Good Eye Health – Growing up you probably became accustomed to listening to your mom tell you to “eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes!” Low and behold, she was right! Carrots and other orange colored fruits and vegetables contain Beta-carotene, a type of Vitamin A. Beta-carotene helps to protect the surface of the eye (the cornea) and can also help reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration and vision loss.
**Carrots are easy to eat on the go; toss them in a bag and have them for an afternoon snack! Mix them into salads, put them in your favorite soup, or shred them up to add to muffins!
Eating carrots every day can get tiring, I’m sure. Here are a few other foods you should incorporate into your diet to help promote good eye health:
Green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are packed with the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients have been shown to lower the risk of age related eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
**Did you know kale can be made into chips!? All you have to do is wash the leaves, tear them into small pieces, toss in olive oil, and bake for about 8 minutes at 425 degrees! Season with a sprinkle of salt and they’ll be good to go!
One of the many antioxidants found in eggs is zinc. Zinc aids in the health of the retina (the back of the eye). It also helps the eye see better at night! The yolk of the egg contains zeaxanthin, which helps protect the eye from damage due to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
** Eggs can do it all; have them scrambled, over easy, or sunny side up! Hard boil them for a cobb salad, or put an over easy egg on a sandwich or burger!
Whether its oranges, lemons or grapefruit, citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin C has been proven to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
**Peel an orange for a snack, slice up a grapefruit and have it with yogurt and granola, or put a lemon wedge in your water!
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E. Research has shown that consuming vitamin E can help lessen the chance of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
**Mix almonds, along with other nuts, into trail mix, enjoy them on a salad, or have them with cereal or oatmeal for breakfast!
Fish, such as salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are “healthy”, and help with the visual development of your eyes in general, as well as contribute to the health of the retina. They also help prevent dry eyes!
**When buying salmon, always choose wild-caught instead of farm-raised! Salmon is great to have for dinner a few nights a week! It can be grilled on the BBQ or cooked in the oven! Season with salt, pepper, fresh herbs, and lemon!