For many, declining eyesight is the inevitable result of aging or eye strain. However, despite the fact that some eye health problems may be unavoidable, a healthy lifestyle and therefore eye-friendly foods can significantly reduce the risk of disease.
A study from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, found that certain nutrients including: zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E and/or beta-carotene; can reduce the risk of declining eye health, including the risk of cataracts or age-related macular degeneration (amd) by 25%.
This study was updated in 2013 to test different versions of the original formula. The variations included omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene; the study found that some combinations may be more effective than others in caring for our eyes.
Other studies have confirmed that omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), copper, lutein and zeaxanthin are essential to prevent eye problems and to make your eyes healthy.
Here are 10 foods from a list of nutrient-rich foods to improve eye health:
Many fishes are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids
Fatty fishes are fishes that contain oil in their gut and body tissue, so eating them provides higher levels of omega-3 rich fish oil.
The fishes that contain the most beneficial levels of omega-3 are:
Some studies have shown that fish oil can reverse dry eyes, including those caused by spending too much time on a computer.
Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain high levels of vitamin E, which can protect the eye from age-related damage.
Nuts are available for purchase at most grocery stores and online. Nuts and legumes that are good for eye health include:
Like nuts and legumes, seeds are high in omega-3 and are a rich source of vitamin E.
Seeds are available for purchase at most grocery stores and online. Omega-3 rich seeds include:
Citrus fruits are foods rich in vitamin C. Like vitamin E, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant recommended by the AOA to fight age-related eye damage.
Citrus fruits rich in vitamin C include:
Green leafy vegetables are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a good source of vitamin C, which is beneficial to the eyes.
Here are the best known green leafy vegetables :
Carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene gives carrots their orange color.
Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina absorb light.
Research on the role of beta-carotene in vision is mixed, although the body needs this nutrient to make vitamin A.
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene. They are also a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant.
Beef is rich in zinc, which has been associated with better long-term eye health. Zinc may help delay age-related vision loss and thus age-related macular degeneration.
The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina and surrounding vascular tissue.
Meats such as chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc, but at lower levels than beef.
Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which may reduce the risk of age-related vision loss. Eggs are also good sources of vitamins C and E and zinc
Perhaps not surprisingly, the liquid essential to life is also vital to eye health.
Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which can reduce dry eye symptoms.
A varied diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein is enough to provide most people with the nutrients needed for eye health.
For people who cannot obtain these nutrients due to various allergies or a very restrictive diet, we advise them to directly contact an ophthalmologist who can offer them food supplements for eye health.