Are you eating the foods that are best for your eyes? There’s more to eye nutrition than just carrots. Learn which foods boost your eye health and help protect against sight-threatening diseases. Eating healthy is good for your whole body — especially better vision for your eyes!
Top food choices for better vision
Did you know that brightly colored bell peppers are a nutritional powerhouse that could help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and age-related macular degeneration? Just one cup of these beauties provides 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C. Plus, bell peppers are fat-free, low-calorie, and contain three grams of fiber per cup. In addition to giving your body the dose of vitamins it needs, bell peppers fill you up fast and help curb your hunger.
These portable vegetables are perfect for on-the-go snacking. Eating carrots won’t make you see better than you already do, but there is a lot of truth in the idea that they can help protect vision. Carrots contain a lot of vitamin A, and there have been several studies recently showing that this vitamin – along with vitamins C and E – helps to reduce the impact of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Toss them in your salad, dip them in hummus, or just munch on them plain for a flavorful burst of nutrition.
Spinach, kale, and other dark green, leafy vegetables
Deep green and leafy, spinach is filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, and loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants act like a natural sunscreen for your eyes and they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Use spinach in salads, steam it, or mix up a low-cal spinach artichoke dip and scoop it up with carrot and bell pepper sticks.
It’s no secret that blueberries are packed with antioxidants but did you know they pack a punch for overall eye health and wellness, too? According to a study by Tufts University, blueberries may help to reduce your risk of cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. Blueberries are also good for the brain. Studies have shown that blueberries may not only help improve learning and memory capacity, but also can fight the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. They’re high in the soluble fiber pectin, which can help lower cholesterol. Put them in a covered container in the fridge and they’ll last for about a week. They’re very delicate, so don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them. Then, just pop them in your mouth, or add them to yogurt or cereal for a burst of blue goodness.
This bright-orange root vegetable provides beta carotene, just like carrots. For an easy and fun way to get your vitamins, cut a sweet potato in thin strips. Roast the strips in the oven with a little olive oil and your choice of spices and you’ll soon be enjoying sweet potato fries.
This all-purpose protein is delicious in chili, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and more. It’s also loaded with zinc and B-vitamin niacin, which can help prevent cataracts.
Studies show that eating foods rich in omega-3s can help protect tiny blood vessels in the eyes. Broil some wild salmon for dinner—this luscious, pink fish is a perfect way to get the omega-3 fats you need. For a tasty and nutritional treat, serve a delicious spinach salad on the side!
Want an extra boost of nutrients? Add some chia seeds to your diet. Chia seeds contain more omega 3s than flax seeds or salmon, more calcium than a glass of milk, and more antioxidants than blueberries. They are also a great way to get more fiber into your diet.