We’ve heard tomatoes help your skin, and that Mediterranean foods are good for your heart. But what about our eyes? With help from the American Optometric Association and the California Optometric Association, we’ve gathered the following go-to foods for eye health.
KALE & SPINACH
Just one cup of either of these cooked veggies is packed with more than 20 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin—two nutrients that do wonders for your eyes. These nutrients have been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Other sources include collards, turnip greens, corn, green peas, broccoli, romaine lettuce, and green beans.
ORANGES & EGGS
Eggs and oranges are also a decent source of lutein and zeaxanthin. So expect a thank you from your eyes after every eggs-and-OJ breakfast.
ORANGE JUICE & GRAPEFRUIT JUICE
Yes, vitamin C gets a lot of love as an immune system juggernaut, but did you know it’s also been shown to help minimize the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration? With one cup of orange juice, you can claim up to 124 milligrams of vitamin C. Grapefruit juice packs about 94 milligrams.
Plenty of other foods pack loads of vitamin C, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, leafy greens, and many more. Throw them all in a stir-fry and cheers to eye health.
Vitamin E protects the cells in our eyes from free radicals and slows the progression of cataracts and age-related macular generation. Eat just one ounce of sunflower seeds or almonds, and you’ll earn more than a third of the daily value of vitamin E. Wheat germ, hazelnuts, and peanut butter also pack plenty of the vitamin.
Essential fatty acids do your whole body good, including your eyes, by helping with visual development, retinal function, and possibly protecting against dry eye. Fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and anchovy are typically the best way to load up on essential fatty acids.
OYSTERS & LIVER
Without enough zinc, our eyes can suffer from poor night vision and possibly cataracts. Oysters, liver, red meat, poultry, milk, shellfish, baked beans, and whole grains are valuable sources of zinc.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST … CARROTS
These veggies help your eyes by supplying beta-carotene, which strengthens night vision.