When it comes to good health in general, it has more to do with what you put into your body than anything else and your vision is no exception. Your eyes allow you to see the world and no matter how good your other senses are, they can never replace your eyesight. Although it’s true that aging can bring problems like dry eyes and cataracts, much of this can be prevented by following a few simple dietary guidelines.
Here are some of the best foods for healthy eyes:
At the top of the list are carrots, which is something many of us heard as children. They’re packed with beta carotene, which actually gets its own name from the Latin word “carota.” Additionally, they’re loaded with plenty of antioxidants that the body needs to fight off cataracts and other degenerative eye diseases.
They’re pretty easy to add to any meal, although there are some who prefer to drink carrot juice instead, rather than eat them whole. Many food supplements and drinks made for children already include carrot juice as one of their main ingredients, although you can also purchase a juicer and make your own. Carrots make a great add-on for your favorite soups and stews, as well as many types of sauces and pastries.
Spinach is one of a group of foods commonly referred to as “superfoods.” Like others in this category, spinach is packed with just about every vitamin you can think of, although the ones of greatest importance to the eyes are vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. The lutein and zeaxanthin help create a natural type of sunscreen to protect the eyes from harmful rays of blue light, by increasing the pigment density in the central part of the retina, known as the macula. It also boasts a fairly high concentration of antioxidants needed to fight macular degeneration. Spinach can be eaten either raw or cooked, in salads, stews or different types of sauces.
Vitamin C is critical in the quest for healthy vision and bell peppers offer another excellent way to get more of it. They’re also loaded with antioxidants and many other vitamins essential to your eyes.
Bell peppers can be chopped up and added to everything from salads and sandwiches, to stews and juicy steaks. They’re very versatile and have a way of adding color and flavor to any dish, regardless of whether they’re steamed, roasted or eaten raw.
Omega 3 fats ensure healthy vision by protecting the delicate blood vessels in and around the eye. Although virtually any type of fish should have a healthy enough dose of omega 3 fats, salmon and sardines are believed to have the highest amount of them all. If you can eat at least 6 ounces of either one of these daily, you’ll probably notice a remarkable difference in the health of your eyes.
When it comes to meats, the best ones for your eyes are actually the different types of poultry. Poultry is not only leaner and healthier than red meat, but also higher in the various vitamins and minerals needed for better eyesight.
Ostrich meat might be difficult to come across in the average grocery store, but if you can locate some, it’s loaded with proteins, iron, zinc and potassium. Zinc, in particular, is needed for the production of certain enzymes that protect your vision.
Other varieties of poultry like chicken and turkey are also high in zinc, as well as a variety of other vitamins like vitamin B, vitamin E and niacin. The body needs these to fight cataracts and other diseases that can affect the eyes.
Poultry is very versatile, since you can make all sorts of soups, stews and salads with it. If that’s too fancy, you can always just cook it the way it comes and enjoy a healthy and delicious feast.
As you can see, the food you eat plays an important role not only in your general health, but also in the health of your eyes. Although age will always be a factor to some degree, we are not entirely helpless. Thankfully, some of the best foods for healthy eyes are among the ones we already eat. The only thing required of us is to rid our diets of some of the other junk we like to stuff ourselves with and get back to eating the way nature intended.