Eating for Your Eyes

September 16th, 2016 by Carolina Eye Associates

Eating a heart-healthy diet? What’s good for the heart is also good for the eyes. A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can benefit not only your heart but your eyes. There are some foods that stand out as particularly helpful for eye health and many may help lower your risk or delay age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Here are four foods you should make sure are part of your diet.

Leafy green vegetables such as kale are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients found in the healthy eye. Other dark leafy green vegetables, like spinach, romaine lettuce, collards and turnip greens, also contain significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs are also a good source of these nutrients, as are broccoli, peas and corn.

Cold-water fish. Some studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acid from cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut reduce the risk of developing eye disease later in life.

Oranges and all citrus such as grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that is critical to eye health. Scientists have found that your eyes need relatively high levels of vitamin C to function properly. Other foods that offer benefits similar to oranges include peaches, red peppers, tomatoes and strawberries.

Legumes of all kinds, including black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lima beans, and peanuts contain zinc, an essential trace mineral that is found in high concentration in the eyes. Zinc may help protect your eyes from the damaging effects of light. Other foods high in zinc include oysters, lean red meat, poultry and fortified cereals.

But what about carrots?  Carrots are high in beta-carotene, a nutrient that helps with night vision, as are other orange-colored fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, apricots and cantaloupe. Making them a part of a colorful diet can also help keep your eyes healthy.

For more information call Carolina Eye at (910) 295-2100 or toll-free at (800) 733-5357.

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