With as many as 21 million Americans suffering from some type of functional vision problem, maintaining your vision health is now more important than ever. According to the CDC, 4.6 percent of U.S. adults have a vision disability with blindness or serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses.
While some health problems are not preventable, researchers correlate eye-friendly nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin, to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Below are eight great foods to incorporate into your diet and promote healthy eyes.
Greens like kale, spinach, and collards are high in the antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin C that work to protect and maintain healthy cells.
Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and other cold-water fish are extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help protect your eyes from things like excessive dryness.
As one of the best sources of beta-carotene and lycopene available, apricots help resist damage to the cells and tissues like the eye’s lens. Our bodies breakdown beta-carotenes into Vitamin A – one of the eye’s best defenses. Other fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and berries are high in Vitamin C.
Nuts such as walnuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews contain significant amounts of vitamin E. These nuts contain mono and polyunsaturated fats that help boost carotenoid absorption and lutein levels.
Eggs are another important food sources for maintaining good vision health. Studies have found that one egg yolk a day can increase lutein levels by 26 percent and zeaxanthin levels by 38 percent.
Tomatoes are packed full of healthy carotenoids like lycopene. Tomatoes help prevent light-induced damage to areas of the eye like the retina. Corn is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, and can boost natural pigmentation that’s lost with age-related macular degeneration.
Whole grains contain vitamin E, zinc, and niacin. Quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and other whole grains like bread and pasta are other whole grain options. A one-cup serving of sweet potatoes contains more than 200% of the daily dose of vitamin A doctor’s recommend. High on the eye-health list, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and A and also contribute to eye health.
A one-cup serving of sweet potatoes contains more than 200% of the daily dose of vitamin A doctor’s recommend. High on the eye-health list, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and A and also contribute to eye health.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, try to reach for fruits and vegetables and try to stay away from foods high in saturated fats and sugars. With a balanced diet full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, you can support the health of your retinas, and potentially reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Learn how you can care for your eyes and save with VSP vision insurance.
Information received through VSP Vision Care channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Healthy vision association discounts
Some plans can only be accessed through membership in the Healthy Vision Association (HVA), which helps its members see well and stay healthy.
For $1.50/mo, your membership will give you access to exclusive discount programs* on everyday goods and services including:
Plus, your membership supports vision-related charities too.
*All rebates and special offers are subject to change