Maintaining a well balanced, healthy diet is the key to eye health, and may help reduce your risk for developing certain eye conditions. Serious eye conditions may be avoided by including foods that contain a range of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, known as antioxidants.
A balanced diet is best created with a variety of proteins, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Your goal should be to eat a rainbow of foods throughout the day, incorporating many types of foods in many different colors. You should also limit consumption of processed foods, saturated fats, and sugar.
Here are five of the best foods for optimal eye health:
- Fish – Cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts.
- Leafy Greens – Spinach, kale and collard greens are full of lutein and zeaxanthin, plant pigments that can help stem the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Broccoli, peas and avocados are also good sources of this powerful antioxidant duo.
- Eggs – The vitamins and nutrients in eggs, including lutein and vitamin A (which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes), promote eye health and function.
- Colorful Fruits and Vegetables – Foods such as carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, pumpkin, corn and cantaloupe are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. They also contain carotenoids, (the compounds that give these fruits and vegetables their yellow, orange and red pigments) which are thought to help decrease the risk of many eye diseases.
- Nuts – Pistachios, walnuts, and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost your eye health. This vitamin guards against unstable molecules that target healthy tissue. Consuming regular amounts of vitamin E can helpprevent age-related macular degeneration as well as cataracts.