When it comes to taking care of one’s body, people tend to pay attention to the abdomen and limbs, as well as the heart and the bones. The eyes are vital organs that aid us in our day-to-day activities, keeping us active and alert by helping us react to what we see. Taking care of our eyes doesn’t take as much as regular workouts and counting calories, but eating right does help keep our vision 20/20.
Certain vitamins, minerals, and some naturally-occurring substances can help maintain the health of our eyes, as well as protect and repair them. And while supplements do help a lot, nothing beats including foods that are ideal for improving eyesight in your diet. Here are some foods that could help you take care of your eyes:
1. Spinach – More than just Popeye’s superpower secret, spinach actually has a lot of vitamins and minerals that help keep eyes healthy, such as vitamin C (an antioxidant that prevents age-related macular degeneration — AMD — and cataract formation), beta carotene (which is a form of vitamin A, essential for the prevention of AMD and cataracts, as well as night blindness), lutein, and zeaxanthin (both of which prevent macular degeneration and protects the rods and cones of the eyes from free radical damage from UV light).
2. Sweet potatoes – These are very good sources of vitamins A and C, which, as mentioned earlier, are antioxidants that protect the eyes from AMD and cataract formation.
3. Walnuts – These contain selenium (which aids in oxidation), and omega-3 fatty acids (which help maintain proper nerve conduction in the retina).
4. Mangoes – Like most yellow fruits and vegetables, these are great sources of vitamin A, and are also sources for vitamin E, which helps reduce eye pressure.
5. Peanuts – These snacks are not only tasty, but are also good sources of vitamin E and zinc (which is known to be able to help stabilize and improve the vision of people with macular degeneration).
6. Apples – These contain a number of antioxidants, including plant pigments quercitin (which protect the eye from solar radiation) and rutin (which is known to help reduce leakage from small blood vessels in the retina).
7. Chicken – This white meat is a good source of minerals such as selenium and zinc.
8. Corn – This is a good source of lutein, which is the yellow pigment found in the macula. It helps prevent macular degeneration, and protects the rods and cones from free radical damage from UV light.
9. Broccoli – A lot of people may not like this green vegetable, but it sure carries a lot of helpful minerals to aid the eyes. It contains lutein, zeaxanthin, selenium, alpha lipoic acid (also present in spinach; plays a vital role in energy production in cells, and fights an unusually wide array of cell-damaging free radicals), CoQ10 (which helps cells to break down food into energy; also in spinach), vitamins C and E, and folic acid (which help build healthy cells).
10. Almonds – These contain magnesium (relaxes smooth muscles — such as those found in the inner eye — and helps prevent muscle spasms), vitamin E, and riboflavin (or vitamin B2; aids light reception in the retina).
Observing proper care of the eyes ensure that we can live great quality lives — taking the necessary precautions and eating food that would help maintain or even improve our vision is a great way to stay healthy.