Eating for Healthy Vision
What foods can give you healthy vision?
Some recently published research has shown that diets high in specific nutrients was associated with a decreased risk of progression of late stage dry macular degeneration.
The link between a healthy diet and decreased risk of late stage dry macular degeneration seems to be caused by the antioxidant properties of the foods.
Antioxidants help the body fight cellular damage caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals, which are unstable molecules that are made during normal cell metabolism, and the antioxidants in your body.
When there are more free radicals than antioxidants, the free radicals start doing damage to fatty tissue, DNA, and the proteins in your body.
More Antioxidants for Healthy Vision
Eat foods antioxidants that are high in vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, copper, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Vitamin A is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, mango, apricots, pumpkin, black-eyed peas, spinach, broccoli, sweet red pepper, cod liver oil, and beef liver.
Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, berries, melons, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes.
Vitamin E sources are vegetable oils, almonds, pistachio nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, whole grains, turnip greens, and mango.
Beta-carotene can be found in carrot, sweet potatoes, spinach, dark leafy green vegetables, melon, cantaloupe, winter squash, and apricots
Omega-3 fatty acids come in three forms EPA, DHA, and ALA. EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, cod, mackerel, and tuna. If you are a vegetarian, plant-based sources for EPA and DHA omega-3 are all forms of algae—seaweed, spirulina, nori, and chlorella.
Zinc is in chicken, pork, liver, eggs, wheat germ, legume such as chickpeas, fortified breakfast cereals, and seafood. Zinc helps your body absorb the antioxidant vitamin A and also regulates cellular function..
Copper sources are liver, cocoa beans, nuts, whole grains, seafood, dark leafy greens, legumes, eggs, and dried fruits.
Lutein and zeaxanthin foods high in these are dark leafy greens, kiwi, grapes, corn, zucchini, peas, summer squash, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, carrots, and pistachios.
A healthy diet also helps you stay at a healthy weight and that lowers your risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes.
Gregory Scimeca, M.D.
Ophthalmologist and Medical Director
The Eye Professionals