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Healthy Foods for the Eyes

Healthy Foods for the EyesDo you want a quick and easy way to protect your eyesight? Grab a salad. Eating the right foods can have many benefits for your eyes, helping you to see your best and protecting from debilitating vision diseases. What foods should you eat for optimal eye health? Check out a few of the ideas below.

Packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, kale is a powerhouse food for the eyes. The nutrients in kale have been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. A kale smoothie for breakfast or side dish of sautéed kale with dinner are delicious ways to keep your eyes at their best.

Bell Peppers
A rich source of vitamin C, bell peppers are great for the eyes. Eat them raw or lightly cooked and often to get the most benefit from this nutrient packed treat.

Like kale, spinach is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin as well as beta carotene and vitamin C. These nutrients work together to absorb blue light that enters the eye, creating an internal “sunscreen” that protects your eyes from UV light damage.

Do you love orange juice? Grab a glass with breakfast; your eyes will thank you. The vitamin C found in oranges, grapefruits and lemons has been shown to reduce the occurrence of cataracts and macular degeneration. It’s a delicious way to keep your eyes healthy.

A great source of niacin, a special vitamin that protects against cataracts, and zinc makes ostrich an eye healthy meat choice any day of the week. This tasty meat isn’t just for Thanksgiving; enjoy it all year round!

If you don’t like fruits and veggies, consider adding a few eggs to your diet for eye health. Eggs contain lutein which may reduce the risk of macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness).

Nuts and Seeds
Sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds and other seeds and nuts are great sources of vitamin E, a nutrient that can protect the body from free radicals, helping the eyes to fight against damage. You don’t need many to get the benefits; grab a handful of nuts for a snack or eat a peanut butter sandwich.

They say fish is good for your brain, but that isn’t all it can benefit. Fish is also great for eye health. Fish like salmon, sardines and tuna can help promote optimal eye health, as well as whole body wellness. Fish contain essential fatty acids (like Omega-3) which can protect the tiny blood vessels in the eyes.

If you need an excuse to enjoy a hot, buttery lobster, do it for your eyes. Shellfish are rich in zinc, a required nutrient for keeping vision sharp. The whole body uses zinc, but this vital nutrient is especially concentrated in the retina. One study found that seniors that enjoyed one serving of shellfish each week cut their risk of developing macular degeneration by 60%.

You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes and it’s certainly true. Carrots are rich in beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness in extreme cases. Carrots also contain lutein which can increase the pigment density in the macula, protecting against harmful rays and promoting eye health.

Thirsty? Grab a cup of tea since it has been shown to protect the eyes. Diabetic rats that were given large doses of tea had about half the risk of cataracts as those that did not drink tea. Both green and black tea have the antioxidants your body needs. Drink them unsweetened instead of drinking sugar filled drinks like soda.

Foods to Avoid
Eating the right foods is important, but for the best vision benefits you should also avoid certain foods. Low quality carbohydrates like white sugar and flour can cause blood sugar levels to surge. Long term exposure to elevated blood sugar levels may damage the retina and the tiny blood vessels in the eye.

Give your eyes the health boost they need by eating the right foods. By eating a healthy diet packed with nutritious foods, you can ensure that your eyes have the nutrients they need for optimal functioning.

What are your favorite eye healthy foods?

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