Most people have heard that they should eat carrots to improve their eyesight and keep their eyes healthy. Carrots and other orange-colored fruits and vegetables have Beta-carotene which is a form of vitamin A which helps the retina and other parts of the eyes. However, there are other foods that you should consider eating to keep your eyes healthy. Here are some great food sources that some eye doctors recommend:
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens offer a lot of nutrients to your body and will help your eyes stay healthy. The carotenoid zeaxanthin and lutein found in greens such as spinach and kale are more concentrated than in other foods. Other leafy greens which have these properties in them will include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and Swiss chard.
Bother of these nutrients are essential for the health of your eye as they are found in the macula. The macula is the small central part of the retina which is responsible for detailed central vision. Lutein is found in the macular pigment and will help to protect your vision and assist the absorption of blue light. Zeaxanthin is found in the retina itself. Both of these nutrients have been linked to lower risks of cataracts.
Many people do not realize that orange peppers can also help your eye health. A study published in 1998 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology stated that orange peppers have high levels of zeaxanthin. In fact, orange peppers had the highest levels of this nutrient compared to 32 other fruits and vegetables which were tested at the time.
It is important that you ingest this nutrient because it cannot be made by the body. If you are unable to get this nutrient from your foods, the levels in your body will decrease, and this will impact your eye health.
Organic Pastured Egg Yolks
Egg yolk is another good source of both zeaxanthin and lutein in addition to protein and fat. While the concentration of these nutrients is lower than in other foods, they are highly absorbable in this form. According to recent research, adding eggs to a salad can increase the overall absorption of the nutrients by up to 9 times.
Of course, it is important to keep in mind that when you heat the egg yolk, the nutrients become damaged. They will not perform as well when it comes to protecting your eyes when fully cooked. This means that you should try to cook the yolks as little as possible and eat soft boiled or poached eggs.
Wild Alaskan Salmon
Salmon is a superfood and offers a lot of nutrients that you need. Wild-caught salmon has more nutrients than farmed salmon, particularly regarding the omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon holds high levels of omega-3 fatty acid DHA which is found in the eye, particularly in the retina. This provides support to the membranes which protect retinal function.
Ingesting higher levels of Animal-based omega-3 fats can lower the risks of advanced macular degeneration by up to 60%. A study in 2009 also found that these fats can slow the progress of the disease over a 12 year period.