Living Well In Yalobusha County

Eating For Good Eyesight

By Pamela Redwine

When you think about the foods you eat you probably think about the effects the food will have on your health or maybe even your looks i.e. waistline or skin, but did you ever think about the effect it will have on your eyes?

That’s right, medical research is now finding that nutrition plays the most important role in eye health and in the prevention of major age-related eye disease such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), Cataracts, Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy.

 In fact, a recent study funded by the Federal Government and completed by the National Eye Institute (NEI) on the role of nutrition and vitamins in preventing age-related eye diseases showed that certain vitamins and nutrients played a key role in eye disease prevention. The study, Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), showed that some nutrients and vitamins can prevent major age-related eye diseases by up to 39%.

 Foods for Good Eye Health

 Did your mother ever tell you to eat your carrots so you will have good eye-sight?  Well, moms know best!  Carrots contain beta-carotenes, and beta carotenes are converted by the body to create Vitamin A. Other foods that contain vitamin A and beta carotene are:

Liver, fish, liver oils, milk, milk products, eggs, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomato, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, turnip greens, apricot, cantaloupe, mandarin orange, mango, and papaya.

Vitamin C and bioflavonoid can not only reduce the risk of cataracts, but also contain antioxidants that help rid the body of free radicals. Studies have also linked Vitamin C to the prevention of Glaucoma by regulating intraocular pressure.  Some foods that contain vitamin C are:

Cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, mandarin orange, mango orange, papaya, peach, raspberries, strawberries, tangelo, tangerine, asparagus, artichoke, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage cauliflower, red and green peppers, potato, sweet potato, tomato, turnip greens, beef liver,

Lutein is believed to be important for eye health, providing possible protection against cataracts and macular degeneration. Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is also a yellow-orange pigment that gives those vegetables their yellow and orange colors. Some foods that contain Lutein are:

Spinach, kale and collard greens

Vitamin E is another essential vitamin to complete eye health. Some studies have shown that Vitamin E can reduce the risk of developing advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration by up to 25%.  Some foods that contain Vitamin E are:

Almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.

Remember, the next time you get ready to grab that snack or decide what to have for dinner, make a healthy choice and choose something that is good for your eyes too!

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