The beginning of the year is a superb time to re-evaluate your lifestyle and make changes to improve your health. If you are committed to taking steps in 2018 to improve eye health, the team at Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut wants to help. Because a growing body of research has linked diet to the health and strength of the eyes, we recommend adding the following foods to your plate:
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables like kale, collard greens, Swiss chard and spinach are excellent sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are believed to lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Leafy greens also contain vitamin C, another antioxidant which can help keep the eyes healthy.
Orange fruits and vegetables like cantaloupe, mangoes, oranges, sweet potatoes and orange bell peppers contain beta-carotene (the body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A), which is good for night vision. Orange bell peppers in particular are good for eye health as they are packed with vitamin C and zeaxanthin.
Eggs are fantastic eye-friendly foods, and studies show that one a day is all you need. They are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin and vitamin D, which may lower the risk of macular degeneration.
Salmon and other coldwater fish like sardines and mackerel have omega-3 fatty acids called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that are important to the health and wellness of the retina as well as the overall immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids also help lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration and can help alleviate dry eye symptoms.
Lycopene gives tomatoes their vibrant color and may help prevent light-induced damage to the retina. Tomatoes also have a lot of vitamin C, which is excellent for the health of the eyes.
Eating a handful of walnuts and pistachios is a good way to add omega-3 fatty acids and other antioxidants to your diet. Pistachios in particular contain a lot of lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin E. Other sources of vitamin E include almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.
Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain bioflavonoids, which are believed to protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.
In addition to eating right, our eye doctors also encourage you to get plenty of sleep and exercise, avoid smoking and see us once a year for an eye exam. To book your next appointment, please call Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut at 203-366-8000 or email us today.