Foods That Boost Your Eye Health And Improve Your Eyesight
By Liz Perkins
Are you eating the right foods to keep your peepers in good health?
There are actually quite a few different foods that you can eat that contribute to the healthy nature of your eyes; it can sometimes be hard to keep track of them all amongst the checklist of everything else you’re doing to stay healthy each day.
To keep it simple, just remember this – eat the rainbow!
Keeping a rainbow of fruits and vegetables on your plate every day can help you make sure that you are consistently receiving the nutrition your eyes need. Your eyes want more than just carrots. Carrots are an incredible source of beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A. Vitamin A is important to activate rhodopsin and prevent macular degeneration and blindness (xerophthalmia).
But today, let’s go beyond vitamin A and explore other eye-benefitting plant pigments – there really are so many more out there!
1. Black Currants: These fruits are powerhouses for maintaining good vision with their high amounts of anthocyanins and essential fatty acids. You can buy black currants at farmer’s markets, get black currant oil or syrup or buy them as a supplement.
2. Berries And Citrus Fruits: “Berry” good eyesight comes from eating many berries. Blueberries, goji berries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries and acai berries all have anthocyanins, vitamin C and high levels of antioxidants, which help protect against oxidative damage and help to protect rhodopsin. They also help prevent cataracts.
3. Rainbow Of Fruits And Vegetables: The red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet in fruits and vegetables work synergistically to protect the body from oxidative damage. Eat the rainbow everyday and feel secure that you have given your body plenty of antioxidants and vitamin A precursors, such as beta-carotene and xanthophylls.
Get ingredients for a colorful salad at the market that include the rainbow by buying dark greens, tomatoes and yellow and purple carrots. Try also dressing your salad with olive oil so that the fat-soluble pigments are absorbed easily into your bloodstream.
4. High Quality Animal Foods, Such As Pastured Eggs: Egg yolks are a great source of two very important pigments for eye health: lutein and zeaxanthin. The fact that the egg yolks are fatty provides a vehicle for these fat-soluble pigments to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Egg yolks surpassed lutein pills and also spinach as the best most bioavailable source of this eye protecting nutrient. Read more about the study here.
5. Omega-3’s In Cold Water Fatty Fish: Wild salmon and sardines are both great ways to get this essential fatty acid, which naturally protects eye health. In addition, shrimp carapaces and salmon skin provide a necessary xanthophyll that protects macular health, known as meso zeaxanthin (MZ). Feel free to read more about it here.
6. Green Leafy Vegetables: Leafy vegetables contain chlorophyll, luteins and anthocyanins along with minerals to defend against macular degeneration and free radicals.
Protect your eyes by including these foods in your diet every day and have fun experimenting with the rainbow of colors. By including these amazing powerhouses in your life, you will be able to see more clearly than you ever had before and the world may develop even more in vitality and radiance in your eyes.
Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below – we love to hear from you!
Liz Perkins, MS. is an Integrative Nutrition Cancer Advocate.She is the mom of a leukemia survivor and leads clients through cancer with whole foods, meditations and humor.
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