So many eye issues are prevalent in the United States. Luckily, there are ways to prevent things such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. When you think of foods that are good for your eyes, your brain probably starts screaming “carrots, carrots, carrots!” Although carrots are one of the most popular vegetables for eye health, there are so many other options. So, if you’re not a big carrot person, you no longer have to worry about how you’ll preserve your eyesight; hopefully you enjoy some of these alternative superfoods for eye health!
Let’s face it, you’re probably sick of hearing about kale. It’s been in every salad and smoothie recipe lately, but for good reason! Kale and other dark leafy vegetables provide a wide variety of nutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin. Those two “power nutrients” recently were shown to prevent cataract symptoms and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. When more than 90 percent of people over the age of 65 have cataracts it’s best to take precautions to prevent them. Eating some kale now and then is less scary than eye surgery.
This might be a new one for you, especially since a lot of people make eggs out to just be the bearer of high cholesterol. Remember lutein and zeaxanthin? Well, eggs actually contain those nutrients as well as cysteine, sulfur, lecithin and amino acids. These nutrients all fight against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. That means they’re working overtime to keep your eyes healthy. You can cook them any way you want and still get the great eye health benefits!
Fruits such as oranges, kiwis and berries are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C eliminates those free radicals that can damage your eyes. These fruits are also low in sugar. Foods that are high in sugar cause surges in insulin levels, which over time can cause insulin resistance. Over time, insulin resistance can cause eye pressure that leads to worsening symptoms of glaucoma. So increase your fruit intake and avoid foods such as breads, pasta and cereal.
One handful of almonds a day could help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. They are extremely high in vitamin E, which has been shown to aid in eye health. Vitamin E is thought to protect cells of the eyes from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals, which break down healthy tissue. It also aids in the health of cell membranes, in DNA repair and in other metabolic processes.
Other foods that are high in vitamin E include nuts, fortified cereals and sweet potatoes.
You probably weren’t expecting this one, but high quality dark chocolates contain flavonoids, which protect blood vessels within the body, including those in the eyes. The strengthened blood vessels will increase the vitality of your corneas. Dark chocolate also contains copper and vitamin A. These vitamins and nutrients help prevent damage to optic nerves, which helps preserve your vision. So, the next time someone tries to tell you chocolate is bad for you, just let them know you’re preventing damage to your eyes!
I got you, didn’t I? Eating carrots really is one of the best health measures you can take to preserve your eye health. They’re full of vitamins A, C and E, which all help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Carrots actually have one of the highest amounts of vitamin A compared to other vegetables. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in developing countries. It’s time to forgive your parents for making you eat so many vegetables as a kid and just accept they knew what was right. So, do yourself a favor and start chowing down on those carrots.