To keep eyes healthy, include these foods in your diet.
You likely grew up hearing that you should eat your carrots because they’re good for your eyes. It is true that carrots, as well as other orange-colored fruits and vegetables, can improve eye health thanks to the beta-carotene they contain. But they’re not the only foods you should eat to keep your eyes healthy.
Other nutrients in addition to beta-carotene, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamins C and E and omega-3 fatty acids, help protect your eyes, especially as you age. They have been shown to slow the progression of macular degeneration, which can cause vision loss, and may help prevent cataracts.
Here are 5 foods you may be surprised to find out are good for your eyes:
- Leafy greens: Antioxidants found in leafy greens can protect your eyes from damage resulting from sunlight, pollution and cigarette smoke. Leafy greens also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. Some powerhouses to add to your plate include kale, spinach and collard greens.
- Eggs: Eggs are also packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, primarily in the yolk. In addition, eggs contain zinc, which keeps your retina healthy. Other good sources of zinc include oysters, peanuts and whole grains.
- Citrus fruits: You may think vitamin C can boost your immune system, but did you know that it can also help keep your eyes healthier? Well, it can! In addition to oranges and grapefruits, berries, papaya, green peppers and Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamin C.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds contain vitamin E, which helps keep tissue strong and has been shown to slow the progression of macular degeneration. Other good sources of vitamin E include pecans, sunflower seeds and vegetable oil.
- Cold-water fish: The omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish like salmon, sardines and herring help fight inflammation and can protect your eyes.
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Date Last Reviewed: March 19, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Nora Minno, RD, CDN