What you eat and drink on a daily basis impacts your overall health, everyone knows that, right? But did you know what you eat can specifically affect your eye health?
Dr. Leland Carr OD, professor of optometry at Northeastern State University of Oklahoma, reports that eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, along with foods that are low in saturated fats and sugar, is one of the best ways to take care of your eye health.
“Along with vitamins, you should be sure to take in adequate amounts of the minerals zinc and selenium, both of which help protect the retina – the light sensitive part of the back of the eye. You also need some fatty acids – usually from fish – to ensure adequate moisture in your eyes. Ask your family doctor if taking food supplements containing these substances is right for you,” says Dr. Carr.
Here are some facts about snacks your stomach and eyes will enjoy.
With 100% of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin A and C in one cup, bell peppers are filled with nutrients that can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Dark, Leafy Greens – like Spinach and Kale
Spinach is filled with antioxidants, vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all of which act as natural sunscreen and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Another antioxidant powerhouse, enjoying blueberries may help reduce your risk of cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, cancer and other harmful conditions.
Carrots contain vitamin A – which has been shown to reduce the impact of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. While eating carrots may not help you see better, they will help protect your eyes from disease.
Foods rich in omega-3s can help protect the tiny blood vessels in the eyes by acting as a natural moisturizer and lubricant, preventing dry eye syndrome. Fatty acids found in salmon and other omega-3 rich food may also help proper drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye, decreasing the risk of high eye pressure and glaucoma.
Similar to leafy greens, eggs contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs also contain high amounts of vitamin D, which reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Nuts & Seeds
Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts have a ton of vitamin E, which protects our eyes from free radicals and slows the progression of cataracts. They are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which may also reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy.