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Food For Sight – Eye Healthy Foods to Add to Your Diet

-The EYE Digest-

Food For Sight – Eye Healthy Foods to Add to Your Diet

The types of foods we eat have a profound impact on our body. We know that every micronutrient and every macronutrient we ingest serves some type of purpose. We even know what foods can provide benefit for individual systems and organs in the body! A healthy diet often means less health problems, increased energy, and overall greater vitality.

A question I often get from patients is: “what foods are good for the eyes?” The answer is that there are quite a variety of foods with eye benefits, ranging from fruits and veggies to certain meats. And to be quite frank, there are a lot of foods out there that are better than carrots. Let’s go through a general overview of the different food categories and how they can help the eyes.

 

Dark Leafy Green Vegetables

Types:spinach web

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Arugula

Micronutrients included:

  • Lutein
  • Zeathanthin

Benefit to the eye:

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that lutein and zeathanthin are key nutrients for the macula (the spot of central vision in the retina). A diet rich in these two antioxidants may help stave off early Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

 

Berries and Citrus

Types:blackberries

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons

Micronutrients included:

  • Vitamin C

Benefit to the eye:

Vitamin C has been found to help slow down or possibly prevent both cataracts and macular degeneration. For a more in-depth look at Vitamin C’s effects on the eyes, check out our EYE Digest article!

 

Fishsalmon

Types:

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovies

Micronutrients included:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Benefit to the eye:

The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3 fatty acids can help the tear glands produce more tears and help both prevent and treat dry eye syndrome. Omega-3 may also provide benefits when considering macular degeneration, glaucoma, and infant vision development. For a more in-depth look at Omega-3’s benefits for the eyes, read this article: Worth The Burp? – Fish Oil/Omega-3 and Eye Health.

 

Almondsalmonds

Micronutrients included:

  • Vitamin E

Benefit to the eye:

Vitamin E is often an overlooked micronutrient when it comes to eye health, however studies have shown that it has a key function in preventing early stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

 

Eggs

Micronutrients included:eggs

  • Lutein
  • Zeathanthin
  • Zinc

Benefit to the eye:

As previously discussed, lutein and zeathanthin are antioxidants that play a role in holding off early stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Zinc also plays a role in prevention of ARMD.

 

A diet rich in the foods listed in this article can help lead to better eye health and longevity. The inclusion of these fruits, vegetables, nuts and meats not only have eye health benefits, but have many benefits to the body overall. There are many recipes that can make these foods even more delicious and enjoyable!

-Dr. Aaron Neufeld

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Dr. Aaron Neufeld is the Chief Optometrist at Los Altos Optometric Group and primary author and editor of The EYE Digest.

Contact him with questions or ideas for future articles at (650) 948-3700 or aneufeldod@gmail.com