Fruits That Are Good For Eyesight

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Fruits Are Good For Eyesight, especially dark, leafy greens — lutein and zeaxanthin are two of the big players here — can help keep your vision healthy or even improve it. That’s because these particular carotenoids are found primarily in fruits and veggies, as well as eggs and cheese. There’s actually quite an extensive list of eye-smart foods.

Top 3 Foods to Eat for Eye Health

As more and more scientific research comes out on nutrition and the function of vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes in the human body, the saying, “You are what you eat,” becomes more and more accurate. Of course, if you eat a cookie, you are not going to turn into a cookie, or if you eat a carrot, you won’t become a carrot. However, the compounds which our foods contain directly contribute to the functioning or non-functioning of the organs and systems inside our bodies, including our eyes.

Although eating a carrot, won’t turn you into one, it could improve your eyesight. We rounded up a list of the top three foods to eat to sharpen your eyesight and preserve the health of your eyes.

1. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits (such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit) contain lots of vitamin C, an antioxidant which directly protects the cells in your eyes and throughout the body from free radicals. This antioxidant safeguards the cells in your eyes from damage which contributes to sight-threatening diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

In addition to rounding up harmful free radicals in your body and preventing cell damage, vitamin C has also been shown to be vital to the function of cells inside the retina, the structure in the back of the eye which senses light and converts it into electrical signals sent through the optic nerve to the brain to create the images you see. Without enough vitamin C, your retina cannot function properly, which means you cannot see properly.

If you want the benefits of vitamin C, but want to avoid the high amounts of sugar found in citrus fruits, berries are a great alternative. For example, strawberries are rich in vitamin C but contain much less natural sugar.

2. Fish (and/or Nuts)

Fish, such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines, contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3s have been shown to strengthen cellular membranes, reinforcing structures inside the eyes. They also directly contribute to eye development, boost eyesight and have been shown to reduce the severity of chronic dry eye.

Commonly referred to as “healthy fats,” omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to impart all sorts of potential health benefits to the body. In addition to bolstering structures in the eyes, they have also shown potential with regard to the function, longevity, and health of the brain.

Although nuts and seeds contain considerable amounts of the healthy fats, some studies have shown better results with respect to eye health when participants ingested the animal-based omega-3s found in fresh fish, instead of those sourced from plants.

3. Orange and Green Vegetables

The third eye health powerhouse food really comprises several foods. You have probably heard that carrots are good for your eyesight, and they are. Carrots and other orange vegetables like sweet potatoes and orange peppers contain beta-carotene. After eating an orange vegetable, your body converts its beta-carotene into vitamin A, which safeguards the cornea (the clear surface of the eye), helps to sharpen your vision, improves your ability to see at night and protects your eyes from infection.

In addition to orange veggies, leafy greens, like kale, spinach, Swiss chard and collard greens, contain carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). These antioxidants are stored in abundance within the retina and macula (structures inside the eye responsible for sight). These nutrients round up free radicals which could otherwise contribute to the degeneration of vital eye structures, potentially leading to macular degeneration and even cataracts.

A Healthy Diet Equals Healthy Eyes

These top three food categories are great sources of the vitamins and nutrients which are essential to maintaining healthy eyes and sharp eyesight. In addition to adding these eye-healthy foods to your regular diet, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet will do wonders for not only your eyes but the health of your entire body. Limiting your sugar intake and replacing simple carbohydrates with whole grains, like quinoa, steel cut oats, and brown rice, to control your blood pressure and glycemic index will also protect your eye health from conditions which can harm your eyesight, such as diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension).

FOODS TO EAT FOR BETTER VISION

Your grocery store, farmers’ market, and backyard garden provide a cornucopia of healthful foods to improve your vision and keep your eyes healthy. The following foods deliver excellent doses of nutrients that promote good vision and provide your eyes with what they need to serve you well, now and later in life. If you have children, be sure to pack these items in their school lunches and serve them during home meals to promote eye health. Let them see you consuming these healthful foods, and they, too, will pick up healthy eating habits for better vision and healthier eyes.

COLORFUL VEGETABLES PACKED WITH VITAMINS

The old adage that carrots are good for eyes is actually true. Anecdotes abound of pilots devouring carrots before an eye test in order to pass the exam, and also during flights to improve night vision. There is some merit to this tactic, since carrots are packed with beta-carotene, the substance that gives these vegetables their orange hue and plays an important role in eye health.

Beta-carotene is converted by your body into vitamin A, which offers numerous benefits to your eyes. Vitamin A promotes good night vision and keeps eyes well-lubricated for better overall vision and greater eye comfort. If you’re not a big fan of carrots, don’t worry — there are plenty of other options you and your kids can choose from. Foods rich in vitamin A-producing beta-carotene include sweet potato, winter squash, red bell peppers, and mangoes.

The good news is that eating a moderate amount of these fruits and vegetables is sufficient for health benefits; there’s no need to binge on carrots or other orange-colored vegetables, since an excess of vitamin A is actually not good for your body. Include these healthful foods in your diet, but don’t feel the need to overdo it.

A VARIETY OF NUTS AND SEEDS

Sunflower and chia seeds are just two of many types of seeds that promote better vision, in large part because they deliver vitamin E. According to the American Optometric Association, vitamin E protects the cells of your eyes from damage that free radicals may cause. In particular, this vitamin can help prevent, or at least slow the progression of, macular degeneration and cataracts. Pumpkin seeds also deliver vitamin E. Nuts are another excellent choice for getting this vitamin, with almonds, hazelnuts (also called filberts), and brazil nuts serving as good sources.

ORANGES, GRAPEFRUITS, AND OTHER CITRUS FRUITS

Vitamin C also fights age-related eye damage that can lead to impaired vision, so add foods rich in this vitamin to protect your eyes. These foods include grapefruits, oranges, limes, and lemons, in both fruit and juice form. Other vitamin C-rich foods are bell peppers, pineapple, guavas, kiwis, broccoli, and papaya. The benefits of vitamin C to your eyes include a reduced risk of developing cataracts and improved health of the blood vessels in your eyes and throughout your body.

LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES

For those important antioxidants your eyes need to function properly and see well, eat a variety of leafy green vegetables. Kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce deliver healthy levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases by promoting the health of eye cells. Leafy greens offer health benefits whether you cook them or serve them raw.

DON’T FORGET WHOLE GRAINS

Oatmeal, rice, barley, and quinoa are some of the healthful whole grains you can add to your diet for better vision. They provide essential micronutrients, including the mineral zinc and the B-3 vitamin niacin, that support eye health. There is a correlation between zinc deficiency and impaired eyesight. Eat healthful grains to keep your vision strong.

THE BENEFITS OF EGGS

To prevent dry eye syndrome, try consuming eggs. When your eyes lack an adequate amount of moisture to properly lubricate them, they feel itchy and sore. The omega-3 fatty acids in eggs helps protect cell membranes and guard against symptoms of dry eye.

TOP THINGS OFF WITH BERRIES

Who doesn’t love delicious berries? If you enjoy strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and more, you’re in luck — they offer plenty of nutrients that protect your eyes, from vitamin C to antioxidants.

At Spectrum Eye Care, our eye doctors are committed to helping you improve your vision and maintain good eye health. Contact our vision center today to make your next eye care appointment! We are conveniently located in Colorado Springs, and our optometrist is available to see new patients.

Top 10 foods to keep your eyes healthy

We all grew up hearing that eating carrots helps you see in the dark, and we all know that getting our “5 a day” of fruit and vegetables is meant to help our overall health. But did you know that certain foods actually have specific benefits for your eyesight? By tweaking your diet a little bit and including foods rich in particular vitamins and antioxidants, you could be taking essential steps to preserve your eyesight in years to come.

1. Grapes

Recent research has suggested that grapes can help ward off cataracts. Cataracts are one of the most common age-related eye changes you can go through, with 18 million people undergoing cataract treatment globally each year. A cataract occurs when the natural lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, impairing the patient’s vision. It can be corrected by removing the lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Grapes contain antioxidants which are suspected to prevent the initial clumping of protein in the lens. This has been determined by comparing ageing populations in different countries (the US and the Mediterranean), and observing the differences in their diets.

2. Leafy greens

We’ve all spent our childhoods being told to eat our greens – and probably hated it! – but there are huge benefits for your eyes . Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are proven to protect your eyes from ultraviolet damage, again reducing the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration. This is also the case for broccoli, peas and spinach, which contain vitamin A and beta carotene. The antioxidants in this green goodness also encourage blood flow to your eyes and shield the eye from damaging light – both UV rays and blue light from screens.

3. Citrus fruits

Vitamin C is great for your overall eye health and has been proven to lower your risk of developing cataracts. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, as well as other foods such as strawberries and bell peppers. The antioxidants are good for the blood vessels in your eyes, and also reduce your chance of developing macular degeneration later in life.

4. Fish

Fish contains omega-3, which is proven to help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. You might want to try particularly oily fish like tuna, salmon and trout as these fatty acids can help dry eye symptoms, and even sometimes reverse the effects. Studies have shown that by eating dark meat fish 2-3 times a week, you lower your chances of developing AMD. 

5. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, a source of vitamin A, which is proven to reduce your risk of eye infections. It also slows the development of AMD and can help prevent dry eye and night blindness. Sweet potatoes appear to be an all-rounder when it comes to finding foods and vitamins to protect your eyesight! They also contain vitamin C and vitamin E, both highly beneficial to your eyesight as they are thought to help prevent cataracts.

6. Beans, legumes and nuts

Like fish, nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids to reduce your risk of AMD and glaucoma. Nuts also have high levels of vitamin E which protects against age-related damage to your vision. Beans and legumes tend to be high in zinc which is found in the retina and in the surrounding tissues. Increased levels of zinc are proven to reduce night blindness and slow the progression of AMD – taking 40-80 milligrams per day of zinc could slow AMD progression by 25%. 

7. Seeds

Much like sweet potatoes, beans, legumes and nuts, another source of vitamin E is seeds. This means that the antioxidants in seeds, particularly sunflower seeds, also help to reduce the risk of AMD and cataracts. Seeds such as chia, flax and hemp are also high in omega-3 which has similar eye benefits to vitamin E.

8. Carrots

It might be something that your parents drummed into you from a young age, but turns out that carrots are actually really good for your eyes! They contain beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, to help with the production of rod and cone cells in your eyes. This is good for your sight in low lighting, and also – much like most of the foods listed in this article – reduces your risk factor for AMD, cataracts and glaucoma. There’s some truth in that old wives’ tale after all!

9. Eggs

In terms of their antioxidants, eggs offer much the same as our leafy greens do. They’re heavy in lutein and zeaxanthin, and egg yolks are a strong source of vitamin D, helping to fight off AMD.  They increase the amount of protective pigment in the macula. Studies have shown that eating an egg a day for five weeks increases lutein levels by 26% and zeaxanthin levels by 38%. Lutein and zeaxanthin are fat soluble, so – unbelievably – eating eggs in a fried form is the most effective for absorbing the antioxidants!

10. Dark chocolate

And finally, something we’re all most keen to know… does dark chocolate improve your vision? Harvard Medical School says that cocoa flavanols in chocolate promote a higher flow of oxygen and nutrients to the eye’s blood vessels. Last year, the Mail Online reported on a study which produced some interesting findings; allegedly, eating a bar of 72% dark chocolate resulted in “significant improvement” in contrast sensitivity and visual acuity. Participants ate a 47 gram bar of dark chocolate and then took part in eye tests two hours later. Over 30% of the participants scored “significantly higher” after having eaten the dark chocolate, than after having had milk chocolate, or no chocolate at all. There’s not enough evidence to say whether these effects are permanent, but it’s certainly a good excuse to eat more chocolate!

6 Best Foods to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

We are not aware, but good vision is an essential aspect of our lives. Out of the special senses, the eye is the most valuable organ as it is used to perceive almost 80% of impressions. So, don’t take your eyes for granted! Taking care of them is necessary. If you neglect your eye health, then it will severely affect your quality of life too!

A good vision can help to perform any task, like reading, walking, working, etc. That’s why regular eye check-up and consuming healthy food is the key-factor for eye health. 

Your eyes need various types of micronutrients daily, such as vitamins, antioxidants, minerals. These include –

  • Vitamin A, B, C, and E
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Beta-carotene 
  • Zinc
  • Lutein 
  • Zeaxanthin 

Why is Nutrition Important for Good Eye Health?

According to some experts and ophthalmologists, there are certain food items that improve overall eye health while some foods help in reducing the risk some certain eye-related diseases. Consuming a daily diet of low fat and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains not only helps promote good eye health but also aids in keeping your heart healthy.

This is not highly surprising, as eyes rely on tiny arteries for nutrition, so does the heart which relies on larger arteries. Thus, keeping these arteries healthy, feeding them with nutrients from rich, fibrous foods promote good eye health.

A balanced diet includes a variety of proteins, dairy food, fruit, juices, vegetables, seafood, and poultry food. Ideally, you should eat rainbow food, incorporating various types of food with different colours like a rainbow. 

Here, we have given some food options to maintain your eyes health –

1: Seafood 

  • Fish
    Particularly Salmon and Tuna are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids that are great for eye health. Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that contribute to visual development and retinal health. A relevant study concluded that people who have enough fish in their diet had the lowest risk of age-related macular degeneration. The fish oil present in fish helps to prevent dry eyes. Experts recommend two-three servings per week can provide you with better results. 
  • Oysters 
    Oysters are the best source of natural minerals, especially zinc. Zinc is an essential element that helps in the production of melanin, a pigment required for eye protection. Zinc deficiency can cause night blindness and cataract. High doses of zinc can slow down the progression of the early stage of macular degeneration of the eye. 

2: Poultry food and meat 

  • Eggs
    Eggs are great food with numerous health benefits. They are an excellent source of lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Vitamin A is a safeguard of the cornea. Two antioxidants present in egg yolk – lutein and zeaxanthin lower the chance of getting eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. 
  • Beef
    Lean beef is rich in zinc which helps the body to absorb vitamin A easily. It is beneficial for eye health and also plays an essential role in minimizing the risk of advanced macular degeneration (an eye disease).
  • Turkey
    Turkey is known as an “all-purpose protein” that can benefit your body in various ways. It is the best food to prevent cataracts due to the presence of zinc and vitamin B niacin. 

3: Vegetables 

  • Green leafy vegetables
    Leafy vegetables are known to be beneficial in every aspect. They are abundant in vitamins, minerals, iron, and antioxidants. Dark green vegetables like spinach, kale are rich in antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein. Lutein helps to protect the eyes by filtration of blue light (lights from mobile or computers). These antioxidants also play a role in maintaining a healthy blood flow to the eyes. You can toss these vegetables in oil or make a tasty soup to enjoy an evening.
  • Legumes
    Legume like kidney beans and peas offers ample amount of bioflavonoids and zinc, helps to protect the retina, and prevent cataract and macular degeneration. 
  • Bell peppers
    Bright bell peppers are rich in vitamin A, and vitamin C is known to minimize the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Daily a cup of freshly diced bell peppers can provide you with abundant vitamins and minerals.
  • Carrots
    Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene that are excellent for eye health. Vitamin A plays a vital role in the production of rod and cone cells, essential for low light vision and colour vision. Beta-carotene protects the eye surface and helps to prevent eye infections and eye diseases. Disease-causing free radicles are also minimized by beta-carotene and help to prevent cataracts and glaucoma. 

4: Fruits 

  • Oranges
    Oranges are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that help counter the risk of age-related eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Oranges help to provide structure for the cornea. You can drink a glass of orange juice daily to receive its benefits.
  • Blueberries
    These little magical berries are an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants that helps to improve vision. Blueberry contains anthocyanins – a potent antioxidant that provides extra protection to your eyes. They also help improve the eyesight of people suffering from normal-tension glaucoma, where the optic nerve is damaged.

5: Nuts and seeds

  • AlmondsAlmonds are great for your eye health. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and fatty acids that help to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Almonds work as a safeguard for your eye health. 
  • Chia seedsChia seeds are called ‘super-food’ due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They are great to maintain healthy eyes.

6: Dairy products 

Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are beneficial for eye health as they are rich in vitamin A and zinc. They help to protect the cornea and retina from external infections. Dairy products prevent night blindness and cataracts. 

Can We Get Eye-Healthy Nutrients from Vitamin Supplements?

In normal cases, doctors and experts always advise eating whole foods. Eating the right food and having a proper whole-food diet is the best way to get nutrients for the eyes. However, people who have macular degeneration, an old-age related disease that affects the retina, can be exceptions. According to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2, people with macular degeneration (AMD) are advised to take supplements as per the guidance of their ophthalmologists. 

There are many patients who start focusing on a good, wholesome diet after they have been diagnosed with eye-related diseases. Eating a proper diet from the very beginning will not only benefit your vision but also your health for the rest of your life.

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