The same diet that helps your heart and the rest of your body will also keep your eyes healthy. Aging is not the only reason for failing eyesight. There are many things that can contribute to poor eyesight. From an unhealthy diet to smoking to looking at a computer screen for too long to not protecting your eyes from UV rays and there are of course various diseases and illness that affects your eyesight too.
Maintaining a healthy diet has been proven to reduce your risk of developing serious eye conditions. A balanced diet infused with a range of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, known as antioxidants can help your eyes to stay healthy for a longer time. Eye conditions including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eyes, and poor night vision can be prevented with a healthy diet. Antioxidants including vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc has been linked to healthy eyes.
Limiting consumption of unhealthy foods that are processed, contain saturated fats, or are high in sugar can be very healthy for your eyes.
Down below, we’ve listed the 16 Best Foods for Healthy Eyes infused with all the antioxidants and nutrients you need to keep your eyes healthy.
1 Fish & Oysters
Many fish especially tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fishes have oil in their gut and body tissue so eating them offers higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil. Your retinas need two types of omega-3 fatty acids: DHA and EPA. Both of them are found in fatty fish and other seafood. Omega-3s can also protect your eyes from AMD and glaucoma. Some researches have found that these fatty acids or fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer.
Oysters have more zinc than any other natural food. Zinc helps vitamin A create melanin which is a pigment that protects our eyes. A lack of zinc can cause poor night vision, or night blindness, as well as cataracts. Zinc may also be able to slow the progression of macular degeneration. You can also get a great amount of zinc from other shellfish, and fortified cereals.
2 Nuts, Legumes & Beans
Nuts and legumes including walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, peanuts, and lentils are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain a great amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E can protect your eye from age-related damage. A low-fat, high-fiber diet can help you to keep your vision sharp at night and slow AMD. Chickpeas are high in zinc, as are black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and lentils. A can of baked beans can also do the job. Hazelnuts, peanuts, and peanut butter are also good sources of vitamin E.
Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds all are rich in omega-3s and vitamin E. Sunflower seeds, like nuts, are a rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin E together with other nutrients, can help slow age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from getting worse. It may also help prevent cataracts.
4 Citrus Fruits & Berries
Citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C. According to researches, the antioxidant, vitamin C can help you fight age-related eye damage. Vitamin C contributes to healthy blood vessels in your eyes and it may also combat the development of cataracts.
Berries are also packed with several nutrients, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Blueberries contain anthocyanins which aid in lowering high blood pressure and inflammation, blockages in the arteries that deliver oxygen to the retina. Berries may improve vision and fortifies blood vessels located in the back of the eyes. Strawberries are also packed with vitamin C and antioxidants that our body requires to preserve healthy vision and keep them harmless from inflammatory diseases. It can decrease the risk of age-related eye issues.
5 Leafy Greens & Vegetables
Leafy greens such as Kale, spinach, and collards are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and a good source of vitamin C. These dark leafy greens are also rich in vitamin E. These plant-based forms of vitamin A can lower your risk of long-term eye diseases, such as AMD and cataracts.
Green vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts are packed with nutrients. Including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. The lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene and the other antioxidants protect the cells in your eyes from free radicals, a type of unstable molecule that breaks down healthy tissue. Broccoli also comprises of vitamin B2 and lack of vitamin B2 can make eyes sensitive to light.
6 Dark Chocolate
According to a published in JAMA Ophthalmology, dark chocolate may help you to improve your vision. The flavonoids found in dark chocolate may help improve vision in people with glaucoma as well as reduce your risk for macular degeneration.
7 Carrots & Sweet Potatoes
The orange hue in some vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes comes from beta carotene. Our body uses beta carotene to make vitamin A. Carrots are also rich in vitamin A and a component of a protein called rhodopsin. While vitamin A plays an essential role in vision, rhodopsin helps the retina to absorb light. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
8 Lean Meat and Poultry
Lean meats like beef are rich in zinc. Zing has been linked to better long-term eye health. It can help prevent age-related sight loss and macular degeneration. Our eyes, particularly in the retina and the vascular tissue surrounding it, contain high levels of zinc. Meats including chicken breast and pork loin also contain a low level of zinc.
Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin as well as vitamins C and E, and zinc. Lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. The zinc will help your body to use the lutein and zeaxanthin from the egg yolk. These compounds with yellow-orange colors can block harmful blue light from damaging the retina. They can also help increase the amount of protective pigment in the part of your eye that controls central vision called the macula.
As water is essential to life, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that drinking less water can also harm your eyes. Drinking less water can cause dehydration, which may result in dry eyes. So drinking plenty of water is essential for healthy eyes.
Bell peppers give you the most vitamin C per calorie and they are also a rich source of eye-friendly vitamins A and E. Vitamin C is good for the blood vessels in your eyes, and science suggests it could lower your risk of getting cataracts. Bok choy, cauliflower, papayas, and strawberries also include various amounts of vitamin C. Heat breakdown vitamin C, so go raw whenever you can.
12 Whole Grains
Swapping refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, and whole-wheat bread and pasta can help you more than you think. Foods with a low glycemic index (GI) can help decrease your risk for age-related macular degeneration. The vitamin E, zinc and niacin found in whole grains help promote overall eye health.
13 Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil and Black Currant Seed Oil
These super supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A lack of omega-3 fatty can result in dry eyes. These supplements can help you to prevent or control dry eye syndrome as well as reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Dairy products such as milk and yogurt contain vitamin A as well as the mineral zinc. Zinc helps bring vitamin A to the eyes from the liver and the vitamin protects the cornea. It helps with night vision and lowers the risk of cataracts. Dairy from grass-fed cows without any added flavor provides the most benefits.
15 Avocado & Squash
Avocados comprise lutein that aids prevent macular degeneration and some other eye diseases. They also contain beta-carotene and vitamin B6 that is important to enjoy clear eyesight and to safeguard the eyes from stress damage.
Our body can’t make lutein and zeaxanthin but all season fruit squash can deliver them to our body all year long. Squash also has a good amount of vitamin C and zinc. Squash has several varieties and the winter kind will give you vitamins A and C as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
16 Green Tea
A cup of green tea contains healthful substances called catechins, which are responsible for its antioxidant properties. It may help keep the eyes healthy. Apart from green tea, red wine, chocolate, berries, and apples also include catechins. Catechins are also present in black tea but in lower amounts.
According to researches drinking hot tea regularly can decrease your chances to develop glaucoma. Though the study isn’t definitive, brewed tea is a good source of disease-fighting antioxidants.