Our eyes are complex organs consisting of several parts, each working together to present a clear vision. Eyesight being one of the most vital senses, protecting our eye health is crucial to lessen the chances of vision loss and blindness, and diseases like glaucoma and cataracts .
Needless to say, eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is just the initial step to overall health, including eye health. Read on for a list of healthy eye foods to delay age-related eye diseases like dry eyes, macular degeneration, problems with night vision, etc. maintain good vision .
Foods for eyesight
WHY? This , along with other leafy green veggies such as kale and broccoli, is packed with zeaxanthin and Lutein, which reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Lutein shields the eye by forming pigments in the macula that filter out harmful blue light waves, which can harm the eye.
The more pigments our eye contains, the less likely it is to fall prey to age-linked macular degeneration. HOW MUCH? Eat a 100 g serving every alternate day. Have it steamed with hot meals or raw in salads.
[Also Read: Benefits of Spinach Juice]
2. Dark Berries
WHY? They are associated with better night vision. II World War pilots ate bilberries to improve their sight for night missions. Research studies have since found dark berries such as blackberries and bilberries are rich in anthocyanins, which slow and prevent blindness caused by cataracts and macular degeneration.
The berries also help build up the capillaries that deliver nutrients and blood to the eye. HOW MUCH? Add to a fruit smoothie in the breakfast or sprinkle a fistful on your breakfast cereal daily.
[Read: Health Benefits of Berries]
3. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are abundant sources of omega-3-fatty acids. And omega-3s help diminish inflammation by balancing out the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid ratio. When the inflammation levels are low, our brain and body functions improve, thereby strengthening our immunity.
Furthermore, the place near the retina is loaded with DHA, a form of omega-3 fatty acid. Therefore, consuming fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel is beneficial for our eye health.
If you don’t eat fish, you can take fish oil supplements after talking to your physician. The finest way to eat fatty fish is to grill it. Poaching or frying may reduce its food value.
4. Citrus Fruits
Our eyes have a high metabolic rate and constantly need antioxidants to flush out toxins produced due to metabolic reactions. Citrus fruits like berries, kiwis, and oranges are loaded with vitamin C – a wonderful immunity booster.
It is an antioxidant that aids scavenge the toxic oxygen radicals, thereby protecting our eye muscles from damage. Vitamin C also helps improve the health of the blood vessels present in the eyes.
Carrots are rich in both beta carotene, and Vitamin A. Beta carotene gives carrots their orange color. Vitamin A plays a pivotal part in the vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which supports the retina to absorb light.
Studies on beta carotene’s role in vision are mixed, though the body requires this nutrient to make vitamin A.
Like other nuts and seeds, almonds are usually good for eye health. Almonds have vitamin E. This vitamin protects against unstable molecules that attack healthy tissue. Taking regular amounts of vitamin E can aid in preventing cataracts as well as age-related macular degeneration.
We should aim for about 22 IU (international units), or 15 mg of vitamin E a day. One serving of almonds is about ¼ cup nuts, or 23 nuts, and has 11 IU. Other seeds and nuts that contain vitamin E include hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and peanuts .
You can relish almonds as a snack at any time. They are also tasty in salads, in your breakfast cereal, or yogurt. Be cautious about the serving size. Almonds are rich in calories, so try to limit your intake to 1 to 2 servings a day.
[Read: Reasons to eat almonds]
Kale is called a superfood by many because it has several important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It’s exceptionally good for eye health. Kale has the antioxidants zeaxanthin and Lutein, also present in eggs and other foods .
These nutrients can help to prevent severe eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Zeaxanthin and Lutein aren’t made in our body, so we have to incorporate them into our diet. A 100 gm (gram) serving of kale, which is around 1 ½ cups, has 11.4 mg of Lutein, and it’s recommended we get 10 mg per day.
Other veggies high in Lutein are spinach and red peppers.
Kale can be made into snack chips. First, clean the leaves, then tear them into tiny pieces; toss them in olive oil, and bake it 25 minutes or so until they get crispy. We can season them with a light sprinkle of salt. You can also serve it in a salad or sauté kale for a side dish.
A healthy diet is critical for eye health. Maintaining a diet rich in antioxidants will prevent the development of serious eye conditions and ensure our eyes work their best. Try to eat a variety of unprocessed, whole foods on a daily basis.
See your doctor if you experience problems with your eyes, as early intervention can prevent more serious conditions from developing.