Best Foods for Optimum Eye Health

istock_000010289869xsmallLast month, Dr. Gary Foster discussed how exercise might stave off cataracts and other serious eye diseases. This month, he wants to talk about diet: specifically, the foods that promote optimal eye health and wellness. Read on for Dr. Foster’s recommendations — and be sure to add a few of his picks to your grocery list.

Dark Leafy Greens

Greens like spinach and kale are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that purportedly lower the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Studies have shown that people whose diets are high in lutein are less likely to develop cataracts than those whose aren’t. Broccoli, peas and avocados are alternative sources of these two antioxidants.

Eggs

The yolk of an egg is also packed with lutein and zeaxanthin. Egg yolks also contain high levels of zinc, which can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Salmon

Salmon and other cold-water fish, such as tuna and mackerel, are packed with eye-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids protect against dry eye symptoms and eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration. Fish oil supplements or supplements with black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil offer a similar supply of omega-3s.

Citrus Fruits

Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and lemons have plenty of vitamin C, which is critical for proper eye function and can help prevent or delay cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Berries are also full of vitamin C.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes have a good amount of lycopene, a carotenoid that can help prevent light-induced damage to the retina and other parts of the eye. They also have vitamin C.

Pistachios

The most eye-friendly of snack nuts is the pistachio, which offers lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin E. A pistachio’s fat can help increase the absorption of carotenoids. Almonds are another great source of vitamin E. Be sure not to overdo it, though — a handful (or ounce) of these nuts is an appropriate serving size.

Contact Dr. Gary Foster

For more information about keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear, contact our Colorado ophthalmologist, Dr. Gary Foster. Call (970) 419-2693 or email us today.

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