Which Diet is Good for Eyesight?
From glasses to contact lenses, about 61% of people in the U.S. require vision correction of some kind. On top of this, various Americans are diagnosed with eye conditions and diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. While medical treatments are available for vision improvement, a diet good for eyesight might also benefit you.
It’s undeniable — your eye health is important. Having good vision allows you to perform your daily tasks with ease. It also allows you to view this beautiful world in all its glory. So, how can you take better care of your eyes? It all starts with what you eat!
In this article, we are going to go over the best and worst foods for eyesight. Let’s take a look.
5 Best Foods for Eyesight
When it comes to your eyesight, there are a few key nutrients and compounds you want to ensure you consume on a regular basis. These include:
- Beta carotene.
- Vitamin A.
- Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E.
So, what foods can you obtain these nutrients from? Keep reading to find out!
Salmon and other fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important part in visual development and maintenance of the retina. These are also ultra-important when it comes to preventing dry eyes! Ideally, you want to consume fatty fish at least one to two times a week.
The debate about whether or not eggs are good for your health continues. However, most health experts today agree that the benefits of eating eggs far outweigh the negatives. In fact, this food is jam-packed with various essential nutrients, including Vitamin A, lutein, zinc and zeaxanthin — all of which are vital for optimal eye health. In fact, consuming adequate lutein can significantly lower your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts later in life.
Dairy products get a bad rap! Yet, milk is full of nutrients, including ones that contribute to better eyesight, such as Vitamin A and zinc. Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining cornea health, and zinc is found in the tissue within the eye, such as the retina and choroid. However, it is important to try to grab high-quality milk or dairy products from grass-fed cows. These dairy products tend to be the least processed, offering additional health benefits.
Vitamin C helps maintain the blood vessels in your eyes. In fact, it is even thought to help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. As you might already know, oranges are loaded with vitamin C. You can enjoy an orange all on its own or grab a glass of orange juice with your breakfast to ensure you consume enough of this much-needed vitamin.
Carrots make for an easy go-to snack. This veggie contains vitamin A and beta carotene (which can be transformed into vitamin A by the liver). Vitamin A helps prevent eye infections and maintains the surface area of the eye.
5 Worst Foods for Eyesight
The above list offers foods you should definitely add to your diet (if you don’t eat them already). But what about the worst foods for your eyesight? What should you potentially avoid?
1. Bread and Pasta
We all love bread and pasta, but it might be wise to keep this food to a minimum or for special occasions only. Experts claim that simple carbs, such as bread and pasta, can increase your risk of age-related macular degeneration. This happens because your body tends to digest these types of carbs quickly, leading to blood sugar dysregulation and other issues.
2. Processed Meats
The average American diet already contains too much sodium, and processed meats are a major culprit of this. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, leading to hypertensive retinopathy (blood vessel damage in the eyes), choroidopathy (fluid build-up under the retina) and neuropathy (nerve cell death, causing vision loss).
3. Deep Fried Foods
Fried foods are definitely a food you want to only enjoy on occasion. These types of foods produce compounds in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals cause damage and harm to your tissues, organs and cells. In fact, too many free radicals (without proper antioxidant intake to counterbalance them) can lead to vision problems and vision loss.
Margarine is usually high in trans fats. This can increase cholesterol levels and increase your chances of having eye and vision problems. Opt for butter or ghee instead, and only use what you need without overdoing it!
5. Sugary Beverages
Get this: the average sugary drink contains about 7 to 10 teaspoons! Higher sugar consumption is further associated with excess weight and obesity. Being overweight increases your chances of developing heart disease and diabetes. One of the main complications of diabetes can involve diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Thus, it is probably best to stick with water most of the time, leaving sugary drinks for special occasions!
Eat Your Way Toward Good Eye Health
Most of the food items you should consume for improved eye health also lead to improved overall health. In fact, a healthy diet goes a long way in ensuring you maintain your quality of life, no matter what age you are at! Nourish your body with the food you eat. That way, you can age gracefully (and hopefully with fewer eye issues than the average person).