Everyone was told as a child that if they ate their carrots, it would help them see in the dark. Unlike many of the tales we are told as kids, it appears that there is actually some truth in this old saying. We’ve worked with Sophie Bertrand, a Registered Associate Nutritionist, to reveal the superfoods that will help keep your eyes healthy.
Sophie said: “The NHS suggests that a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and essential fats including oily fish, may help reduce the risk of suffering with unwanted eye conditions.”
The main nutrients that studies show help to keep eyes healthy are omega-3, vitamins A and C, antioxidants and catechins.
Sarah adds that your diet style can have a big impact on your future eye health:“Studies have shown that those who follow a Mediterranean style diet that includes oily fish – which are a good source of omega-3 – have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration, a progressive condition that results in deterioration of vision.”
With all this in mind, Optegra has revealed the top 10 foods that can help improve eye health, listed below.
1. Leafy Green Vegetables
Vegetables such as spinach and kale are some of the best natural sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two of the most important carotenoids for maintaining ocular health.
The omega 3 in cold water fish, such as salmon and tuna, is great for keeping your eyes moist and feeling healthy.
Avocados are packed lutein which reduce the amount of damaging light reaching the eye. Avocados also have lots of healthy fats which enhances absorption of lutein and other carotenoids.
Eggs are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin A which is extremely beneficial in maintaining the health of the ocular surface as well as the retina. Furthermore Vitamin A also helps with ocular dryness.
As well as being rich in vitamin A, carrots also containbeta carotene which helps your eyes absorb vitamin A, which is essential to maintaining good eye health.
6. Green Tea
Green tea includes healthy substances called catechins which are filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties can help to reduce the risk of infection to eyes.
Vitamin E is abundant in nuts and helps to retain healthy tissue in the eyes. The top nuts containing vitamin E are almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts.
8. Sunflower Seeds
Vitamin E is also present in seeds and as well as helping to retain healthy tissue, this can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts which both typically occur later in life.
Fruits that are high in vitamin C help protect your eyes against damaging UV light. This can be helpful in reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Grapefruits, lemons and berries are also great sources of vitamin C.
Lentils are packed with zinc and bioflavonoids and these help to protect the retina.
You should enjoy these foods as part of a healthy, balanced diet in order to boost your eye health and help prevent infections.
To learn more about the eye conditions that these foods can help to prevent, see Eye Conditions.