The eyes are the window to the soul. You may have heard this saying before. Eyes are also your window to see the colorful world around you. Keeping your focus is important and can help with the food you choose to eat every day. Without protection, you run the risk of developing various eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends eating a lot of lutein and zeaxanthin, essential fatty acids, vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid), zinc and vitamin E to protect your eyes.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are nutrients found to reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract. These nutrients are found mainly in raw vegetables such as kale, collard greens and turnips. They are found in small amounts in corn, broccoli, green beans, peas, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, orange peppers, persimmon, kiwi, honeydew, and tangerines.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are considered important because your body does not make them and therefore, you need to find them in your diet. These oils are essential for maintaining the central nervous system and keeping the eye functioning properly.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it protects the body’s cells from being damaged by free radicals of unstable molecules produced by the body due to natural exposure to other substances. This protection helps to slow down the process of macular degeneration and loss of vision.
Zinc is essential for transporting vitamin A from the liver to the retina of the eye. In the retina, it helps the eyes produce melanin that protects the eyes.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant that works to protect the eyes by protecting the body’s cells from damage by free radicals.
Choosing a diet full of some or all of these nutrients is a great way to eat the health of your eyes. Keep reading to find food examples.
Eyes for eye health:
Seeds of Chia
Shoots in Brussels
Honorable Speaker: Carotenoids
Carotenoids are pigment pigment found in many fruits and vegetables that help protect your eyes. They are the ones that give the carrots their bright orange or tomato color.
How to incorporate carotenoids into your daily diet:
Broccoli salad with walnuts and cashews
Cooked spinach and garlic for 2 to 4 minutes
Cracked eggs contain particles of broccoli
Corn / pea green salad
Coleslaw Salad, using raw cabbage and ground mayonnaise
To maximize the benefits of your carotenoids diet, the USDA recommends that foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are very helpful when smoked or microwaved.
The average American takes about 2 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin per day, compared to 6 mg per day which appears to reduce the risk of developing AMD and cataract. Think of a multivitamin / mineral that contains lutein and zeaxanthin to better meet your needs if you are able to use food alone. Talk to your doctor before starting any healthy food ingredients.
Bonnie R. Giller is a registered and certified doctor of Dietitian Nutritionist, a certified Diabetes Lecturer and a certified dietitian. It helps chronic, emotionally affected dieters, and people with medical conditions such as diabetes, break the spelling of their diet and restore the WholeBody Trust ™ so that they can live their lives to the fullest. To do this by building a cohesive solution that integrates three pillars of the WholeBody Trust ™: Mind Trust, Hunger Trust and Food Trust ™.