eyesight protection food

What Food Protects Your Eyesight?

 
Our eyes require vitamin A for normal vision, while vitamin C and E reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Omega–3 fatty acids help protect the eyes from retinal degeneration and ease the discomfort of dry eyes. Beta-carotene and antioxidants reduce the risk of many eye illnesses. Healthy nutrition and diet will not only keep your body protected from many diseases and conditions, but it will also protect your eyes.

 

Strawberries

Frozen or fresh, strawberries are powerful health-protecting fruit.  The antioxidants in strawberries help protect the eyes, prevent cataracts and early blindness. The rich amount of vitamin C that is found in strawberries protects the body from harmful free radicals and boosts the immune system. Strawberries are also powerful skin protectors, especially the skin under eyes. The common problem with skin under eyes can lead to unpleasant bags under eyes and puffy and swollen eyes.  Strawberries are also very helpful remedy for this and similar problems.

 

Carrots

We all know that carrots are the number one food for eye protection. Due to the beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A, carrots protect vision (especially night vision), help the retina and other parts of the eye to maintain its functional stability, and promote eye health.  After beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the liver, it travels to the retina where it is transformed into rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.  Beta-carotene is also a powerful immune-protective compound.

 

Flax seeds

Being an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna), flax seeds are linked to treating and preventing dry eyes and muscular degeneration. Dry eyes can be associated with allergies, eye surgery, or a number of other problems. The main problem with dry eyes is the lack of tears production. Omega-3 fatty acids help the oil glands in the eye produce the proper consistency of the oil. This way tears have something to stick on instead of just evaporating. Fatty acids also improve the immune system, cardiovascular system, circulatory system, and nervous system.

 

Smoothies

Green smoothies are one of the best natural drinks that help protect eyesight. Certain fruits and vegetables should be consumed on a daily basis, thus smoothies are the easiest and the most popular addition to a healthy nutrition. In these fruits and vegetables, one can find necessary vitamins and minerals that will protect the eyes. One should opt for the food rich in lutien, vitamins D, A, C and E, and zinc. Spinach, kale leaves, broccoli, blueberries (protection from glaucoma), grapes (protection from macular degeneration), strawberries, leafy greens, these are all the best ingredients for the smoothies.

 

Apricots

Vitamin A helps prevent diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Apricots are rich source of this vitamin, thus one should include them in everyday nutrition in order to protect eyes and prevent illnesses. Researchers showed that regular consumption of the food rich in vitamin A, reduce the risk of developing cataracts by 40 percent.

 

Walnuts

The best source of omega-3 fatty acids that will protect the eyes is found in walnuts. Pistachios are the second great source of omega-3s. Walnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin E as well. These compounds battle inflammation and protect cardiovascular health.

 

Teas

Green, black and oolong tea are the best drinks to protect eyesight and prevent cataracts. Studies showed that teas might prevent macular degeneration by preventing the growth of new blood vessels in the back of the eye. New blood vessels beneath the retina leak blood and fluid, thus they are very harmful to the eyes, and too many new vessels can seriously damage eyesight. The leakage of blood and fluid from the vessels result in blind spots and loss of vision. Green and black teas are therefore necessary eye protection drinks.

 

Eggs

Eggs are particularly good for vision due to the lutein and zeaxanthin. These eye pigments are found in egg yolk, thus eggs for breakfast, every other day, are great protection against eyes illnesses and degeneration.

 

Tomatoes

Researchers showed that lycopene, one of the pigments from a family called carotenoids, is associated with age-related macular degeneration. Lycopene occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, and the best source of lycopene is in tomatoes.

 

Kidney Beans

Zinc is a vital mineral for eye health, and the best source of zinc is kidney beans. Zinc prevents cataracts and protects night vision. Moreover, kidney beans help get vitamin A from the liver to retina for eye protection. Other great sources of zinc are oysters, seafood, pumpkin seeds, and beef.

 

Garlic

Garlic is essential for eye protection due to the Sulphur. Sulphur is useful in cataract prevention. Garlic also contains quercetin, a compound that helps relax the trabecular mesh-work – the covering over the internal drainpipe of the eye. This way, garlic controls lens focusing and reduce the intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma.

 

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber. Their ability to protect the eyes is similar to carrots, and their sweet flavor makes them versatile food.

 

Oranges

Oranges are rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, calcium, and folate – all of the beneficial nutrients that are necessary for eye protection. All other citrus fruit – tangerine, lemons, grapefruit, etc. are high in vitamin C that is important for our eyes. Moreover, antioxidants can prevent or delay cataract. Besides citrus fruit, peaches, and red peppers are also great eye protection food that have similar benefits.

 

What else can you do to protect eyes and eyesight?

Quit smoking – Smoking can cause optic nerve damage, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

Wear sunglasses – Sunglasses will protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. Opt for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. If you wear contact lenses, opt for those that offer UV protection.

Look away from the Computer – Starring can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, dry eyes, and difficulty focusing at a distance.

Avoid sodium – Sodium may increase the risk of cataract formation. Use less salt and opt for fresh and frozen fruits whenever possible.

 
Reference:

Capogna, L. (2011). Eyefoods: A Food Plan for Healthy Eyes. LB Media Concept.
Corona, M. and H. (2010). Feast Your Eyes – The Eye Health Cookbook. Genetic Eye Foundation.
Zuraw, R.A. & Lewanski, R.T. (2011). Perfect Eyesight: The Art of Improving Vision Naturally. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Image credit: subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo

Linda Ward is a nurse and a wannabe writer. She enjoys writing about different health, food and lifestyle topics. In her free time, Linda loves to dance and work out in a gym.

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