Foods and Spices for Healthy Eyes

Put these foods and spices on your healthy eyes list.

Did you know that your diet can have an impact on your eye health? It can! Just like the rest of your body, your eyes depend on proper nutrition to stay healthy. While there are other factors, like genetics, which influence eye health, you can still be sure you're doing what you can with your diet to foster it. Here are some of the best foods, herbs, and spices for good eye health.

Lutein-Rich Foods

Lutein is an antioxidant that helps protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods high in lutein include:

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  • Green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Eggs
  • Avocados
  • Pistachios

Foods High in Zeaxanthin

This is another chemical found in plants that is thought to be beneficial to eye health by protecting the retinal structures, thereby decreasing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Foods and spices high in zeaxanthin include:

  • Paprika
  • Orange peppers
  • Eggs
  • Leafy, green vegetables like spinach

Cooking damages the lutein and zeaxanthin in foods, so eating them raw or as lightly cooked as possible is best.

Foods High in the Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA

DHA helps support the structures in your eye's retina, protecting them from damage. DHA might help slow macular degeneration in people who eat it regularly. Foods high in DHA include:

  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies

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Vitamin C-Rich Foods

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can fight the free radicals that could damage your eyes. Here are some good sources of vitamin C:

  • Sweet red peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Turmeric

Foods High in Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant, and it can work together with vitamin C to help keep your eyes healthy. Foods high in vitamin E include:

  • Nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocados
  • Turmeric

Foods with Zinc

Zinc helps the body's tissues absorb and use other nutrients and assists the cells in working properly. This includes the cells in the eyes. Foods that are rich in zinc include:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Chickpeas
  • Cocoa powder

Note: Too much zinc can damage your eye health. This is especially important to be aware of if you're taking a multi-vitamin that includes zinc.


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Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Do not take any supplements without first consulting with your physician if you are on any prescription or over-the-counter medications.