Many people mistakenly believe that blurry vision and eye disorders are inevitable consequences of aging. But in truth, simply eating the right foods can significantly reduce your risk of eye problems, especially as you age.
Keep your eyes sharp by making these superfoods part of your daily diet:
Eating blueberries regularly can help improve your vision and strengthen the blood vessels located in the back of your eyes. This is largely thanks to anthocyanins, the plant pigments that give the berries their blue peels.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins help protect your eyes from inflammation, strengthen collagen structure in the retina and protect it from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure. Blackberries, cranberries, grapes and other blue and purple fruits are also excellent sources of anthocyanins.
Not all kinds of chocolate are bad. It turns out, dark chocolate that contains 72 percent cacao helps to improve eyesight, based on the results of a recent clinical trial on people with glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. That trial also showed that eating dark chocolate helped lower the risk of macular degeneration, which could lead to vision loss as well.
Egg yolks are incredibly rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Both of these antioxidants accumulate in the eyes and are said to protect against macular degeneration. The high fat content of eggs also means you can absorb the antioxidants more readily.
Additionally, egg yolks provide ample amounts of vitamin D. As you age, this micronutrient helps your eyes stay healthy and sharp.
Seafood lovers, rejoice! Oysters are one of the richest natural sources of zinc, an essential mineral that’s been linked to better eye health in the long run. Zinc is also said to protect the eyes from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure. If you’re not a big fan of shellfish, you can try poultry, beans and legumes instead.
Oranges are one of the richest sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect your eyes from harmful free radicals. In doing so, vitamin C may help reduce your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C is also said to keep the blood vessels in your eyes healthy.
You can also get ample amounts of vitamin C from bell peppers, cantaloupes, broccoli and other citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits and tangerines.
Carrots have been associated with good vision time and again – and for good reason. Carrots are chock-full of beta-carotene, which gives them their characteristic orange color. Our liver converts this pigment into vitamin A, which helps protect the cornea. Vitamin A also fends off cataracts and macular degeneration.
Snacking on almonds helps improve eye health, too. Like most nuts and seeds, almonds are incredibly rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that also protects the eyes from free radicals. Existing research also says that regularly eating vitamin E-rich foods helps reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.
Omega-3 fatty acids, or omega-3s, are healthy, unsaturated fats that are essential for maintaining good vision and eye health. Fatty fishes like salmon are some of the richest sources of omega-3s. For better eye health, eat at least two to three servings of salmon and other fatty fishes every week.
Crisp, curly kale is extremely beneficial for eye health. This cruciferous salad green contains both lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale also provides high amounts of vitamin C.
Rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and carotenoids like lycopene and beta-carotene, tomatoes protect your eyes from light-induced damage, the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Don’t take your eyes for granted. Add the superfoods listed above to your daily diet to keep your eyes healthy and your eyesight at its best as you age.