When you think of food you can eat to improve eyesight, the most common answer that comes to mind is ‘Carrots’. But, have you ever wondered what is it about carrots that make them such a popular choice? Well, carrots contain powerful antioxidants like Vitamin A and beta-carotene which help prevent eye infections and other serious eye conditions. Other antioxidants known to benefit your eyes include Vitamins C & E as well minerals such as Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids which can be found naturally in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Let us take a look at foods that contain high quantities of the aforementioned anti-oxidants, making them super foods for your eyes!
- Sea Food
Various studies have pointed out that cold-water fish, namely Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel and Halibut contain high concentrations of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These essential fatty acids help in reducing the risk of developing eye diseases or other related issues in later stages of life. Sea food is known to have high quantities of zinc and zinc is known to protect the light-sensitive tissue lining at the back of your eye by helping Vitamin A produce a protective dark pigment called melanin.
Most types of fish can be grilled or broiled, and are easy to prepare with simple seasonings. Hence, they make for a quick, delicious and nutritious meal.
Pro Tip – Wild-caught salmons have higher quantities of Omega-3s as compared to the farm-raised salmon as the later has more saturated fat and less Omega-3s.
Eggs are a great food for your eyes as they contain Vitamin A, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Zinc, which are all vital for eye health. While Vitamin A protects the cornea, Lutein & Zeaxanthin significantly reduce the chances of suffering from serious eye conditions like Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and cataracts as you age. Zinc, on the other hand is known to contribute to the health of the retina and also helps those suffering from night-blindness and related vision problems.
Eggs can be consumed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as they can be added to any meal due to their versatility. For instance, they can be hard boiled, scrambled and also eaten with your salad or sandwiches.
This leafy vegetable is one of the healthiest foods for your eyes as well as your body. It contains high levels of Vitamin E, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which can protect your eyes from damage caused by unstable molecules which break down healthy tissue in the eyes. The antioxidants are also known to enhance your vision while reducing the risk of chronic eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts.
Kale can be included in your diet as an ingredient of smoothies, salads or sandwich spreads for that extra nutritional boost. It can also be eaten as a healthy snack in the form of chips.
Almonds contain Vitamin E and benefit your eyes tremendously. Vitamin E is known to guard your eyes against unstable molecules that affect healthy tissue. Studies have even proven that the Vitamin E found in nuts is the most active and beneficial form. This is what makes almonds such a great food for your eyes. Hence, consuming them regularly can also help avoid cataracts and AMD. Vitamin E is also a potent antioxidant, and can even protect the membranes in your eye against harm caused by pollution and cigarette smoke.
Almonds make a great on-the-go snack and also taste amazing when added to breakfast cereal, yogurt, or salads. Just remember to keep an eye on the serving size as they contain a considerable amount of fat, especially if you’re watching your weight.
- Grapefruit Juice
The vitamin C derived from grapefruit helps fight the deficiencies in the immune system, lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, prevents prenatal health problems and slows down the aging process. Regular consumption of grapefruit is also known to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Grapefruit juice can also be replaced with oranges that pack 124 milligrams of Vitamin C in every glass.
Just like fish, oysters are also loaded with the zinc, the most essential mineral for maintaining healthy eyes. Lack of zinc can lead to night blindness, blurred vision, halos and cataracts. Even one medium oyster daily is adequate to prevent all eye problems associated with the deficiency of zinc. If a daily intake of oysters sounds difficult, you can also include baked beans, poultry, shellfish and milk.
- Sweet Potatoes
What most people don’t know is that carrots aren’t the only vegetable packed with beta-carotene. In fact, sweet potatoes actually have more beta-carotene per serving than carrots. You can enhance the healing effects of Vitamin A by supplementing it with high levels of beta-carotene. This will safeguard your eyes from developing night blindness and protect your eyes, and your body as a whole, against premature aging.
A medium-sized sweet potato is enough to provide you with more than thrice the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A. The beauty of this food is that you can easily include them in your diet in any form as they too like eggs are versatile.
So, there you have it. Improve the health of your eyes by simply adding the above listed super foods in your daily diet and literally see the benefits!