Posted on October 12 2018
No matter your age, it's important that you take care of your body to the best of your ability. One important topic that often gets overlooked (and thrown into the "for old people" category) is eye health. Although eye health may not sound as exciting as a new circuit workout or getting strong abs, it's important to begin taking preventive measures against common eye diseases like cataracts.
In order to protect your eyes against age-related eye diseases, you should incorporate foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.
The foods on this list are tasty, will protect your eyes — because scrolling down Instagram is a serious task — and will improve your overall health. Be sure to add them to your grocery list the next time you go shopping!
Vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, eggs, and green leafy vegetables have high amounts of vitamin A and beta carotene. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye called the cornea and also makes up the protein (rhodopsin) that allows you to see in low-light conditions. According to WebMD, Vitamin A can be derived from animals, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin making it a great food to incorporate into your diet to protect your eyes. You can sauté it, use it as your salad base, or add it to your morning smoothie.
Not only are eggs high in protein, they're rich in the carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect your eyes from free radicals and harmful blue light. Consuming more lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
You can eat more eggs by adding them to your avocado toast or by boiling them and enjoying them as a snack.
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies are unable to produce. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, are important for visual development and retinal function. The following foods are hih in omega-3s:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
According to the WebMD, "Vitamin C is a top antioxidant" for eye health. Vitamin C keeps the blood vessels in your eyes healthy and can combat cataracts and AMD.
Fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines have high amounts of vitamin C. Strawberries and red peppers have similar benefits to oranges and other citric fruits.
Berries are one of the highest sources for antioxidants found in foods. Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are all high in vitamin C and can improve your eye health. Make a quick fruit salad and top it with coconut nectar or add them to your smoothies.
Almonds, along with vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, and avocados, are rich in vitamin E. This antioxidant can protect the eye from oxidative damagethat can lead to cataracts and AMD.