More than just to keep fit, eating right may mean the difference between great vision or eventual blindness. As we get older, our bodies develop deficiencies and ailments that come with age, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which causes vision loss. And while there are medicines and supplements that could help prevent vision problems, it’s still healthier to get what we need from our food. Here are five things to remember to help you get started with eating well for your eyes:
Seafood – A number of fish and other seafood are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are really good for the nerves in the retina. DHA is a particular omega-3 fatty acid that’s found in high concentration in the retina, more than any other part of the body. Low DHA could encourage the incidence of AMD.
Apples – The reason why an apple a day keeps the doctor away is because it’s rich in antioxidants, and these antioxidants protect our cells from damage and keep them healthy. Apples also contain plant pigments called quercitin, which protect the eyes from solar radiation, and rutin which helps maintain small blood vessels in the retina.
Yellow fruits and veggies – Our eyes need vitamin A to be able to see in low light and to see color. You can get vitamin A from a great number of fruits and vegetables, but one easy thing to remember is that yellow and orange vegetables are a good source of vitamin A. Carrots, pumpkins, and squashes are rich in beta carotene, a form of vitamin A. Mangoes are also filled with vitamin A, as well as vitamin E, which help relieve eye pressure.
Citrus fruits – Vitamin C is pretty much the king of antioxidants. Aside from boosting our immune systems, vitamin C also serves as a natural filter against UV rays. Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C.
Dark, leafy greens – Our moms always told us to eat our vegetables, and for good reason. These have various vitamins and minerals to help keep us healthy, and a number of dark, leafy ones are good for the eyes. Spinach, in particular, is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, beta carotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which protects the rods and cones of the eyes from damage from UV light. Others are rich in beta carotene, such as kale, collard, and cabbage.