors contribute to eye health. For example, quit smoking, get regular eye exams, and avoid prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) and high-energy blue light. Avoiding the harmful light emitted by the sun and digital screens can be challenging, however. Learn more about how to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV and blue light here!