Contributed by – Rachana Arya
As we age, our eyes and vision begin to deteriorate and the risk of eye problems increases. While certain age-related vision changes are totally normal, there are many other diseases that can be a challenge.
It has been rightly advised by nutritionists to ‘Eat the Rainbow’, for your eye health. By tweaking your diet a little bit and choosing the freshest forms of colourful fruits and vegetables, you could be taking essential steps to preserve your eyesight for a longer time period. A good thumb rule when determining the right foods to eat for eye improvement is to think of a rainbow. If the colour of the food you consume isn’t in the spectrum of a rainbow, it probably doesn’t have any real health benefits for your eyes.
What foods should you eat for healthy eyes?
Avoid processed foods that are loaded with sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Deep-fried foods, commercially-prepared cookies and cakes are the worst foods for your eyes and vision. Beverages that are sweetened in sugar can adversely impact your vision. So reduce your consumption of fried, processed, or modified foods and increase your intake of beneficial foods. If you do so, you will be doing your eyes a favour without even realizing it! Here’s our list of foods that are the best foods for maintaining good eye health:
- Red, yellow and orange fruit and vegetables like carrots, strawberries, pumpkin, tomatoes and citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are great sources of Vitamin C which is a key defender against cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Purple fruit and vegetables such as purple carrots are often a rich source of carotenoids which can protect the eye from blue-light damage and are linked with reduced risk of developing macular degeneration.
- Leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, and corn contain high volume of Lutein that makes your eye muscles stronger, prevents cell damage and assists in preventing infections. Just one cup of spinach contain a whole host of important vitamins and minerals such as lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and vitamins— nutrients that do wonders for your eyes. Experts recommend at least three servings of green veggies every week.
- Cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout are one of the best foods for eye health. These are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are regarded as ‘healthy’ fats. This compound is very beneficial to the eyes and helps in preventing dry eyes and glaucoma. Experts recommend eating two – three servings per week of fish.
- Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts and cashews are some of the various nuts that are good for the eyes as they are all high in omega 3s. These nuts protect the eye’s cells from ‘free radicals’ that could break down the eye’s tissue.
- Pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, avocados, olive oil, and sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E. This powerful antioxidant vitamin decreases the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Kidney beans and lentils offer ample amounts of bioflavonoids and zinc. They not only help in lowering the risk of developing cataracts but also help in preventing age-related macular degeneration. They also help protect the retina, which is super critical to your vision.
- Eggs are a wonder food for eyes. Eggs contain two of the most powerful antioxidants for eye protection, lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the likelihood of developing serious eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Chia Seeds are often referred as the ‘superfood’ as they contain more omega 3s than salmon or flax seeds. Increasing your consumption of chia seeds can help you achieve your goal of a lifetime of healthy eye function, along with excellent preventative care.
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