In this article, we will discuss the foods that can help improve your vision. Our eyes are the most important sensory organ as they help you experience and process a lot of information necessary for most of our other organs. Age, gene, electronics, and most of our unhealthy lifestyle choices affect our eyesight harshly. Therefore, we need to take steps to protect them.
Maintaining a well-balanced, healthy diet rich with all the vital vitamins, nutrients, and minerals keep your eyes healthy, and may also help lower the risk of developing eye conditions. In this article, we have listed 15 foods that provide all the essential nutrients required to maintain eye health (1).
Here are the 15 foods that can help improve your vision.
Carrots are wholesome vegetables that are so versatile that they can impart an amazing color and taste to any dish. They have rich quantities of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gets converted into vitamin A by our body. Scientists have confirmed through studies that consuming carrots improves night vision in people and can prevent deterioration of eyesight. The antioxidants in carrots also help prevent oxidative damage and inflammation which majorly affect our eyesight.
Eating raw carrots offer maximum nourishment, but you can also cook them without losing most of their nutritional profile. Find easy recipes to include carrots in soups, curries, baking, juices, or smoothies. Whenever you get an urge to snack, munch on a carrot.
2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is the best source of omega-3-fatty acids which are very essential for many reasons. They help lower inflammation by balancing out the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio. Our eye has an area near the retina that is loaded with DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Therefore, regularly eating fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel benefit your eye health significantly.
Avoid poaching or frying fatty fish as they may reduce their food value. Grilling them is the best method to consume fatty fish. For people who do not eat fish, there are fish oil supplements available which you can take. But do consult your doctor first.
Spinach is loaded with most of the essential nutrients like vitamins E, A, B, and C, zinc, iron, and phytonutrients. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, consuming an adequate amount of spinach regularly can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. The zinc in spinach is quite helpful in keeping the corneas healthy.
You can add spinach to your sandwiches, soups, curries, or pasta dishes. You can also make healthy smoothies using spinach. Add fruits to the spinach smoothie to remove any grassy or bitter taste.
Eggs provide many nutrients that are vital for eye health such as zinc, vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Along with both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, eggs are also rich with essential amino acids. The egg yolk is the main source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which also imparts the yellow color to it. These also reverse the harm done to the retina and also block cataract formulation.
Include one or two whole eggs in your daily diet to keep your eyes healthy. You can eat them boiled, poached, or soft-boiled and also add them to various other dishes. Try no to overindulge in eggs as they are a little high in cholesterol.
Milk and yogurt significantly help in improving eye health. Along with being a great source for calcium and phosphorus, dairy is also loaded with zinc and vitamin A. Zinc helps transport vitamin A to the eyes from the liver, while Vitamin A helps protect the cornea. Zinc also helps improve night vision and prevents cataracts.
Opt for grass-fed cow milk if you can find them and drink it daily morning or at night before going to bed. You can also snack on yogurt whenever you are hungry instead of junk foods.
Nuts are a rich source of healthy fats and vitamin E, which come with anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have confirmed that consuming nuts rich in vitamin E can help keep away age-related formation of cataract. Nuts are also loaded with extremely healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
In your regular diet include a handful of mixed nuts to help improve and protect your vision. Nuts can cause allergic reactions in some people, so be careful while consuming them.
The superfood kale is a treasure trove of nutrients. It contains all the vital vitamins, dietary fiber, lutein, and minerals that significantly improve eye health. The nutrients in kale may help to prevent serious eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Lutein aids in preventing light and oxidative damages.
You can add kale in salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, and smoothies. Kale chips are also a healthy snack option.
8. Whole Grains
Whole grains can protect your eyes from vision-impairing problems and lowering the risk of vision loss in older age. They are loaded with dietary fiber, vitamins, phytonutrients, and minerals. The zinc and vitamin E present in whole grains are the two vital eye health-promoting nutrients. These help keep oxidative damage and inflammation away from your eyes. Whole grains also lower the occurrence of blood sugar spikes which cause damage to the retina over time.
Oysters provide 605% of the RDI of zinc, which along with vitamin A produces melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes. Thus, oysters help avoid poor night vision, night blindness, and cataracts. High doses of zinc slow the progression of macular degeneration and oysters deliver more of the mineral than most food.
Raw oysters can be a health risk, so you need to cook them properly. So if you are eating out, consume oysters only from a reputed restaurant. You can roast, broil or steam them and also add them to soups, pasta, and stews.
10. Red Bell Pepper
Red bell peppers help keep away most eye issues as they are loaded with vitamins A, E, and C as well as lutein and zeaxanthin. The high content of vitamin A that these peppers provide, helps prevent dry eye, eye infections, and vision loss. These vitamins and phytonutrients are also helpful in preventing macular degeneration and oxidative damage that help maintain good retina health.
All are aware that broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables. They contain essential vitamins and lutein required for your eyes. But the most important compound found in broccoli is sulforaphane. This compound protects the eye cells from damage and protects you from blindness. Broccoli protects your visual health by preventing age-related degeneration, oxidation of the retina, and photodamage.
Add stir fry, roasted, steamed, or blanched broccoli to your salads and soup. You can also snack on raw broccoli.
12. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are extremely healthy since they are loaded with healthy fats, vitamin E, and protein. These nutrients help lower inflammation and flush out metabolic wastes from the eyes. A study conducted in Spain with nearly 600 men and women aged 65 and older found that people who ate Vitamin E rich diets had significantly lower rates of cataracts and cataract surgery than those who ate lesser amounts.
Two ounces of sunflower seeds provide the recommended daily value of 15 milligrams of vitamin E. Toss a few sunflower seeds in your breakfast bowl, smoothies, and salads.
13. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, berries, and kiwis are the richest sources for vitamin C. Vitamin C improves the health of the blood vessels present in the eyes and also aids in building collagen, which gives structure for your cornea. The eyes have a high metabolic rate and the metabolic reactions produce a lot of toxins. Citrus fruits provide the antioxidants required for constantly flushing out these toxins.
14. Beans And Legumes
Beans and legumes are rich sources of zinc and bioflavonoids. They ensure the zinc levels stay high which helps protect the retina and prevent the risk of developing a cataract.
Make sure you add an adequate amount of lentils, chickpeas, green peas, kidney beans, and sprouts in your regular diet.
15. Sweet Potato/Purple Sweet Potato
Sweet potato and purple sweet potato help improve vision as they are loaded with zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants help lower inflammation and flush out toxins. Sweet potatoes also have high beta-carotene content that boosts the ability of the eyes to adjust to the darkness and ensure proper night vision.
You can consume baked or boiled sweet potato to reap all its benefits.
A balanced diet created with all these above-listed foods will ensure you get all the essential nutrients required to keep your vision healthy. You should also avoid the consumption of unhealthy foods that contain high saturated fats or sugar. You should also make a few lifestyle changes and do a few things like wash your eyes regularly, adjust lighting, wear sunglasses, and the right spectacles.
- Credit: Getty Images
- Copyright: FRANCESCO CARTA
- Title: Young woman holding two orange slices in front of her face