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5–Top Foods for Eye Health
Healthy eating is good for your eyesight! Studies reveal that the five main eye diseases (cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy) have a nutritional link. Foods with certain phytonutrients, which are powerful antioxidants, are important for keeping eyes healthy. The best sources of these nutrients are found in whole foods.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables, including spinach, collard greens and kale, contain two of the most essential antioxidants: zeaxanthin and lutein. They can protect the eyes from sun damage, which is linked to reducing the risk of AMD and cataracts. They are best absorbed when eaten with a little fat. Drizzle veggies with olive oil.
Orange Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that are orange in color are good sources of beta-carotene, and some are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. They may slow macular degeneration, prevent dry-eyes and decrease the risk of cataracts. Mangos, cantaloupe, oranges, carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in these antioxidants. Eat plenty of colorful fruits & vegetables daily for maximum health benefits.
Fish, especially fatty fish, is rich in omega-3s, which may relieve dry eyes. Good sources of omega-3s are salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, anchovies and sardines. Salmon is also a good source of Vitamin D which reduces inflammation and supports eye health. Try to incorporate fish into your meal plan at least twice a week.
Dairy products, such as low-fat milk and yogurt, may be good for the eyes. Both contain zinc and are excellent sources of vitamin A and D, if fortified. Zinc and vitamin A can help with night vision and prevention of cataracts. Vitamin D reduces inflammation. If you tolerate dairy products, try to have at least 2 to 3 servings per day. Yogurt is a healthy option for breakfast or as a snack.
Green tea is associated with many health benefits. Research suggests antioxidants in green tea, including catechins, help protect the tissues of the eye from glaucoma and other eye diseases. Enjoy a cup of green tea daily!
Other Factors to Consider
- If you’re at risk of developing AMD, an eye supplement may be recommended. Discuss the risks & benefits of supplements with your eye care professional. Only use as directed.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight and lifestyle contribute to eye health.
- Keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control and avoid smoking.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- If you spend a lot of time focusing on one thing, your eyes can get fatigued. Give your eyes a rest to reduce eye strain.
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