The New Year is typically filled with resolutions tied to health and wellness. This year, the map to a healthy body has a new design. The federal government released its new dietary guidelines and while some things have changed, continuous evidence supports the idea that vitamins and minerals in various foods not only fuel your body but also protect vision for a lifetime.
Carrots are widely known as the ‘best’ vegetable for the health of your eyes. But other foods and their nutrients may be more important for keeping your eyesight keen as you age. Here’s the scoop on vision-protecting nutrients found in foods that also make the cut in this year’s new dietary guidelines.
Fill the Gaps
Ensuring you are receiving enough potassium and vitamin E is very important. In some of the suggested diets included in this year’s dietary guidelines these important vitamins can fall short. In general, these nutrients, which are important for the heart, muscles and nerves, are notoriously difficult to get.
Make sure you eat enough potatoes and bananas along with other foods that are rich in potassium.
ACE Your Eye Exam
Vitamins A, C, and E form a fitting acronym (ACE), an important one to remember when it comes to vision. A major federal study showed that the ACE combo, plus zinc, is effective when it comes to lowering risk of advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Almonds, sunflower seeds and spinach are good sources of vitamin E.
The Whole Picture
When it comes to picking your grains, think whole and not refined. On the other end of the spectrum the same can be said about fruits; whole fruits like tomatoes, grapes and kiwi are best. These delicious fruits are also eye healthy produce that will work double duty for you.
Dairy Do’s and Don’ts
Lastly, in order to maintain good eyesight it is recommended to consume milk and dairy products because they contain vitamin A. The nutrient maintains the health of your retinas, the tissue in your eyes that detects light and color. But according to new dietary guidelines these dairy products should be reduced fat or fat-free. Check the nutrition label and ingredient list to determine if your brand of milk contains added vitamin A, and in what amount.
In an ever changing food landscape one element to your eye health holds true--an annual comprehensive eye exam is always the best way to evaluate your eye health and gain insight into your overall wellness. A routine eye exam can help detect signs of serious health conditions, like diabetes, a brain tumor and high cholesterol.
Start of the New Year off right. If you or a loved one could benefit from vision insurance, VSP offers plans direct to individuals that provide access to high-quality eye care and eyewear at the lowest out-of-pocket costs. Enrollment is simple!