It is often said that you eat with your eyes, but what about eating for them? The foods you choose to put on your plate can have a big impact on your overall health and this includes your eyes.
You’ve probably heard the old saying that carrots can help you to see in the dark, but is that true? And what else do you need to eat to make sure your eyes work properly, both now and in the future? We investigate.
1. Orange coloured fruits and veg
They may not give you the magical ability to see in the dark, but they do promote eye health and protect your vision. The key ingredient that they contain is beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A, that helps the eye to function properly.
2. Leafy green vegetables
These may help visual performance and reduce the risk of age-related eye conditions. They’re jam packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that have been proven to lower the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. In addition, these antioxidants block blue light, the most harmful light type, from the retina.
3. Less trans and saturated fat
Did you know that there is a close link between vascular health and eye health? Making sure your diet is low in trans and saturated fats can help keep the blood vessels of the eyes healthy.
Tomatoes are a fabulous food to feed your eyes. Packed with carotenoids, including lycopene, they can help prevent light-induced damage to the retina and other parts of the eye. They’re also packed with vitamin C, which is known to protect the vision. While you can get supplements, eating foods rich in antioxidants is more effective.
Eggs are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin. They are also jam-packed with vitamin D, which may reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
6. Foods high in omega three fatty acids
Foods that are high in omega three fatty acids, such as fresh salmon and eggs may also help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and dry eye disease.
The health benefits of nuts are now widely publicised, but did you know that they are good for your eyes too? Pistachios are the most eye-friendly nut because they contain high levels of zeaxanthin, lutein and vitamin E.
8. Pulses and beans
Legumes such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are good sources of bioflavonoids and zinc, which help protect the retina and lower the risk of age-related eye conditions.
9. Wheat germ
Wheat germ is a fantastic source of vitamin E, which is another antioxidant that protects your eyes from free radical damage. It can also help to slow down the progression of macular degeneration and cataracts. You can sprinkle this wonder food on anything, from yogurt and cereal to salads and smoothies.
When eaten in moderation, lean beef can boost eye health thanks to the fact that it contains zinc, which can help slow down the eye aging process.