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The Best (and Worst) Foods for Eye Health

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Your eyes know everything!

All-seeing and all-knowing, your eyes are responsible for 85% of the things you know. Throughout your lifetime, your eyes process around 24 million images. It’s these images our brains use to pull out information that creates knowledge.

We depend on our eyes so much that even the slightest vision problem can disrupt your entire life. Headaches, blurry vision, and eye strain, are all vision problems that can occur when you’re not eating the right foods for eye health.

What are the best and worst foods for your eyes? Read on to find out!

Prevent Blindness With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve your vision, protect the health of your eye, and boost your overall well being. Flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts all contain the heart-healthy fatty acids your body needs.

You can also start incorporating fish in your diet since they’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines, salmon, tuna, and other types of oily fish are the ones that will help your eyes the most. The fatty acids found in fish can help prevent blindness in older adults.

Take, for instance, age-related macular degeneration or AMD, a condition that causes blindness. In the United States, AMD is the number 1 cause of vision loss for adults over the age of 65. Doctors find that eating more than 4 ounces of oily fish a week makes it 40% less likely that you’ll ever develop AMD.

One of the ways omega-3 fatty acids help keep your eyes healthy is by promoting the health of your blood vessels. The fatty acids also make it possible for your body to reduce inflammation.

If you’re having vision problems, visiting the Boise eye doctors, and then switching up your diet can make a major difference. When your blood vessels can properly operate, and your body’s balanced and not inflamed, your vision can be better than ever before.

Improve Retina Health With Carotenoids

To keep your retina healthy you need to eat foods that contain carotenoids.  Carotenoids are the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their different colors. Both lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that are present in your retina.

By eating foods that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin you can improve the pigment density of your eye’s macula. The pigment density can then protect the cells found in the macular area.

The pigments can neutralize free radicals, and absorb excess ultraviolet light. The pigments can also absorb excess blue light that could harm your eyes.

Luckily, there are a lot of food options that contain both lutein and zeaxanthin. For instance, broccoli, collard greens, kale, spinach, squash, romaine lettuce, and brussel sprouts are all types of vegetables that contain both retinae enhancing carotenoids.

You can also try carotenoid-rich fruit like papayas, oranges, and nectarines. Finally, both eggs and corn contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.

Vitamins and Your Vision

What vitamins do your eyes need to stay healthy and strong? First, Vitamin A works to keep your cornea clear. The cornea is the delicate outside covering for your eye. Vitamin A also helps assist your vision in low light.

Next, Vitamin E helps keep your eyes neutral and balanced to prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there’s a lack of balance between the free radicals in your body, and the antioxidants. Vitamin E helps maintain a healthy balance by protecting your eye cells from free radicals.

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps protect eye cells from free radicals. However, that’s not all Vitamin C can do for your eyes. Without Vitamin C, your body wouldn’t be able to produce the collagen protein that protects your cornea and sclera.

Finally, there are the B vitamins. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 all have a major impact on the health of your eye.

By regularly consuming all 3 of these B vitamins, you able to lower your body’s level of homocysteine. When homocysteine levels are too high, inflammation can cause all sorts of vision problems.

Foods Rich With Vitamins

You can find vitamin B in eggs, beans, brown rice, and avocados. To get your daily dose of vitamin A, seek out vegetables like carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and raw red peppers. You can also turn to apricots, and mangos to boost your body with Vitamin A.

Raw peppers are good for vitamin c as well, and broccoli has both vitamin c and vitamin E. If you’re looking for fruits that are high in vitamin C, you’ll want to eat oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, and kiwis. Finally, almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter are all foods that have high levels of vitamin A.

Worst Foods for Eye Health

So far we’ve been discussing the foods good for eye health. But what about the worst foods for eye health? If a food item is dangerous for your heart, it’s likely also dangerous for your eyes. The reason being that just the heart, your eyes are vascular.

Tiny capillaries carry both oxygen and nutrients to your retina. If the blood vessels that help your eyes function can work properly, the health of your eyes will degrade.

Foods that make it hard for the blood to flow freely, are foods that cause fatty deposits to form. Once present, the fatty deposits bock the veins since the blood vessels are so small.

Here’s a list of high-fat foods that are harmful to your eyes:

  • Condiments and dressings
  • Fatty meats
  • Margarine
  • White foods
  • Unsaturated fats

White foods refer to foods that look white, such as pasta, rice, and white bread. Eating white foods means you’re overloading your body with carbohydrates. Instead, try swapping out your regular pasta or bread for a whole grain option.

Never Miss a Moment

Learning about the best and worst foods for eye health means never having to miss a moment. When you can comfortably see the world around you, life’s possibilities are limitless. For more ways to live your best life, check out the rest of this site.

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