What Type of Foods Promote Healthy Eyes?
A healthy diet for your eyes should include plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. Foods such as carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, pumpkin, corn and cantaloupe supply vitamins A and C, and carotenoids: the compounds that give these fruits and vegetables their yellow, orange, and red pigments. These are thought to help decrease the risk of many eye diseases. These foods also help because they provide beta carotene, vitamins C and E, as well as zinc. Orange yellow fruits and vegetables also supply zeaxanthin and lutein, and they can also be found in the yolks of eggs.
Leafy Greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, to name just a few, are packed with zeaxanthin and lutein, important pigments that are found in the macula of the eye. Broccoli, peas, and avocados are also a good supply of this powerful antioxidant duo. Fish (such as salmon, halibut, and tuna), walnuts, and flax seeds will all supply Omega-3 fatty acids which are important to overall health and eye health. One study of women who consumed seafood 2 to 4 times a week showed a decrease in their risk of occasional dry eyes by 45%. These same Omega-3 fatty acids may work just as well for men. A diet containing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) may also be beneficial to maintaining eye health. Swap refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, whole-wheat bread, and pasta. The vitamins E, zinc, and niacin found in whole grains also help promote overall eye health. Kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils are sources of bioflavonoids and zinc — thought to help support retinal health.