Your eyes are an important part of your health. You want to keep them in good working order. Eye health is particularly important as we age because the part of the eye retina called the macula starts to degenerate. The macula is responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read or drive—too much degeneration and you experience serious loss of vision, even blindness.
There are many things you can do to keep your eyes healthy. You want to make sure you have an annual eye exam, wear UV protective sunglasses and maintain a healthy weight. But the foods you eat are also extremely important.
Keeping Those Peepers in Top Shape
We’ve all heard that carrots are good for our eyes, and it’s true. The beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that gives carrots their orange hue, helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function better.
But there are lots of other orange fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene, so you don’t just have to eat carrots! Plus, several other vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy eyes. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins C and E help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Get your Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are especially important to know about. Your eyes can be damaged by ultraviolet light as well as blue light. These powerful antioxidants protect the macula from dangerous blue light by filtering it out – just like your sunglasses help to filter out blue and violet light.
You’re born with a certain amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in your eyes, but your body doesn’t reproduce them. You must constantly replace through the foods you eat. Fortunately you can constantly replace these nutrients through the foods you eat.
Top Foods for Eye Health
- Eggs yolks are a prime source of lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc.• Citrus fruits, cantaloupes, kiwis and berries are powerhouses of vitamin C.
- Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards for vitamin A, C, lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Salmon, tuna, other oily fish, nuts, beans for omega-three.