Are your eyes receiving enough key nutrients to prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other sight-threatening diseases? There’s more to eye health than carrots and oranges. Although these foods may be known for protecting and nourishing your eyes, other nutritious foods are important for keeping eyesight sharp. Get a glimpse of the five ‘sightful’ foods that will keep your vision 20/20!
1.Kale: Vitamin A, Oh Kale Yeah!
This leafy green vegetable is a rich source of vitamin A, and is essential for light perception, protection from the sun, and helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Kale is one of those versatile foods that makes for an awesome side dish or a key ingredient in a main entrée. If Kale isn’t your jam, don’t fret, other dark green veggies like spinach and broccoli contain the same eye-friendly nutrients and benefits.
2. Cantaloupe: Orange You Glad I’m A Melon?
They say it’s a little rough around the edges, but inside the orange flesh is packed with flavor and beta-carotene, which our body converts to vitamin A, a nutrient that fends off dry eyes and night blindness. Another reason to keep your eye on this melon is for hydration. Yep, that’s right, cantaloupe is 90% water which makes it the perfect refreshing snack. For other rich sources of beta-carotene try butternut squash, apricots, and sweet potatoes for similar eye-full benefits.
3. Red Bell Pepper: Help You “C” Better
The appeal of red bell peppers goes way beyond their good looks. This vibrant veggie contains plenty of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals (particles produced when the body is exposed to pollutants). Vitamin C is essential for slowing down the process of macular degeneration and cataracts. Be sure to load your plate with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, asparagus, and strawberries to keep your eyes seeing into the future.
4. Almonds: E-ssential For Vision
These popular tree nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E which help reduce the risk for glaucoma and macular degeneration. Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. Fortunately, these delicately flavored, vitamin E powerhouses are available throughout the year to make a healthy addition to snacks or meals. An allergy or dislike to tree nuts? Not to worry, vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils and sunflower seeds.
5. Cold Water Fish: Peace Out, Dry Eyes
Experiencing dry eyes? Having enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help alleviate this problem. Two specific fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are important for visual development and retinal function. Low levels of DHA and EPA are associated with dry eye syndrome and macular degeneration. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and albacore tuna, and in walnuts, chia seeds, and vegetables oils.
Eating your way toward good eye health isn’t about focusing on one particular vitamin or food. It is about eating a varied, well-balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains. With this unstoppable combination, your eyesight is surely to improve!