A loss in vision and failing eyesight has often been linked to age and eye strain. Though the loss of vision with age is a reality for many people, living a healthy lifestyle can work to significantly reduce vision loss and will work to help improve eyesight. There is a significant connection between diet and vision. Certain nutrients simply help reduce age-related vision loss.
For instance, nutrients such as copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and beta carotene works to reduce the risk of decline in eye health by 25%.
The nutrients in certain foods can work to really improve vision. This is why we see many old people not requiring spectacles. Their vision is perfectly fine due to the healthy nutrients they consume from their diet.
The diet is the primary means to care for your vision and is one of the only means to help reduce the risk of decline in eye health.
Here is our list of the 15 best foods that will help improve eyesight and restore vision.
Eggs are common in various diets and are something many people enjoy eating. Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two components work in combination to reduce the risk of age-related vision loss.
Eggs bring with them various benefits for the body and are loaded with nutrients. They contain good amounts of vitamins C, E and zinc all of which helps boost eye health and helps maintain good vision.
Normally eating an egg a day is considered healthy. Typically, you can eat up to three eggs a day. However, if you suffer from cholesterol, you would want to consult a healthcare professional before consuming eggs in large proportions.
Beef is known to be useful in preventing macular degeneration which can lead to age-related vision loss. This is because beef contains wholesome amounts of zinc which have been linked to better long-term eye health.
The human eye is made from high levels of zinc. The retina in particular and the vascular tissue that surrounds the retina is made from zinc. Hence, including a good source of zinc in the diet enables you to maintain your eyes by providing the nutrient it needs.
By providing the eye with plenty of zinc, you ensure proper eye health and lowered the risk of macular degeneration. Meats such as chicken breast and pork also contain zinc, however, in smaller proportions to beef.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a valuable source of beta carotene. In this day and age, we are more accustomed to using mobile phones and gazing at laptop screens for long hours. Beta carotene helps to reduce the oxidative stress caused by bright screens.
Beta carotenes are also turned into vitamin A in our bodies, which have similar benefits to eye health. Sweet potatoes help protect the eye from damage and vision loss and should be an addition to the diet to protect your eyes, especially if you expose your eyes to bright screens on a regular basis.
Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin E which has antioxidant properties. Vitamin E helps protect the eyes from unstable molecules called free radicals which break down healthy eye tissues. They prevent the formation of cataracts and reduces the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Carrots get their orange colour from beta carotene. Much like sweet potatoes, carrots are rich in beta carotenes. They are also a reliable source of vitamin A.
You may have already heard the saying, ‘eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes.’ This is completely true considering the essential role vitamin A plays in vision. Vitamin A is a component of the protein that helps the retina absorb light. Without sufficient vitamin A, your retina will simply not be able to absorb light properly, leading to poor vision and vision loss.
The beta carotenes provide a dual function in your eyes. First, they fight the oxidative stress caused by free radicals that damage the cells in the eye. Secondly, they readily turn into vitamin A in the body which helps with the functioning of the eye. Both these elements are integral for eye health which is why carrots are so important for vision.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are known to be useful for vision. They are known to contain all the right nutrients that help protect eyesight and works to improve vision.
Leafy greens usually contain both lutein and zeaxanthin which are important antioxidants that protect cells in the eyes from oxidative damage. They support the clearance of free radicals in your eyes, thereby preventing damage caused by oxidative stress.
Leafy greens are also a great source of vitamin C. Increased vitamin C intake slows down the progression of age-related macular degeneration. It can work to improve vision and prevent vision loss.
Spinach, kale and collards are all great leafy greens that you can include in your diet. They all contain heaps of essential nutrients that are great for your eyes and will work to improve your eyesight.
6. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C work to fight away age-related eye damage and helps improve vision.
Age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness. The condition destroys the sharp and central vision which is needed to see objects clearly and can prevent you from enjoying activities such as reading and driving.
Vitamin C helps fight age-related macular degeneration and is abundantly found in citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapefruits. Including these fruits in your diet can help you protect your vision and prevent vision loss with age.
Seeds are a good way to source omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties which help fight the effects of free radicals in the eyes. They work to prevent the breakdown of healthy eye tissue caused by free radicals and prevents the formation of cataracts.
Omega-3 fatty acids play a wide variety of roles in the body. They are an important aspect of maintaining healthy vision. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for healthy visual development and are also responsible for proper retinal function. Both these elements are important aspects of eye health, which is reliably provided for by incorporating seeds in the diet.
Chia seeds, hemp seed and flax seeds are all high in omega-3 fatty acids. As a result, they are considered great for eye health and provides your body with a nutrient fix that is sure to protect your vision.
Nuts are yet another reliable source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain a wholesome amount of vitamin E that helps protect the eye from age-related macular degeneration.
Omega-3 fatty acids help improve ocular blood flow and help improve optic neuroprotective function. This is especially beneficial for glaucoma patients.
The nutrients in nuts provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals all of which work to safeguard vision. They contain antioxidants that prevent cell damage caused by oxidative stress in the eyes.
Peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and walnuts are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They all contain good amounts of vitamin E, which will work to protect your vision and treat and prevent various eye conditions.
Legumes are yet another great source of zinc. Zinc is responsible for transferring vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin. Melanin is the protective pigment of the eyes and is very important for eye health.
A deficiency in zinc can cause poor night vision and cloudy cataracts. Hence, it is a good idea to source plenty of zinc from the diet and legumes are a great way to do just that.
Legumes also contain bioflavonoids that help protect the retina. They also reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. Kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils all contain rich amounts of zinc and bioflavonoids. They are rich in essential nutrients and can be a great addition to the diet to protect and improve vision.
Fish is the most reliable source of omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish that have oil in their gut and body tissue provide the body with a higher dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to treat dry eyes and improve vision. They work to reduce inflammation in the eyes, thereby maintaining good eye health and vision. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important aspect of visual development and retinal function. Sourcing sufficient omega-3 fatty acids from the diet will ensure better-protected eyesight and improved vision.
The types of fish that contain the greatest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids include, herring, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, trout, salmon and tuna.
Fish oil can work to reverse dry eyes caused by spending too much time on the computer. In this day and age where we spend so much of our time glued to a screen, fish oil is more important than ever to ensure proper eye health.
11. Whole Grains
Refined carbohydrates can lead to macular degeneration, hence it is a good idea to swap refined carbohydrates for more whole grains that are low in the glycemic index.
You can choose between quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole wheat bread and pasta, all of which are considered better for your eyes than refined carbohydrates.
Whole grains contain helpful amounts of vitamin E and zinc, both of which are responsible for the promotion of good eye health. These nutrients play essential roles in maintaining the health of the eyes, thereby working to protect eyesight and improve it.
Berries are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Berries contain good amounts of folate in them which has been known to help reduce the risk of age-related vision loss. They work to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, thereby improving eye health and vision.
Berries also contain good amounts of vitamin C and antioxidant polyphenols. Polyphenols work to prevent various etiologic factors that are responsible for the development of ocular diseases. Hence, berries help protect your eyes from various diseases.
Blueberries are especially great for vision and can work to strengthen blood vessels in the back of the eyes and improve vision. They contain anthocyanins that help lower high blood pressure and inflammation which prevents blockages in the arteries that carry oxygen to the retina.
Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are also great for eyesight and will work to protect your eyes and improve vision.
Dairy products are great for the health of your eyes. Milk and yoghurt contain vitamin A as well as wholesome amounts of zinc.
Vitamin A as found in various dairy products helps protect the cornea, while zinc actually helps transport vitamin A from the liver to the eyes. Zinc is also a primary component of the eye, especially the retina and the choroid. Hence, providing the body with ample amounts of zinc will prevent ill effects of vision health brought about by a zinc deficiency.
Dairy from grass-fed cows provides the most benefits. The minerals within help to fight poor night vision and will also work to prevent cataracts. It doesn’t matter what time of the day you enjoy your diary and in which form, some dairy in your diet will go a long way in protecting your vision.
You’ve heard those parents say, ‘eat your broccoli.’ They say it because broccoli is incredibly good for you. Broccoli contains wholesome amounts of iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.
One cup of broccoli also contains as much vitamin C as an orange. This healthy vegetable contains many essential nutrients that help protect vision. Vitamin C prevents poor night vision and reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
Riboflavin as that found in broccoli helps prevent cataracts and prevents damage to the lens of the eye which can lead to cloudy vision.
The nutrients in broccoli help fight the effects of damage-causing free radicals and are considered essential parts of normal vision.
Though not technically a food, water is an essential part of eye health and is something that is very important for good vision.
Fluid is essential to life and it is no different when it comes to eye health. Dehydration can cause dry eyes which can lead to cloudy vision and impaired sight. Dehydration of the eyes cause more strains on eye muscles which results in wear and tear leaving behind damaged vision.
To prevent the symptoms of dehydration from taking their toll on your vision, ensure to stay properly hydrated during all times of the day. The better hydrated you are, the better protected your vision will be.
Nutrient Requirements to Prevent Macular Degeneration
When it comes to age-related macular degeneration, the diet can help you slow the progress of the condition. As mentioned within this post, the food that we have listed are all great for your vision. Certain nutrients have been linked to being especially beneficial for eye health and the prevention of macular degeneration. Here are the amounts of each nutrient recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology to slow down and help prevent age-related macular degeneration.
- Vitamin C (500 mg)
- Vitamin E (400 IU)
- Lutein (10 mg)
- Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
- Zinc oxide (80 mg) and
- Copper oxide (2 mg)
Eye Health and Diabetes
Diabetes is linked to poor eye health and is one of the leading causes of blindness. People who suffer from diabetes should do everything to manage the disease as effectively as possible to prevent loss of vision.
They should be careful of what they eat and ensure to only eat low to moderate glycemic index food. They should also monitor blood sugar levels on a frequent basis and take the medication that would have been prescribed by their healthcare professional.
If you suffer from diabetes and notice that your vision is becoming poorer, it is best to consult a healthcare professional for an eye exam. Early treatment and diagnosis will help you retain vision and prevent adverse vision loss.
If you notice reduced peripheral vision or frequently see distorted images, you may need an eye exam to ensure proper eye health. If you notice changes in visual clarity or see flashes in the field of vision, these could all be signs of poor vision and should be addressed by way of an eye exam with a healthcare professional.
The diet plays a significant role in protecting vision and eyesight. If you don’t consume a healthy diet and attain the necessary nutrients that are necessary for proper eye health, you shouldn’t be surprised if your eyesight starts to deteriorate with time.
Including as many of these foods that have been listed should be a great way to go about ensuring good eye health. They contain all the essential nutrients that will help you protect your eyes and improve your vision.
We hope that you found this list useful and that reading this word to word has helped you better understand the foods you should be eating to protect your vision. Remember, diet alone can protect your eyes, it is your job to ensure you eat the right foods to reap all the benefits.