Vision loss is often a condition that happens as you get older or through genetics, however doctors also agree that vision issues can be prevented/slowed by consuming certain foods. Vitamin C, E, selenium, beta carotene, and lutein all have been shown to reduce potential risks for cataracts and macular degeneration. This list contains foods that can help your vision.
Lutein is an important nutrient towards healthy eye function. Lutein is found primarily in the macula of the retina and is primarily known for its ability to help the eye function better. Eggs, especially the yolks, are rich in lutein. There is about 0.25 mg of lutein in one egg yolk. However, the type of eggs you get is very important. Factory farmed eggs are much more prone to foodborne illnesses, whereas eggs that are organic and farm freshed will significantly reduce the risk of those diseases.
2. Whole grains
A diet that contains a lot of foods with low glycemic index (GI) can reduce your chances of developing macular degeneration as you get older. Whole grain foods fall into that category. While whole grains are primarily known for its fiber content, it also has an abundance of selenium, zinc, and vitamin E, which are three critical nutrients that promote eye health. Swap refined carbohydrates like white rice and pasta for whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.
3. Leafy Greens
As mentioned earlier, lutein and zeaxanthin are two critical nutrients towards improving your eye health. 6-20 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin are the recommended daily intake to receive ocular benefits such as decreasing the possibility of developing cataracts and/or macular degeneration. The two of these nutrients are found in many green vegetables, primarily spinach, kale, and collard greens.
Fish is an important food to eat to help vision due to its high levels of the important omega-3 fatty acid. Without Omega-3, the body is unable to produce functioning cells, which applies to the eyes as well. The omega-3 fat DHA is found in the retina and provides support to boost cell membranes that are involved in eye function. In addition, salmon provides another important nutrient for eye function, astaxanthin. Research shows that astaxanthin can help prevent blindness. If you do not like to eat fish, you will still be able to get your omega-3 consumption from fish oil supplements, which are widely accessible.
5. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits have an abundance of vitamin C, which can do wonders for your eyes. Vitamin C helps maintain and form connective tissue in the body, like the collagen that is found in the eyes. Vitamin C also helps protect your eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration. An orange or grapefruit as a snack is a great way to get your vitamin C and help keep your eyes healthy.
Nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews are very high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Vitamin E, much like vitamin C works to reduce the chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. One ounce of nuts or sunflower seeds will allow you to reap the benefits that vitamin E can have on your eyes.
Berries are another food that can improve your eye function. Goji berries and strawberries specifically both have significant amounts of both vitamin A and vitamin C. Carotenoids, which is the compound that gives these fruits their distinctive color are believed to help decrease the risk of developing eye diseases. Berries also contain flavonoids, which increase the processes of the eye by enhancing enzyme activity in the retina and by enhancing antioxidant activity in the eyes.
8. Black currant
Similar to berries, black currants contain flavonoids, which can help eye function. Currants are small, seedless berry that is often used to make jam or jelly. Research has shown that while lutein, zeaxanthin, and bilberry extract are effective in supporting eye health, black currant is the most effective. Black currants contain some of the highest levels of anthocyanins, far more than any type of berry. Anthocyanins are flavonoids that have a multitude of benefits towards your overall health. While eating the food is always an option, many people also opt to take black currant seed oil to reap the rewards of these foods.