How Eating Better Can Help Your Eyes
While it might seem that the long-term health of our eyes is ultimately an uncontrollable side effect of heredity and aging, experts have proven time and again that there are a number of controllable variables that contribute to long-term eye health.
Those include regular good-health advice, like exercising regularly and avoiding smoking, along with things like wearing sunglasses to protect from UV rays and keeping your eyes protected in adverse environments (including, for example, where there’s excessive dust or smoke in the air).
For this article, however, let’s take a look at how our diets relate to overall eye health, including a list of some of the best foods you can regularly eat to keep your eyes healthy.
I know – yet another article online about good eating habits! But, if you have a familial history of eye disease, it’s important to know that certain nutrients can reduce the risk of degenerative eye conditions by as much as 25 percent.
On top, keeping your eyes healthy when you’re younger can ultimately save you a lot of hassle and money down the road, after an eye condition has become much more serious.
Also, it so happens that some of these recommended foods are also quite delicious!
Nutrients Proven to Promote Eye Health
As you can imagine, a number of studies have been done on how different nutrients impact eye health.
These are the nutrients that have been proven to help:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Ultimately, foods that are recommended to improve eye health contain one or more of these nutrients.
Let’s take a look at a few of the best.
The Best Foods for Your Eyes
Salmon (omega-3 fatty acids): Salmon is one of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown to help with dry eye. Other great sources of omega-3s include other fishes (such as tuna and trout), along with fish oil. There are also a number of nuts, seeds, and legumes that are chock-full of omega-3s, including walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, lentils, and flax seeds.
Spinach & Kale (lutein and zeaxanthin): Both of these leafy greens contain significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to promote overall eye health and mitigate the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Other dark, leafy greens like broccoli and peas are also good sources of these nutrients, along with eggs.
Sweet Potatoes (beta-carotene): While carrots are typically the orange vegetable associated with eye health, sweet potatoes are also a really great source of beta-carotene (which is responsible for the orange color).
Citrus (vitamin C): To get a good, regular dose of Vitamin C, turn to your favorite citrus fruits, including lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is great for staving off degenerative eye conditions.
Also, drink plenty of water! If you’re suffering from regular dehydration, it might be responsible for your dry eye symptoms.
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At Northern Visions Eye Care, we are passionate about helping our patients with their overall eye health. Whether you’re looking for a regular eye care clinic or are in need of a specific examination or procedure, get in touch with us today!