Your ocular health and the quality of your vision depend on a variety of factors. Some factors, like your genetics or age, are out of your control. But there are things you can control, like your lifestyle and diet, that promote healthy eyes.
According to the team at Laser Eye Center of Miami, consuming certain key nutrients is one of the best things you can do for long-term ocular health. Fortunately, if you are already eating lots of fruits, vegetables and sources of lean protein, you probably do not need to drastically alter your diet. Many of the same foods that promote heart health and whole body health are also known to boost eye health.
Coldwater fish like salmon, sardines and tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lubricate the eyes and protect against dry eye disease. Evidence also suggests consuming omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Shellfish like oysters are also good for your eyes. Oysters are a great source of zinc, a mineral that helps protect the health and function of your eyes. Some research shows that zinc can protect against some forms of night blindness as well as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Green, Leafy Vegetables
Green, leafy vegetables are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are important for the health of the macula (i.e., the portion of the retina responsible for clear central vision). Kale and spinach are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin; the antioxidants can also be found in turnip greens, collard greens and broccoli.
You may have known from a young age that carrots promote eye health…but do you know why? Carrots and other orange-colored vegetables such as sweet potatoes provide vitamin A, which helps the retina convert light rays into the images you see. Vitamin A is also helpful for keeping eyes moist and preventing dry eye disease. Other good sources of vitamin A include apricots and cantaloupe.
Speaking of fruit, citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges and tangerines contain vitamin C, another antioxidant which may help delay the onset of cataracts. You can also find vitamin C in strawberries and vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts and green and red peppers.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds and other nuts and seeds contain a healthy dose of vitamin E, which helps protect cellular health and may prevent macular degeneration. You can also get vitamin E from avocados.
For more information about promoting ocular health through lifestyle habits, our team is here to help. Call or email Laser Eye Center of Miami with any questions.