We use our eyes for the most important moments of our lives, and yet most of the time we do not take care of them the way we should. Between hours on computer and phone screens they can become strained and overworked.
Just like the foods we feed our toddlers, many of those are the foods adults should eat on a daily basis. The term ‘eat the rainbow’ applies no matter what your age. Simply put, eating the rainbow involves eating fruits and vegetables of different colors every day.
A simple way to improve eye health is to change some of the foods we continually consume. Foods that are high in antioxidants and vitamins play a key role in the health of your eyes. Antioxidants can help your body fight cellular damage.
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E
Tomatoes, garlic, red bell peppers (think yummy Italian foods) are some of the easiest foods to add to your grocery cart to help increase antioxidants in your diet. They are good sources of vitamins A and C as well as carotenoids (what gives these vegetables color) that may reduce the risk for eye disease.
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons are high in vitamin C and can protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Berries also contain high levels of vitamin C. These are great choices to add to your daily routine because they help the body build collagen, which forms strong blood vessels in the eyes and elsewhere.
Another important antioxidant is vitamin E, which helps keep cells healthy. Vitamin E can be found in avocados, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
Don’t forget your carrots too. Your mom wasn’t completely wrong when she said they helped you see better, it might not have been 100% true but they do help keep your eyes strong. Carrots are rich in both vitamin A and beta carotene. These are easy to add as a side dish, a snack in the car, or while you’re working. Sweet potatoes are also rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant responsible for the vegetable’s bright orange color.
Studies have shown that eating foods like spinach, kale, and collard greens, can increase the pigment density in the macula and lower the risk of aging macular degeneration. Other foods that can lower the risk of macular degeneration include romaine lettuce, turnip greens, broccoli, and peas.
Next time you are at the store, look at the items in your cart and simply start incorporating a few new fruits and vegetables at a time.
Start with these five simple and affordable options to help with your overall eye health.
Look for ways to add these vegetables and fruits into your favorite recipes, or take a look on Pinterest for something new you might like that includes them. Once you see how easy it is to add a few new fruits and vegetables to your weekly menu, you might start to notice a change in your overall health, as well as your eyesight.