They say the eyes are the windows to one's soul but did you know that our eyes can actually be a good indicator of our inner body health and balance? People with liver toxification may have dull eyes with brown spots in them which means poor liver health. Bright eyes are a sign of good health and as such, we must nourish and feed them with nutritious foods which will keep our eyesight sharp and clear. Eat these foods which will not only keep your eye vision healthy but also stave off macular degeneration in old age.
It's true - carrots are great for eyesight! It definitely isn't an old myth created by moms to make you munch those carrot sticks. Rich in beta carotene, one of the most well known carotenoids, carrots won't cure blindness or permanent eyesight damage but will keep your eyes healthy and vision clear. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body which is necessary for good night vision. A half cup of cooked carrots has 671 mg of vitamin A. Beta carotene helps protect the retina and enables other parts of the eye to perform healthily.
A cup serving of broccoli contains about 2 to 3 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin together which makes it an excellent eye-protecting food source. Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant which is critical to eye health and can delay the onset of cataracts and AMD. Eat a serving of steamed broccoli at least once a week to steer clear of cataracts and AMD.
3. Sunflower seeds
Add a handful of sunflower seeds in your fresh salads or trail mix to enjoy the eye health benefits of this vitamin E fortified food. Vitamin E protects the healthy cells in our eyes from free radicals which steal oxygen from the cells and result in cataracts and macular degeneration.
One cup of kale (raw) contains about 26mg of lutein, an eye-health protecting phytochemical. Kale is one of the best sources of lutein in the dark leafy green category. Kale also contains two other powerful eye-healthy carotenoids : zeaxanthin and beta carotene. A cup of cooked kale contains 6693 IU of vitamin A, which is a converted form of beta carotene in the body which is133 percent of the Daily value recommended. Various studies including the Health Professional's Follow Up Study found that eating high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin minimized the need for cataract surgery. Many food sources contain lutein and zeaxanthin found together and kale is possibly the best source of them.
A study carried out in Johns Hopkins in 2010 shows that people who incorporated omega 3 fatty acids into their regular diet had fewer risks of developing AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration). Cold water fish like wild salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and DHA, a fatty acid which offers structural support to cell membranes, promoting healthy eyes.
These dark leafy greens are an excellent foods for the eyes. A cup of cooked spinach contains more than 20 mg of lutein+zeaxanthin while a cup of raw spinach of the same carotenoids together has 3.7 mg. Which means cooking spinach releases lutein+zeanxanthin better. An animal study of 2012 shows that lutein is found to protect the retina from damage caused by temporary reduced blood flow and oxygen supply. Since cooked spinach is one of the best sources of lutein, incorporate it into your diet and do your eyes a brilliant favor by staving off AMD.
Sweet potatoes are beta carotene rich foods, which is what gives them their lovely yellow orange hue. Sweet potatoes with orange fleshed skin have approximately 21908.52 IU of vitamin A which is a whopping 438 percent of the Daily recommended value. Beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body, helps protect the cornea from damage. Vitamin A coupled with other powerful antioxidants like lutein may prolong vision in people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease which damages the retina.
More foods for the eyes
Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two eye-protecting antioxidants that protect the macula from degenerative disease and other complicatons. For good eye health, fill your plate colorful with dark leafy greens like spinach, collard greens which are all rich in these two carotenoids.
Foods rich in vitamin E such as nuts like almonds, wheat germ, hazelnuts, peanuts and pecans. Vegetable oils are also rich sources of vitamin e including sunflower, corn and safflower oil.
Sources of beta carotene are dark orange and yellow foods which get their color from beta carotene concentrations. Eat apricots, cantaloupe, peaches, persimmons, corn and mangoes.
Zinc-rich foods promote healthy eyes and clear eye vision. Foods such as shellfish, oysters, beef, lamb and wheat germ.
Vitamin C fortified foods are also potent for the eyes. Don't miss out oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupes, strawberries and grapefruit.
Sources of nutritional information:
USDA-NCC Carotenoid Database, 1998
USDA Food Nutrient Database for Standard Release 13
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 06, 2015:
Great hub on healthy foods for your eyes. Very insightful and informative. Voted up!
Preston and Kate from the Midwest on March 26, 2014:
Very useful and voted up! Thanks for encouraging us to eat healthier. Your information is very helpful!
Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on March 26, 2014:
Thank you healthmunsta for an informative hub. These are all of my favorite foods. I will increase carrot intake for my eye issues. There are so many options to get the nutrients we need, no excuse not to eat healthier. Voted up and useful.