Do your eyes have all the nutrients they need to help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and more?
Kale: See the Light!
This leafy green is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are related to vitamin A and beta carotene, and are believed to protect eye tissues from sunlight damage and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Your body needs fat to absorb lutein and zeaxanthin, so be sure to eat them with a bit of healthy fat like a drizzle of olive oil.
Sweet Potatoes: The Color of Health
These orange tubers are a good source of beta carotene, which may slow progress of macular degeneration. Your body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, a nutrient that helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Beta carotene and vitamin A also help fight off eye infections.
Sweet potatoes not your favorite? For beta carotene, try other deep orange foods like carrots and butternut squash, plus dark green foods like spinach and collard greens. Liver, milk and eggs are other great sources of vitamin A.
Like lutein and zeaxanthin, beta carotene and vitamin A are absorbed best when eaten with a little healthy fat like olive oil.
Strawberries: Help You “C” Better!
Now is the perfect time to get fresh, juicy strawberries, and good thing — they contain plenty of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help lower your risk of cataracts.
Salmon: Goodbye, Dry Eyes
Dry eyes? Omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate the problem. Get some healthy fats every day in the form of salmon (two to three times per week), walnuts (which also include eye-healthy vitamin E), avocado, olive oil, flax seed and olives. Salmon is also a good source of vitamin D, which helps protect against macular degeneration.
Green Tea: Antioxidant Powerhouse
A cup of green tea is more than relaxing and delicious — its antioxidants may help lower risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. One group of these antioxidants, catechins, are shown to be absorbed by the lens, retina, and other eye tissues where they offer protection against various toxins and oxidative stress.