lcp

Top 10 Foods That Are Good For Your Eyes

Written by Deborah Onoja on Fri, 11 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • A well-balanced, healthy diet is essential for keeping your eyes healthy.
  • It may help lower your risk of developing eye conditions.
  • Major eye conditions can be avoided if you eat foods rich in antioxidants, which are vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
  • This includes foods like leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, dairy, citrus fruits, etc.
  • Sometimes, one may require supplements to attain the required level of nutrients.
viewbox

We may not realize, but good vision is an important aspect of our lives. 

The eye is the most valuable organ among the special senses because it perceives nearly 80% of all impressions. Don't take your vision for granted! 

Taking care of them is essential. Neglecting your eye health will hurt your overall quality of life!

Eye health and nutrition

A good vision can help with any task, such as reading, walking, working, and so on. That is why regular eye exams and eating healthy foods are essential for eye health. Whether it's due to aging or a lack of nutrients, failing eyesight and eye infections can be extremely difficult to manage. 

The eyes are extremely sensitive, and anything from poor hygiene to ultraviolet rays can irritate and harm them. The best way to naturally protect your eyes from damage is to limit your exposure to blue light and eat foods that are known to improve vision.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), what's good for your eyes is also good for your heart. This is because eyes rely on small arteries for oxygen and nutrients, whereas the heart relies on larger arteries. 

Thus, the best way to maintain good eye health and improve your vision is to keep your arteries healthy. However, if you already have an eye condition, these foods will not help.

Why is nutrition crucial for eye health?

Most people believe that the eyes are a window into the soul. However, as we all know, our eyes are actually a window into our diets too!. 

Common Eye disorders and nutritionDehydrated people, for example, are more prone to dry eye and have sunken eyes. People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol have redder, watery eyes, puffy lids, and undereye tissue. Furthermore, if the liver is in distress, the whites of their eyes may be tinted a creamy/yellowish color.

  • By the conditions that manifest within them, eyes can say more about what you eat or don't eat. 
  • High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are all major risk factors for developing vision loss, cataracts, and glaucoma. 
  • There's also a connection between your diet and your immune system. The healthier you eat, the better your immune system will be able to fight disease and infection.
  • People who are exhausted and do not nourish their bodies are more likely to develop full-blown eye infections. 
  • If their bodies are unable to fight the infection on their own, patients require medicated eye drops when a healthy immune system would have sufficed.

The fact of the matter is that a healthy, nutrient-rich diet can help support and manage some of the most common health conditions that cause vision problems (high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and autoimmune conditions). 

Increasing your intake of eye-friendly nutrients and foods may even improve your night-driving vision. Although you can take a multivitamin, numerous studies show that our bodies absorb nutrients best when they are consumed in the form of edible food products for the eyes. Supplementation comes in second place.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet benefits not only your body but also your eyesight! Because the risk of certain eye conditions increases with age, it's important to think about the foods you eat and where you can get more nutrients. While seeing an eye doctor is still recommended regularly, many foods can help protect your eyes from serious conditions. Let's have a look at the different types of food that prevent common eye disorders

Now let's move on to the foods that are good for our vision. Here are ten of the best foods to include in your diet to improve your eye health.

10 best foods to boost vision and eye health  

Diet tips to boost your vision and eye health1. Citrus fruits 

You may be wondering often about which food is good for the eyes, and which fruits you can have for better eye vision. 

  • When it comes to vitamins, citrus fruits are often the first fruits that come to mind.
  • Vitamin C is abundant in oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, but it is also present in peaches, tomatoes, and strawberries. 
  • When shopping, dark orange or yellow fruits are high in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A. Peaches, apricots, cantaloupes, melons, and mangoes are examples.

2. Beans 

  • Beans are excellent sources of antioxidants. They are low in fat, and high in fiber and zinc, and the nutrients they contain help protect the retina and lower your risk of developing cataracts. 
  • They are also excellent at protecting your eyes from potential sun damage.

3. Milk & Milk products 

  • They are high in both Vitamin A and Zinc. As a result, incorporating foods such as milk and yogurt becomes critical for maintaining good eyesight. 
  • Zinc aids Vitamin A in the production of melanin, a pigment that protects the cornea. It aids in the transport of Vitamin A from the liver to the eye. A zinc deficiency causes problems with nighttime visibility. 
  • Dairy products can be consumed in a variety of forms throughout the day, such as a cup of coffee, tea, a glass of milk, yogurt, or cereal.

4. Green leafy vegetables

  • Green leafy vegetables are high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These are natural chemicals known as carotenoids that prevent tree leaves from drying out in the sun. These plant pigments have the potential to help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Include spinach, kale, and Swiss chard in your diet, or add spinach and kale to smoothies. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin. Peas and avocados are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin.

5. Oily fish 

  • Oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help relieve dry eye symptoms and protect against AMD. 
  • Salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, and tuna are all examples of oily fish. 
  • Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seed oil, walnuts, and algae-derived supplements are all good sources of omega-3 for vegetarians and vegans.

6. Nuts & seeds 

  • Every day, eat a handful of seeds or nuts to boost your vitamin E levels. 
  • This vitamin is beneficial in the prevention of cataracts. 
  • Vitamin E can be found in almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and peanut butter. Sunflower, sesame, chia, and pumpkin seeds are examples of vitamin E-rich seeds.

7. Complex carbs & wholegrains

  • Replace processed carbs like white bread, white rice, pasta, cakes, and pastries with whole grains, which contain vitamin E, zinc, and niacin, all of which help keep your eyes healthy. 
  • Brown rice, whole oats, wholemeal bread and pasta, and quinoa are all excellent substitutes. They not only lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, but they also lower the risk of blood sugar spikes, which can damage the retina over time. 
  • Whole grains contain zinc, which protects eye tissue from light and inflammation.

8. Lean meat & poultry

  • Zinc is found in beef, pork, and chicken and is used by the eyes to produce the protective pigment melanin in the retina. 
  • Wholegrains, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds are all good sources of zinc from plants.

9. Legumes

  • Lentils, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas are high in zinc and bioflavonoids, which help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. 
  • These vitamins and nutrients can also aid in the protection of the retina's health.

10. Water

  • We've all heard that drinking plenty of water can help prevent dehydration. What you may not realize is that staying hydrated can help relieve dry eye syndrome.
  • When the body is dehydrated, there is insufficient water to keep the body hydrated.
  • Typically, the eye will dry out. They can become scratchy and itchy. When you blink, you may experience a scratching sensation, as if there is something in your eye.
  • Water, in the form of tears, helps to keep the eyes lubricated. Lubrication is required to keep the eyes moist, remove bacteria, and remove dust and other small particles that get into the eyes.

Should you take multivitamins for eye-healthy nutrients?

Types of vitamins and minerals good for eye healthThe best way to get eye-healthy nutrients is to eat the right foods. In general, most of us can and should get enough nutrients from our diets without supplementation.

People with a condition called Macular degeneration are an exception. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2, a follow-up to the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease) Study, recommends taking supplements in this case.

GENTLE REMINDER: Always consult your doctor before making major dietary changes or adding supplements to your daily health routine.

Conclusion

It's never too late to start eating healthy, no matter your age. Eat foods good for your eyes right away to benefit your vision and health for the rest of your life.

Getting enough of the above-mentioned nutrients may help lower your risk. Other vitamins may also be beneficial to eye health.

But don't forget about the rest of your body. A diet that is good for your entire body is likely to be good for your eyes as well.

viewbox

Deborah Onoja

Deborah Onoja is a passionate Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nutrition & Dietetics obtained from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She qualified as a Registered Dietitian after completing her Dietetic Internship training at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu where she was exposed to clinical dietetics. She also holds a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and Diet Therapy from the University of Ibadan.

Did you like our Article?

Excited

0

Happy

0

Not Sure

0

Silly

0

Leave a Comment

  1. Diet and nutrition, available at https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/diet-and-nutrition?sso=y
  2. 36 fabulous foods to boost eye health, available at https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/fabulous-foods-your-eyes
  3. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Archives of ophthalmology. 2001 Oct 1;119(10):1417-36.
  4. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. The relationship of dietary carotenoid and vitamin A, E, and C intake with age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No. 22. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2007 Sep 1;125(9):1225-32.
  5. Grahn BH, et al. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2001 Apr 1;20(2):106-18.
  6. Meyer BJ, et al. Lipids. 2003 Apr;38(4):391-8.
  7. Cataract | Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, Available at https://nutritionguide.pcrm.org/nutritionguide/view/Nutrition_Guide_for_Clinicians/1342016/all/Cataract
  8. Wong MY, et al. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 11;13(1):e0186582.