Food for Healthy Eyes

Fruits and Vegetables that Matter to Your Eyes

The quality of your life can be seriously impaired by failing eyesight. Without clear eyesight people struggle to see color, recognize faces, drive or read-, which are activities that give us pleasure or freedom. When it comes to vision impairment, this can develop into cataracts, Age Related Macular Degeneration or AMD. Among working-age adults diabetes is the lead cause of failing eyesight.

Cataracts are one form of impaired vision, affects our ability to see color correctly and causes blurred vision. Unhealthy habits such as poor diet that leads to diabetes, excess alcohol consumption and smoking all contribute to the formation of cataract.

In the United States, the lead cause of impaired or lost vision is AMD for those aged sixty or older. As many as eleven million people are suffering from this. By 2050, this number is expected to rise to nearly twenty-two million. AMD causes eye retina destruction that is irreversible and causes refined vision loss necessary for day to day function.

When you add specific fruits and vegetables to our daily diet, we can improve or preserve eyesight and keep cataracts or AMD away. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids zinc, beta carotene and Vitamins E and C help protect from these permanent conditions. In addition when you add these healthy fruits and vegetables to your diet and altering eating habits that are unhealthy, you can maintain the right weight. This will also make it more unlikely to get type 2 obesity-related diabetes.

Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that will improve your vision and save your eyesight.

The Humble Legume

From black eyed peas to lentils, the humble legume is a great source for zinc and flavonoids. It is important for immunity and all-around health and the zinc it contains is needed to let the A Vitamin travel to the eye to the liver so that the retina gets protection. Keep in mind that night blindness is a symptom of zinc deficiency as well.

Broccoli

Of all the vegetables, broccoli is probably the most well known when it comes to its nutrient quality. If you are making attempts to improve your vision, this vegetable is a must-eat. It contains both zeaxanthin and lutein, a fantastic duo for eye health. It also contains high amounts of Vitamin C and beta carotene that boosts eye health. This makes broccoli the perfect nutritional combination for keeping your eyes healthy.

Berries

From strawberries to blueberries, each berry is a Vitamin C powerhouse, reducing the risk of cataract and macular degeneration. The highest antioxidant levels of anthocyanins are contained by black currants. Impressive amounts of this antioxidant are also contained by bilberries. Beta carotene is also contained by berries that are red in color which make them extremely eye-friendly. When it comes to fresh berries in season, there really is no limit to what you can do. From jams, juices to milkshakes and fruit salads, the sky really is the limit. Off season, you can also take supplements of bilberry extract or black currant seed oil.

Citrus Fruits

Lemons, tangerines, grapefruits and oranges are all Vitamin C-rich which is essential for healthy eyes. These fruits contain antioxidants which can prevent or delay AMD and cataracts. Light and heat can destroy Vitamin C so it is beneficial to enjoy freshly juiced, uncooked fruits. Make an orange carrot juice for a double delicious healthy treat. Over a green leafy salad, drizzle olive oil and lemon juice. Flavonoids are also contained by these fruits which have antioxidant action that works along with the C Vitamin in the body. This reduces the signs of aging as well as cancer and protects against macular degeneration and cataract.

Bright Orange Vegetables

Deriving their color from the natural orange and yellow beta carotene pigment, bright orange vegetables get converted into Vitamin A into the body. The benefits of meeting our body’s needs from real food rather than from a supplement is that your body will only convert the necessary beta carotene so there is no Vitamin A overdosing risk, which in excess, can be toxic.

Did your mom used to tell you that carrots will give you night vision? She wasn’t exactly lying as people that lack the A Vitamin end up having very bad night vision! Food high in Vitamin C and beta carotene which help the body maintain and form collagen needed by the cornea of the eyes include pumpkin squash and sweet potato. Bell peppers that are orange in color also have high zeaxanthin amounts so the moment you include this in your meal plan, you will be an all around winner when it comes to health!

Snack on hummus and bell peppers, roasted squash soup or even sweet potato fries as these are great alternatives and taste much better than the regular, average French fry.

Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Kale and Spinach

Greens dense in nutrients such as collard greens, turnip greens, kale and spinach are at the top of the list when it comes to improving eye health and protecting our vision. These contain two significant nutrients including zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which are powerful antioxidants.

Dark green leafy vegetables such as these make a great salad base or for blending into shakes. Your body will absorb the lutein better when you gently cook the vegetables. You can steam a handful for a healthy side dish. Mix some into stews and soups. Plus, since both zeaxanthin and lutein are fat soluble, add coconut oil and olive oil for even more advantageous results. If you have not yet tasted chips made of kale this is highly recommended as well. Lightly toss kale leaves in seasonings and olive oil and bake this in the oven until delicious and crispy!

The way lutein acts is actually not unlike sunscreen for the eyes. It protects the retina of your eyes from natural light that can be damaging. Another one of the most lutein-rich foods you can find is kale. These green leafy vegetables provide Vitamin A to your body, which is necessary for great eyesight as it protects the eye surface, also called the retina.

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