You know how important it is to eat fresh, healthy foods every day, but did you know that certain foods support your eyes’ well-being? A study published in Archives of Ophthalmology showed that diet is linked to eye health and eating certain foods on a regular basis can reduce the risk of some eye-related problems. Eating these “super foods” — those that contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals — may help ward off vision disorders, including macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Here are seven super foods that can promote healthy eyesight.
This tasty berry is loaded with antioxidants and is a good source of fiber. Blueberries also contain compounds that may reduce inflammation. Because of these compounds, blueberries could help to reduce the risk of inflammatory eye disease and even diabetic retinopathy. Eat blueberries with oatmeal in the morning or add a handful to yogurt or for a sweet nutrition boost.
This leafy green is loaded with vitamins A and C. It’s also a good source of fiber. Vitamin A plays a role in preserving eye health, while vitamin C can protect the eyes against vision problems such as cataracts. Trade romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce for spinach in your favorite salads or serve spinach as a side dish. Spinach is one of the more versatile leafy greens you can add to your diet, and both raw and cooked spinach offer a wealth of nutritional benefits.
Colorful foods are always at the top of the list when it comes to choosing foods that are high in antioxidants. Red, yellow and orange peppers contain vitamin A and vitamin C. Raw peppers pack the biggest nutritional punch, but you can also grill, steam or stir-fry them to make tasty and nutritious entrees.
Avocado is a good source of healthy fats. Plus, it contains lutein, a nutrient that may help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye diseases. It’s packed with nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin E and vitamin C, which are essential for eye health. Get the most of out of this super food by mashing it up for guacamole, dicing it up in a salad or adding a few slices to a sandwich.
5: Sweet Potato
Many people overlook the humble sweet potato when putting together a healthy meal plan. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and also contain a significant amount of potassium and beta-carotene. All of these nutrients are essential for eye health. Sweet potatoes can be prepared in dozens of different ways and easily incorporated into your diet.
Salmon is another source of healthy fats and contains omega-3 fatty acids that may prevent plaque formation in the retina, which leads to macular degeneration. Plan on eating up to four servings of salmon or other cold-water fish per week for better eye health.
It’s easy to forget about the nutritional benefits of nuts when you’re trying to eat healthy. Walnuts support eye health and overall health, because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin E and antioxidants. Eating these nuts regularly could reduce your risk of eye disease and vision problems.
These seven super foods are nutritional powerhouses and could be a valuable addition to any diet. Start adding these foods to your diet to benefit your vision. Talk to your eye doctor for more diet tips that could improve your eyesight.