6 Healthy (and Delicious) Foods That Are Good for Your Eyesight
Sure, you’ve heard that carrots are good for your eyes, but that’s not the only food that can help prevent disease and keep your peepers in optimal condition. Here, six foods that are just what the optometrist ordered.
These colorful fruits (yep, they’re technically not vegetables) are loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help lower your risk of getting cataracts, says the American Optometric Association (AOA). Other vitamin C rich foods include strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli, cauliflower and papayas. To really reap the benefits, eat these guys raw whenever possible since heat breaks down vitamin C.
What to make: Classic Stuffed Peppers
Dark, Leafy Greens
No surprises here—healthy greens like spinach and kale are great for eye health. That’s because they’re full of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids (plant pigments) that can help lower your risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts (the leading causes of visual impairment and acquired blindness in the U.S., according to the AOA). Broccoli, avocados and yellow squash are also good sources of these two antioxidants. Top tip: Your body needs fat to absorb lutein and zeaxanthin, so go ahead and drizzle some olive oil on top of your veggies.
What to make: Green Shakshuka
This healthy snack is a great source of vitamin E, which has been shown to slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration and help prevent cataracts. Hazelnuts, almonds and peanuts are also good sources of vitamin E, but sunflower seeds have the added benefit of zinc, which helps helps your body absorb vitamin A (another important nutrient for eye health).
Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to dry eyes, our friends at the American Academy of Ophthalmology tell us. But fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines are rich in omega-3s, which can help treat dry eyes, as well as help prevent macular degeneration and glaucoma.
What to make: One-Pan Roasted Salmon with Potatoes and Romaine
One of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen also happens to be great for eye health, thanks to high levels of lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc. “[These] nutrients help protect the eyes against damaging blue light, originating from sunlight, indoor lighting, TVs and computer screens,” says associate professor Thomas Wilson from the University of Massachusetts. But skip the egg white omelettes—the yolk has all the good stuff (and tastes better, too).
What to make: Kale Quiche with a Cheddar-Rice Crust
There’s a reason why carrots are known to be great for eyesight. Orange-colored fruits and vegetables are high in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps with your eyes’ ability to adjust to darkness. Bring on the sweet potatoes, mangos, cantaloupe (and carrots, of course).
What to make: Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers