Most of us already know that we can achieve fitness and health through the manipulation of our diet.
This topic has been discussed extensively by healthcare professionals all around the world.
However, one topic remains largely neglected by many nutritionists – what to eat in order to prevent eye diseases and improve eyesight.
Just like with any other organ in your body, certain nutrients can improve the function of your eyes. So yes, even though you don’t hear or read much about it, it is still very possible.
Not only that it’s possible, but it’s also very easy. You probably have many of these foods in your fridge or kitchen cupboards.
Vitamins, Nutrients for Eyesight
Before we get to the foods that can improve your eyesight, we should first form an understanding of which nutrients help your eyes, and how they do it. Here are short descriptions of how each one helps.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Let us start with two of the most important eye-healthy nutrients. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two types of carotenoids that have an effect similar to what sunscreen does for your skin. They prevent light-induced oxidative damage, which is a major cause for macular degeneration (a condition that leads to vision loss in the macula (the center of the visual field)).
Furthermore, they are also proven to prevent cataracts (a clouding in the eye’s lens which heavily decreases vision).
Vitamin A is protects the surface of your eye, which makes it an essential nutrient for good eyesight.
It has also showed to decrease the risk of macular degeneration when used in a combination with other anti-oxidants. (We recommend Vizu-All Plus – an effective natural remedy – to help with macular degeneration and eye health)
Vitamin A is also used effectively for dry eyes treatment.
Studies have shown that increasing the intake of vitamin E can decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration with as much as 25%. This vitamin is partially caused by the fact that this vitamin is a very strong anti-oxidant that protects the membranes of the cells in your eyes.
Further studies showed that a combination of vitamin C and E is also a good way to treat an inflammation of the uvea (the middle layer of the eye) known as uveitis.
In addition, vitamin E is believed to help prevent cataracts.
Vitamin C improves your eyesight by helping the body form and maintain the collagen and connective tissue found in the cornea of your eyes (and just about everywhere else). In effect, vitamin C decreases the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Large amounts of zinc are found in the macula of your eyes. This makes it a very important nutrient.
Furthermore, it helps vitamin A in the production of a pigment that protects your eyes known as melanin.
Zinc is also a key nutrient for many enzymes that have important eye functions.
Selenium deficiency is a reason for imperfect vision and many eye diseases like retinopathy, nyctalopia, cataract and others.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These very popular and healthy fatty acids have shown to protect your eyes from two of the already mentioned diseases – dry eye syndrome and macular degeneration.
Omega-3 fatty acids also improve the drainage of intraocular fluid from your eyes, which prevents high eye pressure and glaucoma.
DHA (a specific type of Omega-3) is able to decrease age-related eyesight imperfections according to a study done on mice. This fatty acid fully prevented the build-up of a toxic molecule (which causes vision loss) in the eye’s retina.
Note: CataractClear is a safe, non-addictive, natural remedy containing 100% homeopathic ingredients especially selected to relieve symptoms of mineral buildup which can lead to blurry vision, pain and irritation.
Food for Your Eyes
Now that we’ve created a solid ground for you to step on, it’s time to move to the nice part- which foods contain these terrific eye-friendly nutrients.
We are going to have 2 categories- foods that contain good amounts of at least 4 nutrients and foods that are the richest in any single nutrient.
First we start off with the all-around best foods for your eyes
Dark Leafy Greens
Out of the 7 nutrients, dark leafy greens are a rich source of 5. They top the list when it comes to Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Leafy greens are also among the richest foods in vitamin A, C, E and Zinc. The leaders of this broad group of vegetables are the kale and the spinach. They contain the most eye-healthy nutrients.
Peppers (includes all types of bell and chili peppers)
Eat more peppers and your eyes will thank you for it! Similarly to the dark leafy greens, they are rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin, and a great source of the 3 vitamins C, A and E. While the greens are a better source of the two carotenoids, the peppers more than compensate with their abundance of vitamins.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are amazing sources of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, zinc and vitamin E.
The top sources of omega-3 include flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. Great sources of selenium are Sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts. For an abundance of zinc, you can eat cashew and pumpkin seeds. Vitamin E is found in sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts and pine nuts. So if you love your eyes and want to improve your eyesight, don’t be nuts and eat your nuts!
Now we turn our soon-to-be-healthy eyes to the other category of foods – the ones that are on top of the list for any single nutrient.
Food Sources of Single Nutrients for Eyes
Some great food sources for eye-healthy vitamins:
- Let’s begin with Lutein and Zeaxanthin. The number one source of the two carotenoids is Kale with 22-30 mg of Lutein and 11-20 mg of Zeaxanthin per cup. It is followed by turnip greens and spinach. If for some reason you are not into leafy greens, you can get 0.6 mg of Lutein and 2.8-3 mg of Zeaxanthin from corn.
- Next is Vitamin A. The very best source of vitamin A is turkey liver. A single ounce of it contains around 422% of your recommended daily value! This is 4 times more than the next best thing – sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are followed closely by carrots with 98% of your vitamin A DV.
- Let’s move on to vitamin E. For this nutrient it’s best to consume nuts and seeds. The richest source is sunflower seeds with 36.3 mg per 100 grams, followed by almonds with 26.2 mg per 100 grams. If you don’t like nuts or are allergic, your best option is to make sure you eat turnip greens, which barely have 2.1 mg per 100 grams (hopefully you can eat nuts).
- The last vitamin on our eyesight improving nutritional list is Vitamin C. The top source is guava with up to 228 mg per 100 grams. Second best come the red hot chili peppers with 144 mg per 100 grams. And in third place are the red bell peppers packing 128 mg of the valuable nutrient.
Now that we are done with the vitamins, we can move on to the minerals.
- The absolute masters of zinc are oysters with their 90.8 mg per 100 grams. Following far behind are wheat germ (12.3 mg), pumpkin seeds (10.2 mg) and lamb (7.9 mg).
- The second mineral in our list is selenium. Once again we have a clear winner – Brazil nuts with their whopping 1912 mcg (micrograms) of the mineral per 100 grams of nuts. This is more than 2700% of your recommended daily needs! Next in the list are pork meat with about 310 mcg per 100 grams and lamb meat with about 220 mcg for the same amount.
- Last but not least of our eyesight improving nutrients are the omega-3 fatty acids. The richest sources of these healthy fats are oils. Flaxseed oil tops the list with 53 305 mg per 100 grams, followed by salmon oil with 35 131 mg for the same amount. There are also two types seeds that are very rich in omega-3 – obviously the first type are flaxseeds (22 813 mg per 100 grams), the other type are chia seeds (17 552 mg per 100 grams).
This is the list of foods that you have to eat if you want to improve your eyesight. All of these foods are very easy to include in your diet.
I personally have a favorite jam-packed with eye-healthy nutrients salad. You and your eyes will love this one!
It includes smoked oysters, kale, sweet potatoes, red bell peppers and a mix of seeds and nuts (brazil nuts and sunflower seeds normally). This salad basically has all of the nutrients we mentioned earlier.
This is a quick and delicious way to improve your eyesight.
Trust me it’s a fantastic feeling to know that you are taking proper care of one of your most vital organs. Your eyes give you so much joy! It would be a shame to neglect their needs.
So, are you taking care of your eyes? If yes than send us your suggestions for eye-friendly foods and recipes! We would love to read, use and share them with everyone.
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