In the recent wake of gluten-free, carb-free, paleo, or other fad diets, it’s important to decipher what the benefits of each plan are. Many help heart, liver, and kidney health, but neglect other parts of the body. For those who want to improve eye health, there isn’t a particular diet specifically for eyes, but by eating a few of the following foods you’ll help your eyes remain healthy for as long as possible.
GET YOUR GREENS
Image via Flickr by SweetOnVeg
It’s important to eat green vegetables for many reasons, but in the case of eye health, they contain more lutein and zeaxanthin than any other food, which are two antioxidants that are great for your eyes and not readily found in multi-vitamins. The best sources for these two nutrients are in spinach, kale, turnip greens, peas, green beans, and broccoli. When purchased as single vitamins, these cost upwards of $30, so you’ll save some money as well.
Salmon is one of the most commonly consumed superfoods because of its high prevalence of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help prevent disease and improve heart function. People who consume salmon regularly lower their risk of macular degeneration and eye disease. Additionally, salmon is high in Vitamin D, which is a vital nutrient for eye health.
For those who like to add a healthy snack to their diet, pistachios are the way to go. They contain more carotenoids, which, like leafy greens, reduce eye cancer and other harmful conditions. Not only this, but pistachios have a ton of protein and Vitamin E and help absorption of carotenoids from other sources.
Regardless if you love them in raw or juice form, citrus fruits packed with Vitamin C help boost the immune system, and as a result, lower the overall risk of cataracts later in life. The best sources include orange and grapefruit, but don’t forget the kiwi, which has the highest amount of Vitamin C compared to any other fruit. Also, if you find a gold kiwi, it packs a whopping 90.6 milligrams of Vitamin C compared to 51 milligrams for an orange.
Obviously, you don’t want to down an eight ounce glass of olive oil, but in moderation, olive oil is great for the body and the eyes. Cooking in olive oil helps cut transfat and saturated fats in comparison to other oils or butter. The best type of oil for cooking is the extra virgin, which provides more antioxidants, while maintaining the same levels of taste and fat content.
No list for eye health is complete without the addition of carrots. These vegetables contain massive amounts of beta carotene and Vitamin A, which help retinal and overall eye function. Carrots also help improve night vision. No matter what foods you choose, improving eye health doesn’t mean suffering from tasteless, bland foods. On the contrary, many of these foods are delicious when prepared together, by themselves, as a meal, or as a snack. Plus, it sure beats taking five separate pills in the morning.