October 30, 2023
Properly caring for your eyes is essential, as they play a crucial role in your daily life, work, and activities. It's easy to take your 20/20 vision for granted and assume that you'll always have perfect eyesight, but your genetics and lifestyle habits have a significant impact on your eye health. Therefore, it's important to take proactive measures to protect your vision and maintain optimal eye health. Research suggests that age is the most common factor for common eye diseases. However, we can lower the risks by making small changes to our lifestyle. Some of the best ways to keep our eyes healthy include scheduling regular eye exams, wearing sunglasses when outside, and eating healthy foods that are good for our eyes. It is worth noting that what we eat can have a significant impact on our vision both in the short and long term. As the saying goes, we are what we eat, and this is especially true when it comes to eye health. Eating a well-balanced diet is crucial to prevent eye conditions and maintain good overall health. Certain nutrients are particularly beneficial for maintaining good eye health. Here is what registered dietitians recommend to take care of your eyes through proper nutrition.
Fall is the perfect season to indulge in some of the best produce that is fresh and straight from the farm. You can visit your local farm stand or check out supermarkets that offer fresh local produce. Take a look at our list of eye-healthy foods and enjoy the delicious flavors of fall.
- Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like kale are in season now through November and contain key nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are found in high concentrations in your macula, which is in the center of your retina, and it's responsible for what you see directly in front of you. Eating lots of leafy greens like kale and spinach will help protect your vision and reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Carrots: Although eating carrots won't immediately improve your vision, it is true that they can help protect your eyesight. This is because carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good vision and protecting the surface of the eye. Vitamin A can help prevent dryness in the eyes and reduce the risk of vision loss from cataracts and macular degeneration. So, including carrots in your diet can be beneficial for your eye health in the long run.
- Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are readily available throughout the year, but they are at their best from September through October. These vibrant and colorful veggies are great for maintaining healthy eyes and reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration. One cup of bell peppers provides an incredible 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamins A and C.
- Pumpkin: During fall, pumpkins harvested from September to November are a rich source of eye-healthy nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, fiber, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These micronutrients can help prevent age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and cataracts.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in our bodies. Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining good vision and preventing age-related macular degeneration.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is packed with vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals and protects our eyes from damage over time.
- Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates, which protect cells from DNA damage and lower cancer risk.
- Pomegranates: Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E that can help protect your eyes from free radical damage.
- Cranberries: Cranberries are rich in flavonoids, which can effectively safeguard against age-related vision loss and cataracts.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect against age-related macular degeneration 4.