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About 2.2 billion people around the world suffer from vision impairment. It’s normal for eye health to deteriorate with age. However, many people don’t realize they could strengthen their eye health right in their own kitchens.
Here are the foods you need to maintain a healthy vision diet. With these healthy-eye foods, you can provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy. The right combination of nutrients could help you avoid cataracts, glaucoma, and other conditions.
Start seeing clearly! Keep reading our health food for vision guide to improve your sight.
Healthy Foods for Eyes
About 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts. By age 75, however, almost half of all Americans have this condition.
Maintaining a healthy vision diet now can help you avoid problems in the future. Here are 11 healthy eye foods you should add to your diet to keep seeing clearly.
Dairy products contain vitamin A and zinc.
Vitamin A will protect your cornea. Zinc is responsible for transporting vitamin A to your retina and choroid to prevent cataracts. You also need these vitamins to improve your night vision.
As you work up your list of foods for healthy eyes, don’t forget to grab eggs.
Egg yolks contain zeaxanthin, lutein, and vitamin A. Vitamin A protects your cornea. Zeaxanthin and lutein protect you from cataracts and other conditions.
Most of us grew up hearing that carrots are great for our eyes. Why? Carrots contain vitamin A and beta carotene.
Both help prevent serious eye conditions, including eye infections.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach, collards, and kale are high in vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Like eggs, leafy greens can help prevent age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other conditions.
Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can improve your eye and overall health.
Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA are a structural component of the eye’s retina. Without enough DHA, however, you might experience problems with your sight.
Omega-3 fatty acids also help with visual development and preventing dry eyes.
In fact, adding omega-3s to your diet can reduce your risk of macular degeneration. This condition is one of the top causes of permanent eye damage and blindness around the world.
Try to add fish to your diet a few days a week. If you plan on buying salmon, look for wild-caught over farm-raised. Farm-raised salmon usually have less omega-3s.
In addition to salmon, you can also eat sardines, mackerel, trout, and tuna. These fish have a high amount of omega-3s.
6. Citrus Fruits
Do you love a glass of orange juice in the morning? So do your eyes. Citrus fruits have vitamin C in them, which is an antioxidant that can help fight age-related damage.
Vitamin C will also keep the blood vessels in your eyes healthy. Working with other vitamins and nutrients, citrus fruits can prevent cataracts and other eye conditions.
Try consuming oranges and grapefruits regularly. You can also use lemon or lime to season your favorite dishes.
7. Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes
Like fatty fish, nuts, legumes, and seeds all have high omega-3 content levels. They’re also rich in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant capable of fighting free radicals. Free radicals cause damage capable of shortening a cells’ lifespan.
By reducing free radical damage, you can avoid cellular aging, which can benefit your eye health.
Try adding these nuts, seeds, and legumes to your diet:
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds
Getting a mix of these in your diet will help you protect your eyes from damage caused by aging.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are another great source of vitamin E and beta carotene. Like carrots, they can protect the eyes from degeneration.
Beef contains zinc, which can delay age-related eye conditions. You can also eat chicken breast and pork loin, though they don’t contain as much zinc.
Though not technically a vision-healthy food, water is still important. You need to drink enough water each day to keep your eyes healthy. Otherwise, you could get dehydrated, which will impact your eyes.
Tips for Healthy Eyes
In addition to eating a balanced diet with the healthy eye foods mentioned above, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make as well.
First, make sure to exercise daily. Regular exercise will boost your blood circulation. As blood pumps through your body, it carries nutrients you need to keep your organs healthy.
Blood circulation also carries oxygen to your eyes and removes harmful toxins.
Makes sure to wash your hands regularly. People often touch their eyes without realizing it. Unfortunately, your hands pick up germs from everything you touch.
Make sure to wash your hands with a mild soap before you touch your eyes to place or remove your contact lenses. Otherwise, the bacteria on your hands could cause an infection.
Smoking could also harm your eye health. Smoke causes oxidative stress, which can increase your risk of certain eye infections. Beyond that, smoking is also harmful to your overall health.
Make sure to protect your eyes from strain as much as possible. For example, you can wear sunglasses to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays. Otherwise, exposure to ultraviolet light could cause damage.
Try to give your eyes a break from the blue light your devices emit. Make sure to:
- Blink frequently
- Take frequent breaks and look away from the screen
- Keep your computer about 20″ away from your eyes
- Keep the top of the screen a little below eye level
- Adjust the lighting to reduce glares
- Lubricate your eyes using drops when they feel dry
Other than that, give your eyes a real break by getting some sleep! Don’t forget to check in with your eye doctor as well. If your family has a history of eye disease, make sure to schedule regular appointments.
Seeing 20/20: Your Guide to a Healthy Vision Diet
Ready to start improving your vision? With this guide, you can maintain a healthy vision diet and strengthen your eyesight. Eat up and use these tips for better vision today!
Check out our Health and Wellness section today for more helpful tips!