Are you eating the foods that are best for your eyes?
There's more to eye nutrition than just carrots. As it's National Eye Health week, we thought we would explore which foods boost your eye health and help protect against sight-threatening diseases.
You can also download the "Feast Your Eyes" Cookbook at the bottom of this page for free. It contains an exclusive collection of mouth watering recipes packed full of essential nutrients for good eye health. The recipes were created by Guy Marchetti, who has worked with the likes of Marcus Wareing and Michel Roux Junior. His ethos in the kitchen is to let good quality ingredients speak for themselves, stripping a recipe back to the "nuts and bolts" before making it his own.
Cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts. If you don't eat seafood, you can get a good supply of omega-3s by using fish oil supplements or taking vegetarian supplements that contain black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil.
Spinach, kale and collard greens, to name just a few, are packed full of lutein and zeaxanthin, important plant pigments that can help stem the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Broccoli, peas and avocados are also good sources of this powerful antioxidant duo.
The vitamins and nutrients in eggs, including lutein and vitamin A (which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes), promote eye health and function.
A diet containing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) can help reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration. Swap refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole-wheat breads and pasta. The vitamin E, zinc and niacin found in whole grains also help promote overall eye health.
Citrus Fruits and Berries
Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and berries are high in vitamin C, which may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Pistachios, walnuts, almonds — whichever type tickles your fancy — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost your eye health.
Colourful Fruits and Vegetables
Foods such as carrots, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, pumpkin, corn and cantaloupe are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. And carotenoids — the compounds that give these fruits and vegetables their yellow, orange and red pigments — are thought to help decrease the risk of many eye diseases.
Kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are good sources of bioflavonoids and zinc — and can help protect the retina and lower the risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil and Black Currant Seed Oil
These super supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids and have many eye health benefits, including helping to prevent or control dry eye syndrome as well as reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Help keep your eyes healthy and disease-free by snacking on sunflowers seeds, which are excellent sources of vitamin E and zinc.
(This article has been written Lynn Donnan - Optometrist at Jonathan Hall Opticians. You can book an appointment for an eye exam with Lynn online, just click on the Menu above, or contact us on 028 9070 5787)
- Feast Your Eyes Cookbook