A healthy pair of eyes, especially at an older age is no less than a blessing, as can be vouched by those who are suffering from some kind of vision loss issues.
That’s why it’s so imperative to take care of your eyes and vision in every possible manner, including what you consume as food.
We have segregated the 15 best foods for healthy eyes into 5 different categories.
1: Sea Food
i: Tuna and Salmon
The significance of omega-3 fatty acids for eye health has long been proved. Fish intake contributes towards lower risk of progression to late AMD. (National Institute of Health 2020).
Zinc is known to be a mineral found abundantly in healthy eyes and shellfish like oysters serve as one of the best natural sources of this essential mineral. It helps in the natural production of melanin, a pigment required for eye protection. Night blindness and cataracts are two of the most common implications of zinc deficiency. Zinc supplementation is reported to slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration (The National Center for Biotechnology Information 2020).
If sea-food is not on your priority list, you can also get omega-3 in ample supply by consuming fish oil supplements or vegetarian supplements containing flaxseed oil or blackcurrant oil.
2: Meat and Eggs
Turkey meat is a sort of ‘all purpose protein’, which you can have in various ways, such as in sandwiches, burgers, tacos and many more ways. It is considered as one of the best natural sources of cataract prevention because of abundance of zinc and B-vitamin niacin.
Moderately added lean beef in your diet can improve your eye health. Zinc is an important mineral found naturally in beef, known to help the body with better absorption of vitamin A, which may play a role in minimizing the risks of advanced AMD.
Two of the most powerful antioxidants for eye protection, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found generously in egg yolks, just like in leafy green vegetables. When you have them in your omelet, you’re increasing your chances of antioxidant absorption because of the high-fat content of eggs. You also get ample vitamin D in egg yolk, which is believed to be helpful against macular degeneration.
3: Veggies and Fruits
vi: Leafy Greens
Spinach, along with other dark leafy greens like collard greens and kale, contains two of the most essential antioxidants for eye health, i.e. zeaxanthin and lutein. Macula, the part of the eye helpful in shielding the eye from damaging light, stores these antioxidants. Lutein plays a special role in the filtration of blue light (glare from the screens of electronic devices like mobiles and computer screens). These antioxidants also play a significant role in maintaining rich blood flow to your eyes.
vii: Bell Peppers
Now, who would have thought of these brightly colored bell peppers to be able to minimize the risk of age related macular degeneration , but yes, they are known to do that. You’ll only need a cup full of these to get 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A and vitamin C. So, make sure you’re having these on your menu list.
Be it kidney beans, lentils or black-eyed peas, all of these offer ample amounts of bioflavonoids and zinc, offering protection to the retina and lowering the risks of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
Have you ever wondered there might be a certain degree of truth to the age-old adage that rabbits never wear glasses? With rich amounts of beta-carotene – an antioxidant carotenoid converted to vitamin A by your body – quite essential for a healthy vision, the significance of carrots seems more reality than fiction. Vitamin A plays a vital role in the production of rod and cone cells, essential for low light vision and color vision. Free radical damage is also minimized by beta-carotene, which helps protect against eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataracts as well as glaucoma.
A little gem of a fruit when it comes to the richness in anthocyanins, potent antioxidants capable of crossing the blood-retina barrier with ease while providing extra vision protection, blueberries are amazing for eye health. They also help improve the vision of people suffering from normal tension glaucoma, the type of glaucoma in which the optic nerve is damaged.
Some suggest calling vitamin C as “Vitamin See”, and quite rightly so. It helps counter the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration, because much like other antioxidants, it is good at preventing free-radical damage. Collagen building is another way it is beneficial for your eyes, helping to provide structure for your cornea.
4: Nuts and Seeds
Be it almonds, pistachios or walnuts, richness in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E makes them highly beneficial for your eye health.
xiii: Chia Seeds
They are not referred to as the “superfood” without a reason. If you talk about omega 3s, chia seeds contain more of them than salmon or flax seeds. If you talk about calcium, you’ll get more of it in chia seeds than a glass of milk. Same is the case with antioxidants, much more than you’ll find in blueberries.
xiv: Sunflower Seeds
The protective effect of supplementary Vitamin-E reduces the risk of cataracts by 10%, whereas dietary Vitamin E reduces disease incidence by 80%. (The National Center for Biotechnology Information 2019). 15 milligrams per day is the recommended daily value of this strong antioxidant vitamin, which is fulfilled conveniently by 2 ounces of sunflower seeds.
xv: Hot Tea
The British Journal of Ophthalmology has published a study covering more than 1,600 adults concluding that people drinking hot tea regularly have a 74% lesser chance of developing glaucoma as compared to those who don’t. Though many stress on the need of much more studies on the subject, brewed tea is still considered a viable source of disease-fighting antioxidants.
This concludes our list of super foods for your eyes. Make sure to add them as a part of your diet regime and enjoy optimal eye health for a much longer period of time.
Meta: ‘15 Best Foods for Eye Health’ enlist top foods that can help improve your eyesight significantly, offering you significant protection against many eye diseases.