Best Foods for Eye Health

A healthy, varied diet can provide all sorts of benefits for the mind and body, not the least of which is improved vision and eye health. By simply incorporating a few of the following foods into an otherwise balanced diet, anyone can help protect the healthy and longevity of one of their most important organs.

Carrots

Probably the most well-known eye-health promoting food is the humble carrot. Beta-carotene is a type of Vitamin A that gives carrots their characteristic orange hue and also helps the retina and other parts of the eye function smoothly. Beta-carotene can also improve night vision.

Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and bok choy are chock full of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Both of these lower the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. Other sources include collards, turnip greens, corn, green peas, broccoli, romaine lettuce, and green beans.

Eggs

The yolk of the egg in particular is rich in the same antioxidants that are found in the leafy greens, as well as zinc which further reduces the risk of macular degeneration. For picky eaters who can’t stomach their veggies, egg yolks may be a good compromise.

Citrus and Berries

All of these fruits contain high levels of Vitamin C, a vitamin which, in addition to its other numerous health benefits, will help to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Vitamin C can also be obtained through juices like orange or grapefruit, or as a separate supplement.

Almonds

Almonds make for a delicious, simple, and easily portable snack. One ounce, or about a handful contains roughly half of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin E, a nutrient that research shows will slow macular degeneration.

Fatty Fish

Salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, and anchovies are all excellent sources of DHA, a fatty acid which is also found in human retinas. Low levels of DHA have been linked to dry eye syndrome in studies, so be sure to get enough to keep eyes fresh and moist.

Oysters and Liver

Both of these foods are fantastic sources of zinc, which can ward off cataracts and improve functioning night vision. Other valuable sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, milk, shellfish, baked beans, and whole grains.

The sources of eye-health supporting vitamins and nutrients are numerous, varied, and likely already a part of most people’s regular diet. Luckily, eating carrots with the enthusiasm of a rabbit is not the only way to have healthy eyes! Most of the time, little thought is given to diet and its relation to optical health, but with a little attention, anyone can incorporate a few minor changes that will lead them to healthy eyesight for life.