There’s more to eye nutrition than just carrots. Good vision and healthy eyes start with what you eat. Diet and eye health are inextricably linked; what you eat affects how well you see. A proper diet will reduce the risk of any potential vision loss, and eating healthy will help protect your eyes from degenerative diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts. Here’s what to put on your plate to boost your eye health and protect your vision.
Our bodies are made up of billions of individual cells, with each one serving a necessary function within the body. All parts of the body are continually being regenerated, as old cells are replaced by new ones. Therefore, it is essential that those new cells are as healthy as possible. Research indicates that eye tissue regeneration and age-related eye degeneration can be significantly affected by nutrition. You can help keep your eyes healthier by eating foods that are rich in certain vitamins and nutrients.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale contain high levels of vitamins and mineral nutrients that act as antioxidants. Spinach in particular is a veritable superfood that contains vitamin C and beta-carotene that protect the eyes from harmful blue light, and can lessen the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Other fruits and vegetables you need to include in your diet are: peppers (particularly green peppers), tomatoes, blueberries, and citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and kiwis, which contain high levels of vitamin C. This vitamin is a major component that promotes healthy eyes because it keeps the blood vessels healthy. And finally, while they won’t help you see better, carrots will protect your overall eye health.
WHOLE GRAINS AND PROTEIN
Whole grains contain high contents of antioxidant vitamins as well as mineral nutrients such as selenium, copper, and zinc. Foods such as oats, cereal, bread, pasta and rice should make up around one third of everything you eat. Always choose brown over white, wholegrain or wholemeal. Zinc is also found in red meat and is a great vitamin for eye health because it delivers vitamin A to the retina from the liver, and also helps your eyes see in the dark. The vitamin E found in peanuts, almonds, and cashews is found to protect the eye’s cells from breaking down. Fatty acids found in fish, especially salmon, sardines, and herring, protect the tiny blood vessels in the eye and can prevent dry eye syndrome.
Taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can help fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet. It is always recommended that you check with your optometrist first before taking any dietary supplement. However, always remember, the key word is ‘supplement’, i.e. to add to your diet. Supplements aren’t a replacement for eating a combination of healthy foods.
Fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin A, C, D, and E will give your eyes a healthy boost. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish are also excellent. Making these foods a part of your daily diet will ensure you’re getting sufficient nutrition to promote optimal eye health and clarity of vision.
You know what else is critical to your eye health? Having a regular check up at your local optometrist. If you’re aged 19 to 64, you need a check up at least once every two years. If you’re under or over this age group, you need an eye exam at least once a year. At iSight Optometry, we use advanced techniques to provide comprehensive testing, diagnosis, and treatment options to suit every individual need. We also have one of the largest selections of frames and sunglasses for men, women, and children.