The Best Foods for Eye Health

Fruits and vegetables in Derry, Londonderry, Windham & Raymond NH

When you try to think of foods that improve your vision, carrots probably come to mind. They improve your night vision, right? Actually, that idea is leftover World War II propaganda. The British didn’t want enemy forces to find out about their new radar technology, so they claimed their pilots had improved night vision from eating carrots! Whether the Germans fell for it or not, the idea has remained a part of pop culture ever since.

So is there any truth to the myth? Maybe not the part about superior night vision, but eating carrots and other nutrient-dense foods definitely helps your eyes stay healthy!

Orange-Colored Produce

It’s no coincidence that “beta-carotene” sounds a lot like “carrot.” Most orange-colored fruits and vegetables get their color from this nutrient, which the body needs to synthesize vitamin A. Your eyes then use vitamin A to convert light into brainwaves so you can see. This vitamin is also an important building block of the cornea, the clear part on the front of your eye.

Fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene include:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mangos
  • Apricots

Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruit is packed with vitamin C, which helps maintain healthy eye pressure to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. To maximize this benefit, be sure to eat more:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Lemons

Fatty Fish

Some fish are known for their high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for proper brain function and a healthy immune system. Omega-3s also play an important role in visual development and retinal function. So make sure you’re eating enough of these fatty fish:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Anchovies

Eggs & Leafy Greens

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two nutrients associated with lowering your risk of chronic eye disease, including cataracts and macular degeneration. The foods with the highest levels of these nutrients include:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard greens

Lean Meat & Legumes

Meat and legumes contain high levels of zinc. Your body uses this nutrient to transport vitamin A from the liver to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. It doesn’t matter how much vitamin A you eat if you don’t get enough zinc! You can find this nutrient in the following foods:

  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Oysters
  • Crab
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Black-eyed peas

Eye Exams are Also Important for Eye Health!

The risk of many chronic eye conditions increases with age, and early detection is necessary to ensure the best treatment. That’s why, in addition to maintaining good nutrition, you should schedule an eye exam every one to two years.

Spindel Eye Associates can provide the care you need. Our eye specialists have over 35 years of experience improving our patients’ vision and eye health. For more information or to schedule an appointment in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, or Raymond NH, please call 603.421.6536 or contact us online.