Best Foods For Eye Health – 15 Foods To Boost Your Vision
Did you know eating certain foods can actually improve your eyesight, slow down the ageing of your eyes and keep your eyes in good health?
Certain nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, omega 3 essential fatty acids, and zinc have been proven to benefit the eyes and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vision problems including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have been shown to occur less frequently in people who eat diets rich in vitamins and minerals.
Here’s our guide on how different types of food can improve eye health.
The Best Foods For Eye Health – Nutrition For Your Vision
So there’s more to eye nutrition than just carrots! From Kale to Grapefruit, here are 15 foods that can improve your eye health:
Eating oily fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon is great for both your eye and overall health.
These fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and studies have shown these are essential for vision development in children.
Studies also suggest omega-3 fatty acids also help protect adults suffering from dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts.
If you’re not a fan of seafood, then fish oil supplements will also do the trick.
Rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamins, kale is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, and is the top combo of both lutein and zeaxanthin.
Just one cup of kale contains 23.8 mg of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, but boiling raw kale can reduce the number of nutrients, so it’s best to eat it raw to get the most out of it.
We’ve all heard the saying “eating carrots will help you see in the dark” and this is in fact true – to a certain extent!
Carrots contain vitamin A, which helps with night vision and protects the eyes by helping to absorb light.
Increased levels of vitamin A mean your eyes can absorb more energy and become more sensitive in dim light.
Eating carrots can also help prevent cataracts, AMD and corneal ulcers.
The vitamins and nutrients found in eggs, which include lutein and vitamin A (which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes), promote eye health and function.
The diet of the laying hens can also have an impact on the nutritional quality of the eggs laid, with free-range hens laying eggs that are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than those of caged hens, so make sure you opt for the free-range option.
5. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and berries are high in vitamin C, which may reduce the risk of cataracts and AMD and contain anti-inflammatory properties which have been proven to support the healthy functioning of the eyes.
6. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, with a 100-gram serving containing as much as 234% of your recommended daily intake.
Sunflower seeds are also a rich source of protein, dietary fibre, and many B vitamins, as well as magnesium, manganese, and zinc, and numerous studies have shown a number of these vitamins can significantly lower the risk of cataracts.
7. Various Nuts
Pistachios, walnuts, and almonds are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost your eye health.
One handful of nuts is high in protein and provides about half of your daily dose of vitamin E, and some research has even linked the regular consumption of almonds to a lowered risk of heart disease by lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
Not only is turkey a healthy lean meat that is a great source of protein, it’s also loaded with zinc and niacin, which have been proven to help with cataracts.
9. Beans & Pulses
Kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils and even baked beans are a reliable source of protein and dietary fibre but are also chocked full of bioflavonoids and zinc — both of which can help protect the retina and lower the risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
In moderation, lean beef in your diet can boost your eye health.
Along with a high amount of iron and vitamin B12, beef contains more than 20% of your daily recommended dose of zinc, which helps your body absorb vitamin A and may play a role in reducing the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.
Broccoli contains eye-boosting beta-carotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help delay the onset of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Boiling broccoli can significantly reduce the number of available vitamins and minerals available for use, so steaming, microwaving or stir-frying is recommended to get the most out of your greens.
12. Bell Peppers
Peppers come in all different colours and contain numerous nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin – all of which have been shown to improve eyesight and maintain eye structure.
Red peppers and yellow peppers are green peppers that have had longer to ripen, which can change their nutritional content, with both yellow and red peppers having almost twice as much vitamin C and nine times as much beta-carotene as their less mature sibling.
Tomatoes are packed with carotenoids, including lycopene, which helps give tomatoes their vibrant red colour.
Research shows that lycopene helps prevent light-induced damage to the retina and other areas of the eye.
Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C, another eye protector, with 100g of raw tomato containing around 17% of the recommended daily amount.
Sweetcorn is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin.
The macular region of the eye has a high concentration of these substances, which implies they play an important role in keeping your eyes healthy.
15. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes provide beta carotene, just like carrots, and may help slow the progress of macular degeneration.
Your body converts this into vitamin A, which is the nutrient that helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Beta carotene and vitamin A also help reduce the risk of eye infections.
They also contain 24% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, which may help to protect against cataracts and help prevent the progression of macular degeneration.
The Bottom Line
A healthy diet not only contributes to a healthy weight but also healthy eyes.
While taking steps to maintain good eye health can start with external actions, like wearing sunglasses and having regular check-ups with your eye doctor, your diet can play a significant part in your lowering your risk of developing vision problems later on in life.
Eating a diet high in vitamin C, vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids will not only help you stay healthy but could also prevent you from suffering from a number of eye diseases and health conditions.
So make sure you’re eating the right foods for your eye health!