You can actually prevent vision impairment naturally! Eye problems can seriously mess with your quality of life, making it harder to read, drive, or detect faces. Sadly, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, and vision impairment are increasingly affecting people aged 60 and over.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration mostly leads to vision loss and 11 million Americans are already suffering from some form of this disease. What’s terrifying is that this number is expected to double by 2050!
Moreover, many people are causing themselves to develop cataract formation by smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, and following a poor diet. These lifestyle choices result in diabetes thus contributing to cataracts.
On the bright side, you can save yourself all the trouble and prevent these eye conditions naturally by adding some specific nutrients to your daily diet.
#10 – Dark Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, turnip greens and collard greens, and other dark leafy greens are loaded with the nutrients you need for optimal eye health.
More importantly, these green goodies consist of Vitamin A, which is critical for healthy vision, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which have potent antioxidant properties that can help prevent cell damage.
In fact, consuming lutein and zeaxanthin can delay the progression of macular degeneration. Lutein serves as a sunblock, protecting your eye’s retina from harmful UV rays. Among all greens, kale is extremely rich in lutein. So make sure to include it in your meals.
#9 – Bright Orange Vegetables
The bright orange color in many vegetables is derived from beta-carotene, a natural pigment which your body converts into Vitamin A. It’s best to meet your Vitamin A daily intake by eating whole foods instead of taking supplements.
While it’s easy to overdose on supplements (which can be toxic) eating beta-carotene-foods in excess will never harm you because the body only converts the needed amount.
Did you know that a lack of Vitamin A might cause decreased night vision? Besides carrots, other foods that are rich in beta-carotene, as well as vitamin C, include pumpkin, sweet potato, and orange bell peppers.
#8 – Berries
Every type of berries is actually loaded with Vitamin C, which will help decrease your risk of developing irreversible eye conditions. Blackcurrants and bilberries, in particular, contain impressive levels of the natural antioxidant anthocyanins.
Red colored berries consist of the amazing vision-enhancer nutrient beta-carotene. Make sure to eat plenty of in-season fresh berries, make homemade milkshakes or tasty jams.
#7 – Broccoli
Broccoli is renowned for its high nutritional qualities. It’s one of the best veggies you can eat if you want to protect your eyesight and reap countless other health benefits.
This incredible veggie contains lutein and zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and is very rich in Vitamin C. This is actually the perfect nutrient-combination for maintaining eye health.
Make sure that your pasta dishes and salads always include steamed broccoli. If you’re not exactly a fan of this veggie, consider roasting it in a bit of olive oil or sneak a few broccoli trees into pesto.
#6 – Organic Salmon
Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other oily fish are incredibly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect your eyes from dry-eye syndrome, age-related macular degeneration, and other eye conditions. Salmon, in particular, contains the potent antioxidant astaxanthin, which eliminates free radicals and helps protect against many eye diseases.
You should only consume organic fish if possible. In case seafood is not your thing, you can provide your body with the necessary omega-3s through blackcurrant seed oil, hempseed oil or flaxseed oil.
#5 – Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain Vitamins A and C, lutein and zeaxanthin, and also lycopene, a nutrient that helps maintain good eye health. Lycopene protects the retina by preventing light-induced damage and free radical damage, which may lead to some eye diseases.
Note that lycopene in cooking tomatoes is easier for your body to break down, so start making your pasta sauces at home.
#4 – Olive Oil
It is suggested that a Mediterranean diet is one of the best for both eye health and heart health since it mainly contains plant-based foods, fish, and olive oil!
Olive oil can make a great addition to plenty of meals as well as it will protect your vision and boost your health. Moreover, it is completely free of trans fats and only has a tiny amount of saturated fat.
Actually, this wonderful oil makes a great accompaniment to many of the foods on this list. Buy only organic and extra virgin oil for the best antioxidant benefits. Another excellent source of healthy fats is avocados or avocado oil.
#3 – Nuts
Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are high in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which are both essential for eye health. Pistachios, in particular, are the most eye-friendly of all nuts.
They are not only high in lutein and zeaxanthin but also contain fats which help your body absorb carotenoids better. Nuts are the best snacks. You can eat a handful anytime you want or include them in salads or desserts.
#2 – Seeds
Seeds are a fantastic addition to every diet. Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, etc, all do an amazing job when it comes to protecting your eyesight.
However, since each of these seeds has its own nutritional profile, you may want to eat a combination of many seeds to reap the best health benefits from various nutrients. You can include seeds in smoothies, add them to salads, or use them as a salad topper.
#1 – Wheat Germ
Wheat germ is fantastically rich in Vitamin E, which is necessary for optimal eye health. Moreover, this food is high in zinc and healthy fats, which are both critical for overall eye health.
There are various ways to eat wheat germ. You can sprinkle some on yogurt, use it to make baked goods at home, and blend into delicious, healthy smoothies.
To take good care of your eyesight, make sure to:
– Get enough sleep.
– Exercise your eyes.
– Improve your air quality.
– Limit time spent staring at screens.
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