Looking for a diet that’s good for your body AND eyes? We have good news. The same diet that helps your heart and the rest of your body will help your eyes.
If you’re unsure whether or not making a change in your diet will really improve your eye health, look over this list of 10 nutrient-rich foods and the evidence that backs up this claim.
Top Ten Foods for Eye Health
Fish comes in at the top of our list due to its healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can help visual development and retina health. Studies have also shown that fish oil can reverse dry eye. However, not all fish are created equal. Certain fish contain the most beneficial levels of omega-3, and they include:
Tip: Try to buy wild-caught salmon instead of farm-raised. Farm-raised salmon has more saturated fat and less omega-3s than wild-caught salmon.
For a long time, eggs were vilified as bad for you. Now, they’re recognized as a healthy food for your heart and eyes. The yolks contain vitamin A, lutein, and zinc, which are essential to strong eye health. While vitamin A protects the cornea, the lutein lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Zinc safeguards the retina and helps you see at night.
Since eggs are incredibly versatile, they can easily be worked into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy them scrambled with toast, hard-boiled in salads, or over-medium on a sandwich. The possibilities are endless.
Carrots are well-known to be good for your eye health. Loaded with vitamin A and beta carotene, eating carrots can improve the surface of the eye while preventing infections and dangerous eye conditions. Just like nuts, carrots are an easy snack. Whether you julienne whole carrots or prefer a bag of baby carrots, they’re perfect for a mid-afternoon snack at the office.
If you have a sweet tooth, add carrots to your cake, muffins, or pancake batter.
4. Nuts and Legumes
If you’re not a fan of fish, we have the next best thing. Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. On top of healthy fats, nuts contain high levels of vitamin E, which has shown to prevent age-related macular degeneration as well as cataracts.
Nuts that should be your top pick include:
Nuts are a great snack and easy to eat on the go. Just grab a bag at your nearest gas station and pop a few in your mouth on your daily commute.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that improve your eye health. One significant vitamin found in leafy greens in lutein. As mentioned above, lutein reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Also found in leafy green vegetables is zeaxanthin, a vitamin that protects your vision from harmful levels of blue light, improves visual performance, and protects your eyes from developing age-related health conditions. Popular leafy greens include:
Whether you make kale chips, add spinach in your smoothie, or sneak collards into your pasta, you’re eyes (and body) will thank you for the extra nutrients.
6. Citrus Fruits
Loaded with vitamin C, citrus fruits have shown to fight age-related eye damage. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also prevents inflammation while healing the inflammatory conditions of the eye. Incorporating citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, will keep your eyes healthy for a lifetime.
To enjoy these citrus fruits, you can drink juice, peel one as a snack, or add them to your water for a refreshing drink.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Similar to carrots, sweet potatoes are packed with beta carotene. They’re also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E. Enjoy sweet potato fries or casserole at mealtime. If these orange tubers aren’t your favorite, opt for other deep orange foods for beta carotenes, such as butternut squash and carrots.
Fresh strawberries not only taste good, but they’re also good for your eye health. Loaded with vitamin C, strawberries can help lower your risk of cataracts. They also protect your eyes from age-related eye conditions and keep the connective tissue and blood vessels around your eyes healthy.
For a tasty snack, eat strawberries with a dab of whipped cream, greek yogurt, or steel-cut oatmeal.
9. Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts
Unfortunately, broccoli and brussels sprouts have known to be widely disliked. However, these green veggies come with a combination of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. These antioxidants protect your eyes from free radicals, ensuring healthy and clear vision.
Add these vegetables in a salad, have them as a side dish, or snack on them with a dip.
10. Dark Chocolate
We bet you didn’t expect to see chocolate on this list. This delicious superfood has several health benefits. It’s rich in flavonoids, which increases blood flow to the eyes. It’s important to note that the best results come from dark chocolate, which contains between 50% and 90% cocoa flavanols. Stay away from milk chocolate, as it can contain as little as 10%.
To reap the benefits of dark chocolate, nibble on a couple of squares daily.
Eating these foods on a regular basis can do wonders and can improve your eyesight considerably. But don’t count on popping a vitamin to improve your eyesight. Although multivitamins are beneficial, we recommend opting for whole foods, so load up your plate with these nutritious foods for your next meal.
Contact DAVIS VISION CENTER
Although diet can play a role in your eye health, you may require LASIK surgery to have 20/20 vision. Ready to find out if you qualify for LASIK? Dr. Davis, one of the most experienced LASIK surgeons in the country, can help you out. He’s performed over 40,000 laser eye surgeries in Utah alone and uses cutting edge technology to ensure patients have the best possible experience during their LASIK eye surgeries.
Contact Davis Vision Center to set up a pre-op appointment today at (801) 253-3080.