Foods for Eye Health

Often, we think of dieting and eating healthily in terms of physical features such as weight loss and a muscular physique. However, eating a balanced diet can healthy in many ways that are not readily noticeable. Certain types of foods are great for eye health--some of which can even lower one's risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Note: These foods are not GUARANTEED to prevent eye diseases or slow their development. These are suggestions based on medical research.

Here are some foods to eat for healthy eyes:

Leafy Greens

 Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collards contain an abundance of antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants protect eye cells. 

Foods high in Zinc

Zinc helps protect your eyes from the harmful effects of light. Foods high in Zinc include oysters, black-eyed peas, lean red meat, poultry, and some cereals high in nutrients.

Beta Carotene- and Vitamin A-rich foods

Our bodies convert beta carotene into Vitamin A, which protects the eyes. Foods like carrots, apricots, and sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene and Vitamin A.

 Foods full of Vitamin E

Wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter are full of Vitamin E, which researchers think may help prevent the development of cataracts, although research has been inconclusive. 

Vitamin C

Lemons, oranges, tangerines and other citrus-y foods are great for your eyes, which need high levels of Vitamin C to function properly. Other foods with Vitamin C and antioxidants include peaches, red peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries. 

Salmon

According to Geteyesmart.org, "Some studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acid from cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut reduce the risk of developing eye disease later in life. A 2010 study from Johns Hopkins found that people who had a diet high in omega-3 fatty acid were much less likely to develop AMD."

Sources:
- Huffington Post: Foods for Vision: 6 Top Tips for Your Eyes
- GetEyeSmart: Four Fantastic Foods to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

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