Do carrots really give you eagle eyes? Well, literal eagle eyes, no, but it turns out they may support your vision, especially as you age. So that begs the question–what other foods have nutrients that are known to benefit your eyesight? Below you’ll find a buffet of options to choose from.
Nutrition plays just as big of a role in improving and protecting your eyesight as it does in your overall physical health. In fact, by eating certain foods, you can decrease your chances of age-related vision losss by 25%. That’s because certain foods are packed with specific vitamins and micronutrients that, even at low levels, help your retinas function their best. While other factors like screen time and aging can impact your vision over time, eating the right foods may help to lessen the eventual negative effects.
For better vision, make these foods the apple of your eyes:
Salad, the indisputable good
Never did a doctor once say, “Lay off the salad, would you?” There’s a reason for that. Leafy greens have just about everything that’s good for your eyes: vitamin A, vitamin C, and the micronutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.
Are you nuts?
No, this meal is just a little seedy. But maybe that’s a good thing. Both nuts and seeds are filled with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, both of which can support healthy eyesight. Throw some walnuts in that salad, or chia seeds in your oatmeal. You’re not crazy. You’re just seeing things clearly.
Beans, beans, the optical fruit
Just like nuts and seeds, legumes are also packed with omega-3s and vitamin E. Lentils, beans, garbanzos, peas, and the list goes on. Just remember that the after-effects may include more than better vision.
When life gives you lemons…
Make an Arnold Palmer. Iced tea aside, the vitamin C in citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, limes, and oranges serves as an antioxidant that prevents damage to your eyes.
Orange you glad we didn’t say carrot?
In all seriousness, carrots and other orange vegetables like sweet potatoes have tons of vitamin A and beta-carotene, both of which play an integral role in vision. Vitamin A helps your retinas absorb light and your body uses beta-carotene to produce vitamin A.
Where’s the beef?
Red meat is known for being rich in iron, but it’s also a surprising source of zinc. Zinc has been shown to prolong the onset of age-related vision loss and even help to prevent macular degeneration. That makes sense because the tissues in and around your eyes contain zinc.
Believe it or not, eggs are spectacular for your eyes. Not only are they rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, but they’re even great sources of the micronutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.
It’s not fishy, it’s science!
Oily fish have some of the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids, famous for improving your vision. What’s more they may prevent dry eye resulting from too much screen time. "One large pizza with anchovies, sardines, and pickled herring, please.”
Finally, always be sure to drink plenty of water. Water keeps your eyes moist, firm, and healthy. That’s it! Now you have all the know-how you need. You’ve just got to do the food prep for the eye exam. Enjoy.