Are you eating the foods that are best for your eyes? There's more to eye nutrition than just carrots. Learn which foods boost your eye health and help protect against sight-threatening diseases.
You've probably heard that carrots and other orange-colored fruits and vegetables promote eye health and protect vision, and it's true: Beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that gives these foods their orange hue, helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function smoothly.
But eating your way to good eyesight isn't only about beta-carotene. Though their connection to vision isn't as well-known, several other vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy eyes. Make these five foods a staple of your diet to keep your peepers in tip-top shape.
Cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts.
If you don't eat seafood, you can get a good supply of omega-3s by using fish oil supplements or taking vegetarian supplements that contain black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil.
The vitamins and nutrients in eggs, including lutein and vitamin A (which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes), promote eye health and function.
A diet containing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) can help reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration.
Swap refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole-wheat breads and pasta. The vitamin E, zinc and niacin found in whole grains also help promote overall eye health.
Spinach, kale and collard greens, to name a few, are full of lutein and zeaxanthin, plant pigments that can help stem the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Broccoli, peas and avocados are also good sources of this powerful antioxidant duo.
Pistachios, walnuts, almonds — whichever type tickles your fancy — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost your eye health.