Are you eating foods that will help improve eye health? As we are approaching the end of Save Your Vision month, we here at CLEContactLenses.com would like to discuss another way anyone can help save their vision and that is by consuming healthier foods. We are sure you have herd this news from your doctor during your annual physical to help prevent cholesterol and heart disease, but did you know that having a healthy diet you can also help preserve your vision as well?
Here are 10 delicious choices that help minimize age-related vision changes and reduce the risk of serious eye diseases, too.
Carrots & Apricots
We are sure a few of you have probably heard that carrots promote eye health and protect vision, and it's true. Carrots and apricots are rich in beta carotene, a carotenoid that the body converts to vitamin A. Beta-carotene, gives these foods their orange hue, helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function smoothly. Research has shown that beta carotene may help with night vision -- and possibly even play a part in preventing cataracts. Do you have trouble seeing at night? Try some carrots or apricots.
Eating your way to good eyesight isn't only about beta-carotene. Though their connection to vision isn't as well-known, many other vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy eyes.
Cooked kale, spinach, collards, and turnip greens (along with broccoli and eggs) are crammed full of lutein and zeaxanthin -- two powerful antioxidants that may help protect against retinal damage and the onset of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The yolk of an egg is a prime source of lutein and zeaxanthin—plus zinc, which also helps reduce your macular degeneration risk.
Believe it or not but your eyes love a cup of red kidney beans straight out of the can. Why you ask? Because they are a good source of zinc, a mineral that is vital to eye health. Zinc helps get vitamin A from the liver to the retina for eye-protective melanin production. Proper amounts of zinc also help with night vision and cataract prevention, as well.
A recent study suggests that a low-glycemic-index (GI) diet may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by almost 8%. One way to quickly lower the GI of a meal is to use high-fiber whole grains instead of refined carbs. In this sense think quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, and whole-wheat breads and pasta rather than products made from refined grains or refined, enriched flour.
Citrus and berries
These fruits are powerhouses of vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies -- like oranges, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, red bell peppers and lemons-- help support blood vessels in the eye and may reduce the risk of cataracts.
They're filled with vitamin E, which slows macular degeneration, research shows. One handful (an ounce) provides about half of your daily dose of E.
Peanuts and almonds are a good source of vitamin E, a nutrient known for protecting eyes from free-radical damage. Vitamin E may also hinder the progression of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are other good sources of vitamin E.
Tuna, salmon, mackerel, anchovies and trout are rich in DHA, a fatty acid found in your retina. These fatty fish have two types of omega-3 fatty acids -- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) -- both of which may be important in preventing or slowing down eye diseases. A lack of omega-3s may also contribute to dry eye syndrome. Other omega-3 sources include walnuts, and flaxseeds.
Try combining them
Emerging research suggests that getting eye-supporting nutrients in combination -- in the context of a low-glycemic-index diet -- may have the most profound effect on slowing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). So do your eyes an even bigger favor: Don't focus on a single nutrient. Instead, eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, choose healthy fats and high-fiber carbs, and reduce your intake of red meat, sugars, and refined flours
Make these 10 foods a staple of your diet to keep your peepers in tip-top shape.