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12 Best Foods For Eye Health

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Eye Exercises For Stronger Vision

Eyes are very important because 80 per cent of what you perceive comes through your eyesight. But simple things like staring at the glared computer screen for long hours or reading a book closely can harm your eyes in the long run [1] .

With the drastic changes in lifestyle and environment, children at a very early age are wearing spectacles [2] due to problems in eyesight. It is because of the lack of nutrients in their diet. Poor eyesight can also occur due to ocular malnutrition, which happens at a very young age [3] . Ocular malnutrition occurs when there is an insufficient intake of nutrient-rich foods which can make your eyesight weak.

Consuming a balanced diet is the key to keeping your eyes healthy, and it may also help reduce the risk of developing other eye conditions. Eye conditions such as dry eyes, cataracts, glaucoma and poor night vision can be kept at bay if you have the following foods which are considered good for your eyes.

Best Foods For Eye Health

1. Fish

Fish like salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, etc., are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very good for your eye health, especially the retina. These healthy fats prevent glaucoma and dry eye syndrome and contribute to proper visual development [4] .

  • You can either boil or grill the fish to get the maximum nutrients.

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2. Eggs

Eggs are great for your eye health too due to zinc, zeaxanthin, lutein and vitamin A that are present in the yolk. It protects the eyes from the harmful blue light. Vitamin A protects the cornea, lutein and zeaxanthin lower the chances of cataracts, and zinc contributes to the health of the retina [5] .

  • You can enjoy boiled eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

3. Almonds

Almonds contain vitamin E that guards against unstable molecules, which target healthy tissues of the eyes. Consuming almonds daily can help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration [6] . You can also consume other nuts rich in vitamin E like hazelnuts, peanuts, cashew nut, and walnuts.

  • Get your daily dose of vitamin E by adding almonds in your breakfast cereal, yoghurt or in salads.

10 Health Benefits Of Eating Soaked Almonds In The Morning

4. Bell pepper

Bell peppers are good for the blood vessels in your eyes, and it could also lower the risk of cataracts. Bell peppers are full of vitamins like A, C, and E that are very good for your vision and also help you to see clearly [7] .

  • You can add raw bell peppers in salads or add sautéed bell peppers to your dishes.

5. Leafy green vegetables

Dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach, collards and kale are rich in vitamin C and vitamin E. These vegetables also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which lower the risk of long-term eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts [8]

  • You can include these dark-green leafy vegetables in salads and soups.

6. Carrots

Carrots top the list in promoting eye health. They are good sources of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which aids the retina to absorb light. This vitamin also prevents various eye infections and other serious eye conditions [8] .

  • You can toss the carrots into salads and soups, or shred them up and add them to your cake batter.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli is another vegetable packed with lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids help in protecting the healthy cells in your eyes from free radicals, a type of unstable molecule that destroys the healthy tissues of your eyes [9] .

  • You can either sauté broccoli or you can boil and eat it.

8. Orange

Oranges contain vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant which is considered very good for eye health [10] . This vitamin found in oranges contribute to healthy blood vessels in your eyes and it can combat the development of cataracts. Orange juice is known to contain 30 per cent to 50 per cent of lutein and zeaxanthin [9] .

  • You can either drink the natural orange juice or eat the fruit as a snack or add to your oatmeal.

9. Dairy products

Dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk have good amounts of vitamin A and zinc. Both these nutrients perform important functions - vitamin A protects the cornea and zinc helps with night vision as well as prevents the formation of cataracts [11] .

  • Drink a glass of milk daily or have it along with your breakfast cereal.

10. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene which prevents the onset of eye conditions such as cataracts, dry eyes and night blindness. They are also beneficial in reducing the risk of eye infections [12] .

  • You can eat sweet potatoes by baking, sautéing and grilling them.

11. Meat

Meat like chicken breast, pork loin and beef have a good amount of zinc, and zinc has been linked to delay age-related macular degeneration and sight loss [13] . Meat is also a good source of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Consume meat either by grilling, roasting or adding it in stews, soups and curries.

12. Red grapes

Red grapes contain resveratrol, a polyphenol plant compound that is believed to be vital for maintaining eye health [14] . Resveratrol is found in grape skins and is known to have powerful health benefits. Grapes also contain lutein and zeaxanthin that prevent damage to the retina caused by oxidative stress and also prevent cataract.

  • Eat the whole red grapes to receive most of the nutrients.

To Conclude...

Consuming a diet that includes red, green, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables will keep your eyes healthy. If you are unable to get most of these nutrients from the above mentioned foods, speak to your doctor about eye health supplements.

View Article References
  1. [1] Bruce, A., Kelly, B., Chambers, B., Barrett, B. T., Bloj, M., Bradbury, J., & Sheldon, T. A. (2018). The effect of adherence to spectacle wear on early developing literacy: a longitudinal study based in a large multiethnic city, Bradford, UK. BMJ open, 8(6), e021277.
  2. [2] Bruce, A., Fairley, L., Chambers, B., Wright, J., & Sheldon, T. A. (2016). Impact of visual acuity on developing literacy at age 4-5 years: a cohort-nested cross-sectional study. BMJ open, 6(2), e010434.
  3. [3] Dantas, A. P., Brandt, C. T., & Leal, D. N. B. (2005). Ocular manifestations in patients who had malnutrition in the first six months of life. Arquivos brasileiros de oftalmologia, 68(6), 753-756.
  4. [4] Bhargava, R., Kumar, P., Phogat, H., Kaur, A., & Kumar, M. (2015). Oral omega-3 fatty acids treatment in computer vision syndrome related dry eye. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, 38(3), 206-210.
  5. [5] Koushan, K., Rusovici, R., Li, W., Ferguson, L. R., & Chalam, K. V. (2013). The role of lutein in eye-related disease. Nutrients, 5(5), 1823-39.
  6. [6] Rasmussen, H. M., & Johnson, E. J. (2013). Nutrients for the aging eye. Clinical interventions in aging, 8, 741-748.
  7. [7] Matsufuji, H., Ishikawa, K., Nunomura, O., Chino, M., & Takeda, M. (2007). Anti‐oxidant content of different coloured sweet peppers, white, green, yellow, orange and red (Capsicum annuum L.). International journal of food science & technology, 42(12), 1482-1488.
  8. [8] Abdel-Aal, e., Akhtar, H., Zaheer, K., & Ali, R. (2013). Dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids and their role in eye health. Nutrients, 5(4), 1169-1185.
  9. [9] Sommerburg, O., Keunen, J. E., Bird, A. C., & van Kuijk, F. J. (1998). Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 82(8), 907-910.
  10. [10] Ravindran, R. D., Vashist, P., Gupta, S. K., Young, I. S., Maraini, G., Camparini, M., Jayanthi, R., John, N., Fitzpatrick, K. E., Chakravarthy, U., Ravilla, T. D., … Fletcher, A. E. (2011). Inverse association of vitamin C with cataract in older people in India. Ophthalmology, 118(10), 1958-1965.e2.
  11. [11] Gopinath, B., Flood, V. M., Louie, J. C., Wang, J. J., Burlutsky, G., Rochtchina, E., & Mitchell, P. (2014). Consumption of dairy products and the 15-year incidence of age-related macular degeneration. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(9), 1673-1679.
  12. [12] Sun, M., Lu, X., Hao, L., Wu, T., Zhao, H., & Wang, C. (2015). The influences of purple sweet potato anthocyanin on the growth characteristics of human retinal pigment epithelial cells. Food & nutrition research, 59, 27830.
  13. [13] Chiu, C. J., Klein, R., Milton, R. C., Gensler, G., & Taylor, A. (2009). Does eating particular diets alter the risk of age-related macular degeneration in users of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study supplements?. The British journal of ophthalmology, 93(9), 1241-1246.
  14. [14] Abu-Amero, K. K., Kondkar, A. A., & Chalam, K. V. (2016). Resveratrol and Ophthalmic Diseases. Nutrients, 8(4), 200.

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