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5 Foods That Promote Eye Health

When you were growing up, did someone tell you that you needed to eat your carrots for good vision? As it turns out, there’s wisdom in that old advice. The foods that you eat can benefit your eye health! 

At Cooper Eye Center, we want your eyes to remain healthy and your vision as accurate as possible. Part of keeping your eyes functioning and serving you well is consuming certain vitamins and minerals. This post is simply an introduction; if you have questions about nutrition and specific eye issues, be sure to bring them up during your next comprehensive eye exam

1. Carrots, and... 

Carrots are good for your eyes, and so are other orange-colored fruits and vegetables. That’s because they generally contain large amounts of vitamin A. Your retina requires vitamin A to function. Additionally, vitamin A helps your eyes stay moist enough to be comfortable and working well. 

Along with carrots, consider adding sweet potatoes to your diet, as they contain about 200% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A. Other foods to eat to insure a healthy amount of vitamin A are cantaloupe, apricots, and yellow beets. 

2. Citrus fruits 

We do many things in the course of normal life that can cause cell damage, like eating fried foods, being exposed to environmental toxins, and to too much sun. Vitamin C can help repair the damage of these things because it’s an antioxidant. 

To make sure you’re eating an adequate amount of vitamin C to keep your eyes healthy, consume citrus fruits, as well as red bell peppers, strawberries, and peaches. In addition to repairing damaged cells, vitamin C can help you delay or avoid cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. 

3. Fish for healthy eyes

You may have read that omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish, benefit heart health. As it turns out, your eyes need the same kind of care your heart needs, and many of the nutritional recommendations for protecting your heart also protect your eyes. 

Salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, and other fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. There’s some evidence that consuming omega-3s helps with dry eyes. 

4. Leafy greens are healthy 

No article on nutrition would be complete without leafy greens. When it comes to eye health, two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in leafy green vegetables. These two important substances protect your macula. 

Try kale, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, collards, or any of the other bright green vegetables available to you. In addition to leafy greens, lutein and zeaxanthin are found in eggs. 

5. Beans, beans

Experts believe that zinc may offer some protection to your eyes from the damage that light can cause. A variety of foods are rich in zinc, including black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and lima beans. 

If legumes aren’t your favorite, you might consider eating oysters, lean red meat, poultry, and cereals that have been fortified, which are also rich in zinc. 

Generally, it’s much better for you to consume the nutrients your body needs through food rather than taking a supplement. Along with the vitamins and minerals in healthy foods, you get other nutrients, such as protein and fiber. However, there are some cases in which supplements can be helpful. For example, if you have age-related macular degeneration, your doctor may recommend a supplement. 

Nutrition, just like eye health, is highly dependent on your unique circumstances. It’s always advisable to eat a healthy diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean protein sources, but you may want to discuss your particular situation with your doctor to make sure your diet is contributing to your eye health. 

To get answers to your questions, book an appointment at Cooper Eye Care Center. You can request an appointment at either of our locations online, or by calling.

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