NUTRITION FOR EYE HEALTH: BEST DIET, NUTRIENTS, AND FOOD
A healthy diet including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, beta carotene, antioxidants, and vegetable oils can help protect your eye health for years to come.
If you are concerned about your eye health in Fort Collins, don’t hesitate to contact us at Poudre Valley Eye Care. Our eye care professionals have years of experience with preventative eye exams, eye disease diagnosis, and eye disease treatment.
Best Food for Eye Health
Here we will elaborate on the best foods to eat to obtain the nutrients for keeping a healthy vision.
Fish are an excellent food source for maintaining healthy eyes. Many fish contain an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for eye health. Omega-3s help your body in several ways, but when it comes to the eyes, omega-3s help the glands that produce the eye’s oily film.
While this might not sound like much, it’s very helpful for those who suffer from conditions like dry eye because by aiding the production of the oil film layer in the eye, your eye can better keep itself properly lubricated.
Omega 3’s are also said to help macular degeneration and cataracts as well. Some types of oily fish that are rich in omega-3s are:
Most fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, but the fish listed above tend to have higher amounts than the average serving of fish.
Eggs are one of those foods that are great for overall health. They contain good fats, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zinc, and more. They are beneficial for a number of systems throughout your body, including eye health.
When it comes to eggs, according to a recent article, they contain lutein and zeaxanthin. They are known for reducing your risk of vision loss due to aging.
We’re not saying that eggs are like the waters from the fountain of youth, but eggs certainly don’t hurt when it comes to preventing vision loss due to that pesky thing they call old age.
Nuts (and legumes) are another great source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Vitamin E, and essential fatty acids are shown to counteract the effects of macular degeneration and cataracts — not to mention dry eye.
Nuts are perfect for those vegetarians looking to take steps toward their eye health and are not interested in eating fish. Some nuts that are rich in omega-3s and vitamin E are:
We’ve all heard at some point throughout our lives that carrots will help your eyesight. Turns out, that’s not an old wive’s tale.
Carrots contain large amounts of vitamin A and carotene. According to a recent article on eye health, vitamin A is largely beneficial for vision. Vitamin A helps produce a protein in the eye that aids our eyes in absorbing light.
This is important because if too much light gets into the retina, it can be extremely damaging. So listen to your eye specialist and eat more carrots to have great eye health.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Incorporating green leafy vegetables into your diet can do wonders for your eye health, and we have the scientific evidence from a study by Iowa State University.
These nutrient-packed foods, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, contain various vitamins and minerals that promote healthy eyesight.
These compounds work to filter out harmful blue light that can cause damage to the retina. Additionally, green leafy vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great addition to any diet.
The best green vegetables to incorporate into your diet are:
- Collard greens
Sweet potatoes are considered a superfood because they are so rich in vital nutrients that are great for our bodies. Sweet potatoes are good for the eyes in the way that, like carrots, they contain carotene which helps produce vitamin A.
And, as mentioned above, vitamin A has a crucial part to play when it comes to eye health.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C might be known for its ability to beef up your immune system, but did you know it also can reduce your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases?
Antioxidants like vitamin C are also effective at fighting off eye problems that start to develop with age. Examples of foods that are packed with antioxidants are:
- Chili peppers
- Green peppers
- Raw red peppers
Foods Rich in Vitamin E
To maintain robust eye health, it’s important to consume a diverse range of fruits and vegetables daily, including these Vitamin E superfoods.
Olive oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, and other nuts are excellent sources of this vitamin and can contribute to overall eye health. Other Vitamin E-rich foods include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Red bell pepper
- Peanuts and peanut butter
Citrus fruits are certainly a treat for taste buds, but did you know that they are also incredibly beneficial for eye health? These fruits are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, fiber, vitamins C and E.
The healthiest citrus fruits are:
- Blood oranges
- Mandarin oranges
These vitamins help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, one of the most significant causes of vision loss in older adults.
The antioxidants in citrus fruits also help protect the retina and lenses from harmful free radicals that could lead to cataracts. So, if you want to enjoy a delicious snack while keeping your eyes in top shape, citrus fruits are an excellent option.
Are you looking for a delicious snack that can also benefit your eyes? Look no further than dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is a delicious snack that can also benefit your eyes.
Packed with antioxidants like flavonoids and catechins, dark chocolate can improve blood flow to the retinas and decrease inflammation, both important factors for maintaining healthy eyesight.
Additionally, the compounds in dark chocolate may help protect against age-related macular degeneration, a common condition that can lead to blindness in older adults.
Foods Rich in Zinc
Zinc plays an important role in maintaining the health of the retina and may even help prevent macular degeneration and other age-related eye diseases.
Foods that are high in zinc are often praised for their immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. However, another lesser-known benefit of consuming zinc-rich foods is their positive effect on eye health.
Foods such as oysters, lean beef, beans, and nuts are all great sources of zinc and can be easily incorporated into a balanced diet.
Nutrition and age-related Macular Degeneration – FAQ
Now that we’ve covered the essentials and what the ideal diet for healthy eyes looks like, here are some questions from patients that may help you too.
What is age-related macular Degeneration (AMD)?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects a person’s central vision.
It is the leading cause of severe, permanent vision loss in adults over the age of 50 and is one of the most common causes of blindness worldwide.
AMD occurs when the macula, a part of the retina, becomes damaged. This can lead to blurred or distorted vision and difficulty with activities such as reading or recognizing faces.
Early detection and treatment and a nutritious, healthy diet are essential for preserving vision and preventing further damage.
How can a diet rich in fruits and vegetables keep eyes healthy?
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can benefit eye health and help prevent age-related macular degeneration. Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals.
Fruits and vegetables can provide the body with lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, which have all been linked to improved eye health. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are especially beneficial for eye health due to their high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Eating a balanced diet full of these foods can help keep your eyes healthy and reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Are vitamin supplements good for eye health?
Yes, taking vitamin supplements may help keep vision healthy. Vitamins are essential for maintaining good eye health, and several vitamins have been linked to reducing the risk of certain serious eye conditions.
Vitamins A, C, and E are all important for eye health, as well as B vitamins, lutein and zeaxanthin, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
However, before taking any supplements, talk to your doctor to make sure that these are appropriate for your medical and health conditions.
Eye Health Diet Evaluation
Poudre Valley Eye Care is an excellent choice for family eye care services in the Fort Collins region. Our team specializes in providing exceptional eye exams, contact lenses, and various other eye care solutions. Take the first step towards better eye health by booking your appointment with us today.
Dr. Eric Torgerson
Owner at Poudre Valley Eyevare
Dr. Eric Torgerson is the owner of Poudre Valley Eyecare, and has been recognized for his contributions to optometry and his commitment to community health through various roles and accolades within the Northern Colorado Optometric Society and the Colorado Optometric Association.
Why Choose Us?
Our advanced technology and individualized care deliver results for patients of all ages. Our routine exams allow us to spot changes in your vision and allow us to treat those changes early. We have a comprehensive understanding of eye care, which means we can treat a wide range of conditions and chronic diseases. Our in-depth routine exams and customized treatment plans set us apart from the rest.