Eye Health Spotlight: 8 Foods Our Health Coaches Recommend
We live in a technology-run world, which means that a lot of our time is spent behind a screen. Although advantageous in getting our work done faster and easier, we still need to be careful of unintended consequences. In this case, staring at a screen for extended periods of time take a toll on our eye health.
You can take charge in multiple ways to ensure that you keep your eyes healthy! One way to get started is by including foods that contribute to eye health in your diet. Here are 8 nutritious foods that can promote healthy vision.
1. Dark, Leafy Greens
Not only are dark, leafy greens (e.g. spinach, kale and collard greens) jam-packed with vitamins C and E, but they also have carotenoids, like lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are forms of plant-based vitamin A which can protect against eye diseases like cataracts.
2. Citrus Fruit & Berries
Citrus fruit and berries like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and strawberries are known for their prominent levels of vitamin C. According to the American Optometric Association, vitamin C has been linked to healthier blood vessels in the eye and decreased risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
3. Red & Orange Vegetables
Vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers are amazing sources of vitamins A and C while also being full of carotenoids which help reduce one’s risk of many eye diseases. It should be noted that heat breaks down vitamin C, so avoid overcooking to preserve nutrients.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and trout are bursting with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for your retinas to properly function. Studies also show that diets rich in omega-3s can protect your eyes from AMD and glaucoma, while low levels of omega-3s have been linked to dry eyes.
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds like walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fats which, help protect your eyes from AMD and cataracts. Nuts and seeds also contain vitamin E, which is known to slow down progression of AMD and cataracts.
Eggs are an eye health powerhouse! Eggs contain zinc, which aids in the absorption and use of the carotenoids found in the egg yolk. The carotenoids in the yolk also help to protect your retinas from damage from high-intensity light.
Legumes like chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lentils are also high in zinc and fiber to keep your eyes healthy and sharp while lowering your risk of AMD.
8. Lean Meats and Shellfish
Lean meats like beef, pork, and chicken are good sources of zinc, which aids in the formation of a protective eye pigment. If you’re a shellfish lover, oysters have the highest amount of zinc per serving than any other food option. Lobster and crab are also good sources of zinc.
Start incorporating these foods into your diet today to help maintain good eye health—and good health in general!