Eye Health: Another Reason to Eat Healthy
We often don’t think about eye health until we have an eye or vision issue. But did you know that how you eat today can help prevent eye problems later in life?
In general, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight will go a long way in protecting your eyes from disease. Good nutrition can offset the effects of high stress on the eyes, as well as reduce the risk of age-related vision loss.
Certain nutrients have been directly associated with eye health. Include the following foods in your healthy eating plan to help protect your eyes.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables including broccoli, pumpkin, corn and leafy greens such as spinach, kale, turnip greens and collards. These are loaded with the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin – antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of cataracts. Aim to eat 5 – 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Consume eggs regularly. Eggs are also a good source of lutein. Most healthy people can safely consume one egg daily.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower the risk of macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the developed world. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Consume fish at least twice per week. Other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed, walnuts and fortified foods such as margarine, juices and yogurts.
Vitamin C can also help keep eyes healthy. Vitamin C provides protection against the damage of UV light. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Other great sources of vitamin C include red bell peppers, strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.
Vitamin E may help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower oil, peanut butter, wheat germ and almonds.
Limit your intake of trans fats. A high intake of trans fats may increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.