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 is an antioxidant that helps protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods high in lutein include:
- Green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach
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:
- Orange peppers
- 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
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
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:
- Sunflower seeds
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
- 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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