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The 10 Best Foods For Your Eye Health

You’ve probably heard, “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes!” Carrots, or more specifically the vitamins in them, are important for your eye health, but did you know that there are other foods that can foster good eye health?

Maintaining a well-balanced, healthy diet is key to keeping your eyes healthy, and may help reduce your risk for developing some eye conditions. Eye-healthy foods contain a range of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, known as antioxidants, which could prevent some conditions such as:

• Age-related macular degeneration, which can limit your eyesight
• Cataracts, which cause cloudy vision
• Glaucoma
• Poor night vision
• Dry eyes

A balanced diet is created with a variety of proteins, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Try to “eat a rainbow” during your day, incorporating different types of foods in many different colors. You should limit your consumption of unhealthy foods that are processed, contain saturated fats, or are high in sugar.

Some foods that could help you look and feel better include:

1. Carrots
Carrots are well-known to be good for eye health. Like egg yolks, carrots have vitamin A and beta carotene. Vitamin A and beta carotene help the surface of the eye and can also help prevent eye infections and other serious eye conditions. Without it or in insufficient quantities, low vitamin A levels can lead to dry eye, corneal scarring, night blindness and vision loss.

2. Kale and Other Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli are rich in the antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are present in high concentrations in the retina. These antioxidants act as a filter and protect the retina from damaging blue light and may help to prevent serious eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin aren’t made in the body, so you have to incorporate them into your diet. Other vegetables high in lutein are red peppers and spinach.

3. Red Peppers
Orange and red fruits and vegetables like red peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and kiwi contain vitamin C, another antioxidant, which may help prevent the development of cataracts.

4. Fish
Fish, especially salmon, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help promote the visual health of the retina and can help prevent dry eyes. Salmon, sardines, and herring have the most omega-3s, but flounder, halibut and tuna are also good sources.

5. Oysters
Oysters are loaded with zinc, which may be able to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Zinc is also found in turkey, eggs, peanuts, and whole grains. A lack of zinc may increase chances of developing night blindness.

6. Eggs
An egg yolk is high in Vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc, which are all vital to eye health. Vitamin A safeguards the cornea. Lutein and zeaxanthin lower the chance of getting serious eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Zinc can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, contributes to the health of the retina, and can also help with night blindness.

7. Almonds
Almonds, as well as other nuts and seeds, are generally good for eye health. Almonds contain vitamin E, which guards against unstable molecules that target healthy tissue. Consuming regular amounts of vitamin E can help prevent age-related macular degeneration as well as cataracts. Other nuts and seeds that contain vitamin E include sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and peanuts.

8. Dairy
Dairy products such as milk and yogurt can be good for the eyes. They contain vitamin A as well as the zinc. Vitamin A protects the cornea while zinc helps bring that vitamin to the eyes from the liver. Zinc is found throughout the eye, especially the retina and choroid, the vascular tissue that lies under the retina. This important mineral helps with night vision as well as the prevention of cataracts.

9. Oranges
Oranges and other citrus fruit contain vitamin C, which is important for eye health. Vitamin C, found mainly in fresh fruits and vegetables, helps support the health of your ocular blood vessels. Having some citrus every day can help prevent age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

10. Blueberries
These little berries contain vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and zinc. Vitamin C helps prevent glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A can help prevent dry eyes, and generally promotes good eye health. Vitamin E may help prevent the formation of cataracts and the clouding of the eye lens. Zinc can help protect your eyes against macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as reduce night blindness.

A healthy diet is essential for good eye health. Maintaining a diet high in antioxidants will prevent the development of serious eye conditions and ensure your eyes work their best. See your doctor if you experience problems with your eyes, as early intervention can prevent more serious conditions from developing. Eating eye-healthy foods is not the only way to protect your eyes. Other ways you can keep your eyes healthy include:

• Avoiding smoking
• Wearing sunglasses when outdoors
• Wearing protective eye gear when engaging in sports, hobbies, home projects, or work-related activities
• Managing blood sugar
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Visiting the professionals at Wise Eyes Optical every one to two years

Regularly adding healthy eye foods to your diet should come with regular visits to your optometrist, and at Wise Eyes Optical, we can help you determine what the best choices are to help maintain long-term eye health and avoid conditions that may be more specific to you and your family. Are you due for an eye exam?

IMPORTANT: Always consult with your trusted doctor or medical provider for advice and guidance before adding any type of supplement to your diet or making significant changes to your existing diet.

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Your local Wise Eyes Optical hometown vision center is here to help you achieve the best possible vision for life. We offer expert eye and vision care including eye-related medical care, custom fitting of eyeglasses and contacts, eyeglass repair, and much more. If you have questions or would like to learn more, reach out to your nearest Central Pennsylvania Wise Eyes Optical office. For assistance, call (717) 242-1915.

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