When it comes to protecting your eyesight and vision, what you eat may have a significant impact on what you see. Which is why, our ancestors have always insisted on eating foods that are not only beneficial for just one part of the body, but for our overall health. And when it comes to vision, certain vitamins and minerals that can be found in various foods play an important role in preventing two common causes of vision problems – cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
That is why, it is imperative to take care of your eyes in the best possible manner to avoid any vision woes later. And for this, we have compiled a list of 6 best foods that’ll help you achieve those healthy eyes gradually.
Why is Good Nutrition a Prerequisite for Good Vision?
Some nutrients keep our eye health at optimum levels and also reduce the risk of eye diseases. Eating a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, pulses, and whole grains facilitate not only our cardiovascular health, but also our eyes. And this isn’t surprising as our eyes rely on those tiny, thread-like arteries for nutrients and oxygen, just as the heart relies on the larger veins and arteries. It’s all connected, and by consuming a well-balanced diet, keeping those arteries healthy will only improve our eye health even better.
Foods for Eye Health
Maintaining a well-balanced, healthy diet is key to keeping your eyes healthy, and may help reduce the risk of developing life-threatening health conditions. And these can be avoided if you include foods that are rich in vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, all important antioxidants and nutrients. These antioxidants eliminate oxidants that can negatively affect your eye health in many ways.
Eating a meal with a variety of proteins, fruits, dairy, and vegetables is the key focus here. In fact, you can even try incorporating many types of foods in various colours – known as rainbow eating. At the same time, you should avoid eating unhealthy foods that are high in sugar, saturated fats, or the ones that are processed.
So, without further delay, let us look at some of the best foods you can eat for optimum vision care.
Yeah, Bugs Bunny taught us right! Carrots are well-known for achieving a healthy vision. They are full of vitamin A and beta-carotene that help the surface of the eye and also help prevent eye infections and other serious vision conditions.
In fact, carrots are just so easy on the go. You can either keep julienne whole carrots or keep a zip-lock bag of baby carrots handy for an afternoon or mid-evening snack. For more flavour, you can also toss them in soups and salads for added nutrition, or shred them and make yummy muffins or pancakes out of them.
Behold the power of beets! These are a compact powerhouse of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are extremely beneficial for the human eye and prevent eye-related diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration – an important health concern among the elderly.
This is one of the richest natural sources of anthocyanins. A shrub native to Northern Europe, bilberry is also known as European blueberry, huckleberry, and blueberry. According to a recent study, bilberry promises potential value for improving eye vision, apart from lowering blood glucose and improving the immune system. Just pop in 4-5 of these in your diet and you are certainly good to go.
Nuts & Legumes
Nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which help our vision from age-related damage. Incorporating a couple of these in your daily diet will help you maintain a clear vision and prevent early onset of any age-related vision issues. Nuts and legumes that are good for your eye health particularly include walnuts, cashews, peanuts, lentils, and Brazil nuts.
How can your diet be complete without these? Leafy green vegetables are a must in your diet if you are longing for those lovely, beautiful eyes for a long time. These are not only rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, but are also good sources of eye-friendly nutrient, vitamin C. All you need to do is include leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and green collards in your diet and you won’t have to worry about poor eyesight anymore.
Meat & Eggs
Numerous studies have identified eggs and meat to be vital for eye health.
The egg yolks contain vitamin A and zinc, which are ideal for eye health. On the other hand, fresh meat such as beef, turkey, salmon, and tuna have omega-3 fatty acids that are considered healthy fats. These contribute to overall visual development and the health of the retina in the back of the eye. Moreover, eggs and meat also help prevent dry eyes.
Along with the above-mentioned foods, you can also protect your vision with Wellbeing Nutrition’s Melts Eye Care. Filled with lutein, zeaxanthin, beetroot, NAG, and bilberry, these strips have the unison effect formula that naturally protects the eyes from retina damage, strain, and blue light irritation.
- Smith W, Mitchell P, Lazarus R. Carrots, carotene and seeing in the dark. Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1999 Jun-Aug;27(3-4):200-3. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1606.1999.00187.x. PMID: 10484191. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10484191/)
- Tudor C, Pintea A. A Brief Overview of Dietary Zeaxanthin Occurrence and Bioaccessibility. Molecules. 2020;25(18):4067. Published 2020 Sep 6. doi:10.3390/molecules25184067. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7570536/)
- Chu W, Cheung SCM, Lau RAW, et al. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 4. Available from: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92770/)
- Diet and Nutrition, American Optometric Association, (https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/diet-and-nutrition?sso=y)
- Abdel-Aal el-SM, Akhtar H, Zaheer K, Ali R. Dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids and their role in eye health. Nutrients. 2013;5(4):1169-1185. Published 2013 Apr 9. doi:10.3390/nu5041169. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705341/)