I take my vision health seriously. I always wear sunglasses when I’m outside and follow all the directions on my contact lenses (even when I’m really tired and don’t feel like taking them out).
Recently, I discovered superfoods for eye health and was absolutely thrilled! I believe in using nutrition as much as possible to prevent problems in the future. Since you’re reading this, I think you likely do, too!
Foods that have high levels of vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and vitamin E have been proven to fight age-related macular degeneration and cataracts in multiple scientific studies. Here are some of the best natural sources you can add to your eating plan right now.
1. Carrots are consider the “go to” superfood for eye health and they’re an excellent source of beta-carotene. This nutrient is converted into vitamin A and you need plenty of it for healthy skin, your immune system, strong mucus membranes, and vision.
2. Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines) offer essential compounds such as omega-3 that the American diet is sorely lacking. Children who consume enough omega-3 foods have better visual development. These delicious fish also preserve eye health and even help keep your eyeballs more lubricated. Omega-3 lowers your risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) later in life and is heart-protective. If you don’t eat seafood, consider adding flaxseed or currant seed oil to your diet.
Children who consume enough omega-3 foods have better visual development. #EyeHealthClick To Tweet
3. Citrus is chock full of free-radical fighters such as vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and so much more. Oranges, lemons, tangerines, berries, and grapefruits are well-known sources but consider searching out camu camu fruit for a many times more powerful nutrient punch! Vitamin C is essential for eye health and researchers recommend you get quite a lot of it through your diet.
4. Nuts (especially almonds) and seeds (such as flaxseed) are powerful sources of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids that help to slow the damage already done to your eyes. Vitamin E is a natural aid to lower and maintain cholesterol levels in the body while protecting you on the cellular level from oxidation damage.
5. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and greens are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin. The combination of the two have been proven to slow age-related macular degeneration. Eating them with a healthy fat (such as a homemade dressing with an olive oil base) helps your body absorb more of the total health benefits such as protecting your bones and boosting your immune system.
6. Tomatoes are one of the best sources of lutein and canned (organic) sources have an even higher content of this valuable nutrient. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C along with other great superfoods for eye health are bell peppers, pumpkin, and cantaloupe.
7. Legumes include black-eyed peas, lentils, peanuts, and many types of beans. They’ve got an abundance of zinc, which helps protect your eyes from light damage. Scientists have also proven that zinc benefits your night vision and may slow the development of cataracts. Zinc helps your body absorb vitamin A.
8. Grass-fed meats, liver (I know what you’re thinking), and oysters are excellent sources of zinc. Free range poultry, shellfish, and organic dairy products are also good choices. Zinc is a crucial nutrient used by your immune system to prevent colds and speed healing. It also helps to balance hormones and maintain glucose levels.
9. Eggs (particularly the yolks) are a healthy fat with incredible health benefits for your entire body. Your brain loves these complete proteins and they have lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin A that helps protect against night blindness. There’s a lot of misinformation about eggs but you can eat them without guilt or worry. Despite a lot of propaganda about eggs and high cholesterol, that’s been disproven with current science.
Other than adding these eye health superfoods to your diet, there are other things you can do to protect your vision.
- Quit smoking or keep trying to quit smoking. Tobacco smoke greatly increases your risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage. The risk to your heart and the possibility of developing cancer make this a top priority. Experts found that the more you try to quit, the more likely you’ll ultimately be successful so don’t give up!
- Practice safe technology use. If you work at a computer, spend long periods of time on your phone, or watch more than an hour or two of television per day, make sure to look away from it periodically to allow your eyes to adjust. Always adjust the background lighting to the lowest comfortable setting on your laptop, tablet, or phone to limit blue light exposure. Blue light is actually more damaging to your long-term vision than sunlight since it’s higher on the light spectrum. This type of eye damage is a growing epidemic in our technological age.
- Keep your prescriptions up to date. Don’t wait until you can’t see or experience horrible headaches to go to the doctor. While the actual eyeglasses can be expensive, you’ll find many lower-cost (without sacrificing quality) options online.
Superfoods for eye health make sense (like they do for total body health). Start eating these delicious options today for better vision years into your future.Superfoods for eye health makes sense... like they do for total body health! #ProtectYourVisionClick To Tweet