It is a common, very false, belief that degenerative eyesight is a normal part of aging. However, the truth is that although poor vision becomes more common as we age, it has more to do with what we are exposed to and our overall health, and less to do with time and inevitable aging. Most vision loss can be prevented throughout the lifetime.
In some of our previous posts, we have discussed eye health topics for preventing poor ocular health including everyday habits that are hurting your eyes and how you can protect your eyes as you age. If you haven’t already, we suggest you take a few minutes to read through these previous posts for more valuable information on eye health and how you can help lower the risk deterioration of your vision throughout your lifetime. In today’s post, we are going to hone in on a specific topic that comes up time and time again in the prevention of degenerative vision issues — nutrition, specifically nutrition obtained through diet.
At Viteyes®, we focus on ocular nutrition and how the nutrients we consume help support eye health — and how what we miss in our diets contributes to poor eye health. While we offer great eye supplements, we are well aware that nothing can replace the nutrients that are consumed in your diet. Join us as we offer some insight into what foods are best at protecting your ocular health.
Fish, specifically salmon, is great for supporting your overall health, including ocular health. This power food tops the lists for foods that support heart health, brain health, and ocular health — in addition to working wonders on your hair, nails, and skin. Fish is packed full of lean protein, potassium, selenium, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been suggested to help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration, and cataracts. It should come as no surprise, then, that several eye supplements offered by Viteyes contain omega-3.
Another power food that tops several health food charts is kale — and its leafy green cousins including spinach and collard greens. Kale is known to be one of the healthiest and most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Kale is packed full of vitamins and nutrients that include vitamins A, K, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In addition to supporting optimal ocular health, kale is beneficial for heart health and has anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer effects. Studies show that those who eat enough lutein and zeaxanthin throughout their lifetime have a much lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
3. Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
Colorful fruits and vegetables are incredibly high in vitamins C and A, both of which support the health of the blood vessels in the eye. Optimizing ocular vascular health helps reduce the chances of developing cataracts. In the vitamin C department, nothing packs more vitamins per calorie ratio than colorful peppers. However, cooking them decreases the number of available vitamins, so crunch on them raw for eye health. Other colorful edibles that support eye health include citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and berries.
4. Lean Meat
Lean meats and proteins including shellfish, chicken, beef, lamb, and pork, are all great sources of zinc — with shellfish having the most zinc per serving. Zinc helps transfer vitamin A from your liver to your retina to create protective melanin.
Eggs, a derivative of the lean meat category, is a special two-for-one deal. The egg whites are rich in zinc that helps your body process and use the lutein and zeaxanthin in the yolk. Additionally, the yellow-orange color of these compounds blocks harmful blue light from damaging your retina. They help boost the amount of protective pigment in the macula, the part of your eye that controls central vision.
For our vegan and vegetarian friends, legumes and nuts also support ocular health. Nuts like pistachios, walnuts, and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Legumes like kidney beans and black-eyed peas or lentils are excellent sources of bioflavonoids and zinc, both of which help lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
We would be remiss if we didn’t list the most well-known eye health power food, carrots! The old wives’ tale, as it were, that carrots health support night vision is partially true. The whole truth is that orange fruits and vegetables including carrots, mangos, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and apricots — but oddly enough, not so much oranges — are high in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a form of vitamin A which helps eyes adjust to light and dark better, effectively making it easier to adjust to the dark — night vision!
By consuming a nutrient-rich diet that includes the eye-friendly foods mentioned in our top-five list, you are helping protect your eyes and reduce your risk of developing poor eye conditions including cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eyes, and poor night vision. If none of these foods pique your interest, look for alternatives that feature lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc.
In addition to these delicious eye health power foods, you can add some eye supplements from Viteyes to support your nutrition and ocular health. At Viteyes, we take notes from the natural foods that offer superior eye health and include the same nutrients in our supplements, including zinc, vitamin C, omega-3, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Add these foods to your menu and a Viteyes eye supplement to your daily routine. Visit our online eye supplement shop to find everything you need to optimize your ocular health.