Studies show that our diet is a lifestyle factor that affects our eye health in the long run.
Our vision through our eyes helps to assess what we perceive and make us more safe and secured.
Our eyes deserve the utmost care.
In this article, you’ll learn about foods you can include in your diet for good eyes, eyesight, and vision.
Foods for healthy eyes
Around 250 million people suffer from various degrees of vision loss globally.
This vision loss is a result of:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and
- Diabetic retinopathy
The food you eat matters.
Eating the right foods can improve your vision and protect your eyes from deterioration.
To have a healthy pair of eyes, the American Optometric Association recommends that you consume foods rich in:
- Vitamin B-complex
- Vitamin C,
- Also, Vitamin A and Vitamin E
- Omega-3 fatty acids, and
- Lutein and zeaxanthin
Foods to eat for good eyes and healthy vision?
1. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of Vitamin A.
This nutrient helps prevent the disease condition called Xerophthalmia or night blindness.
Examples of Vitamin A-rich leafy vegetables are spinach, kale, lettuce, and chard.
These vegetables are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin – the yellow carotenoid antioxidants.
Studies show that lutein and zeaxanthin are significantly related to the prevention of age-related cataract and retinal diseases.
But there’s even more.
Green leafy vegetables contain B-complex vitamins as well.
B vitamins reduce the level of homocysteine, a toxic end-product of metabolism that damages blood vessels.
If you have a high blood level of homocysteine, your eyes may be at risk of developing AMD.
A study suggests that increasing the intake of B-vitamins can reduce the risk of progressive Geographic atrophy (GA).
It can also reduce atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or advanced dry AMD.
Carrots are rich sources of vitamin A and beta carotene.
Both nutrients are essential for eye health in terms of preventing eye infections.
A meta-analysis study revealed a significant association between beta carotene and vitamin A as protective nutrients against cataract
Seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.
EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids that are important for your eye health.
A study suggests that these omega-3 fatty acids are effective treatments for dry eye disease.
Another study looked into mice’s vision.
The results were published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Researchers found that DHA prevents age-related vision loss in lab mice.
Seeds also contain vitamin E, which helps protect eye cells from deterioration caused by free radicals.
Free radicals increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). They also increase cataract formation.
Seeds high in omega-3 and vitamin E are flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.
4. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C — which is also an antioxidant.
Examples are oranges, lemon, mandarins, grapefruits, bergamots, and limes.
These fruits are critical to keeping your eye’s blood vessels healthy.
Nutrients from citrus fruits can also fight against the development of cataracts.
Also, it can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
You can be creative with your citrus fruits! You can extract its juice, peel it as a snack, or add them to a fruit salad and to some dishes.
Fish like salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
These protect your eyes from inflammation.
6. Red meat
Red meat is a good source of zinc.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that transports vitamin A from the liver to the eye retina for melanin production.
Melanin is a primary protective pigment of our eyes.
Zinc is ordinary in different kinds of meat. Ample amounts of this mineral are mostly found in beef, lamb, and pork.
This treatment can also be used in improving the visual acuity of people with AMD.
7. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called vitamin E.
This helps prevents the breakdown of healthy tissues caused by free radicals.
But that’s not all. This orange tuber is also rich in beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body.
This nutrient aids in the prevention of dry eyes, night blindness, and other eye infections.
8. Dairy products
Milk, cheese, and yogurt are examples of dairy products that are good for the eyes since they contain vitamin A and zinc.
This is because Vitamin A protects the cornea while zinc transports the vitamin from the liver to the eye.
9. Nuts and legumes
Bioflavonoids may be useful in the prevention or treatment of vision loss.
Also, nuts such as peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and almonds also contain vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc.
Eggs, be it from a chicken, turkey, duck, or any fowl contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that are essential for eye protection.
These are found in the yolk of an egg. The egg yolk also contains vitamin A which helps protect the eye’s surface called the cornea.
11. Green tea
The green tea extract contains potent anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
In an in vivo study, catechin shows its effectiveness in combating retinal degeneration in rats.
Another study confirms that the consumption of green tea is an effective and safe treatment for mild and moderate evaporative dry eyes and MGD.
Several studies have linked food nutrition to eye health. Certain nutrients can help prevent several eye conditions.
Whether it’s dry eyes, cataracts, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the right nutrition helps.
Eat a proper and balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats.
This will nourish not just your eyes, but also your body as a whole.