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11 Healthy Foods For The Eye

By Dhwani Jerajani +2 more

Our eyes are windows to our soul. They are our gateway to the world. A very important organ, we often take it for granted that with increasing screen time, excessive reading and of course, not caring enough for the kind of food we eat. Yes, just like for skin, the heart, the brain, food plays an important role in eye care. Here are the 10 best foods for your eyes:

Did you know?

  • Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits are high in vitamin C, which protects the eyes. source: aao.org
  • Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the macula. source: aao.org
  • Cold-water fish like salmon and tuna, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can reduce the risk of eye disease. source: aao.org
  • Beans, including black-eyed peas and kidney beans, are high in zinc, which helps keep the retina healthy. source: aao.org
  • Vitamin A-rich foods like carrots and sweet potatoes can improve eye health. source: aao.org

Eat Red Peppers Raw

Red peppers or red bell peppers are rich in vitamin C. They are great for the blood vessels in the eyes and according to researchers, eating red bell peppers lowers the risk of cataracts. Other vegetables rich in vitamin C are cauliflower, papaya, strawberries and Bok choy. It is best to eat it raw as the heat breaks down the vitamin C. Other coloured peppers such as yellow, purple and green are rich in Vitamin A and E.

Eat Nuts and Sunflower Seeds

Eating seeds is currently trending and there is a good for it too. An ounce of sunflower seeds or even almonds has half the amount of required vitamin E required for human beings. It is said that vitamin E with other nutrients can help slow down macular degeneration from worsening. Nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts and even peanut butter contain vitamin E.

Eat Dark, Leafy Green Veggies

Leafy green vegetables such as Kale or collard greens, spinach, fenugreek, etc. are rich in Vitamin C and E. They also contain carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. They provide a plant-based form of Vitamin A and lower the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts and AMD.

Just like carrots, sweet potatoes may aid with night vision meaning your eyes’ capacity to adapt to darkness. Sweet potato is rich in beta-carotene which is known to protect the eyes from any infection. It also contains vitamin E and more than half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Eat Salmon

Our retinas need Omega-3 fatty acids for the right functioning – DHA and EPA. These fatty acids can be found in fishes such as trout, tuna and of course salmon. Hence, salmon is a must in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids keep glaucoma and AMD at bay. If one has low levels of these fatty acids, they may suffer from dry eyes.

Eat Sweet Potatoes

Fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, cantaloupes, apricots, etc. are orange-coloured and rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a rich form of vitamin A which helps to improve night vision and the eyes’ ability to adjust to the darkness. Also, a single sweet potato has enough vitamin C and vitamin E for a person for a day.

Eat Lean Meat and Poultry

Seafood like oysters contains a lot of zinc and zinc is responsible for bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina. This zinc then forms protective pigment melanin. But if one cannot eat Oysters, they can indulge in chicken breasts, pork or beef.

Other than almonds and chia seeds, one can have peanuts, walnuts, and cashews for beter eye health. Peanuts, walnuts and cashews are rich in alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E. Alpha-tocopherol has a potent antioxidant effect. Antioxidants may aid in the battle against free radicals, which may occasionally harm the proteins in the eye and cause cataracts, the clouded regions on the eye lens.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Eat Legumes and Beans

For those who prefer a vegetarian diet, their high-fibre and low-fat options help to keep the vision sharp and even slow AMD. Black-eyed peas, lentils or dals, rajma, chouli, chickpeas, etc. are high in zinc.

Eat Eggs Daily

Eggs should be an integral part of one’s diet as it contains zinc. The zinc in the eggs helps the body to utilize the zeaxanthin and lutein from the yolk. The yellowish-orange colour of the yolks helps to block retina damage from the harmful blue light. Eggs also boost the forming of protective pigment in the macula part of the eyes.

Eat Squash

Agreed, squash is not a favourite vegetable but because our bodies cannot create zeaxanthin and lutein, squash is our source for it. Squash also contains Vitamin A and vitamin C as well as Omega-3 fatty acids.

Also Read: Can You Freeze Potatoes? A Science-Based Guide to Safe Food Storage

Eat Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts

These related veggies come with another winning combination of nutrients: vitamin A (as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene), vitamin C and vitamin E. They’re all antioxidants that protect the cells in your eyes from free radicals, a type of unstable molecule that breaks down healthy tissue. Your retinas are especially vulnerable.

Antioxidants and Eye-Health

Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are key elements of a balanced and nutritious diet. This kind of diet can not only support good eye health but also an overall healthy body. Antioxidants can be found in many vegetables and colourful fruits, these compounds are closely tied to a reduction in cell damage. Ample amounts of antioxidants can be a protection against future eye problems, age-related vision deterioration and cataracts. Some of the common antioxidants are lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins (A, C, E). The best foods for eyes will contain ample amounts of one or more of these antioxidants.

Also Read: Misdiagnosed Eye Conditions: Is it Pink Eye or Something Else?

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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