Fish, particularly salmon, can be a great food to consume for eye health. Salmon and other fish have omega-3 fatty acids. These are “healthy” fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to visual development and the health of the retina in the back of the eye. They can also help prevent dry eyes.
Consider incorporating fish into your meal plan a few days a week. When buying salmon, choose a wild-caught version instead of farm-raised salmon. That’s because farm-raised salmon has more saturated fat and less omega-3s than wild-caught salmon.
Eggs are a great food to eat for eye health. The yolks contain vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc, which are all vital to eye health. Vitamin A safeguards the cornea. The cornea is the surface of the eye. Lutein and zeaxanthin lower the chance of getting serious eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Zinc contributes to the health of the retina. The retina is the back of the eye. Zinc also helps eyes see at night.
Eggs are extremely versatile and can work for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A simple way to enjoy eggs is by hard-boiling them. Try them in salads and sandwiches. You can even eat a hardboiled egg for a snack.
3. Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
To prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration-a condition which causes progressive damage to the retina, resulting in a gradual loss of vision-dark green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, collard greens and dark green lettuce (think Romaine), should definitely be on the menu. That’s because they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two important nutrients that have antioxidant functions in the body and help to prevent cell damage. “We have lutein and zeaxanthin as pigments in the back part of the eye,” says Dr. Guillermo Rocha, an ophthalmologist and Medical Director of GRMC Vision Centre in Brandon, Manitoba. “Keeping that part well nourished helps maintain normal physiology at the back of the eye.” Rocha explains that lutein acts like sunglasses, helping to protect the retina from damage.
4. Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Bright orange fruits and vegetables get their colour from beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, that helps promote healthy vision. “It also helps the eyes to adjust to low levels of light at night,” explains Sarah Coulson, a registered dietitian with Pivot Sport Medicine and Orthopaedics in Toronto. She also recommends noshing on squash, carrots, apricots and pumpkin.
5. Citrus fruit
Citrus fruit is full of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that inhibits damage to the body caused by free radicals. Recent research has shown that the retinas of our eyes require vitamin C in order for their nerve cells to function properly and to maintain better eyesight.
Bilberry, a close relative of the blueberry, is another nutritional powerhouse for your eyes. Its nearly black berries also contain high amounts of anthocyanins, just like the black currant (but contrary to black currant, bilberries tend to be difficult to grow and cultivate). Anthocyanin-rich bilberry extract has a protective effect on visual function during retinal inflammation.13
Further, a study in the journal Advances in Gerontology found that rats with early senile cataract and macular degeneration who received 20 mg of bilberry extract per kilo of body weight suffered no impairment of their lens and retina, while 70 percent of the control group suffered degeneration over the three month-long study.