More than 25 million people worldwide are affected by age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, which is the leading cause of blindness in those over 55. Although failing vision is generally accepted as a natural part of aging, in many cases age-related macular degeneration is largely preventable through an antioxidant-rich diet. While certain health conditions can have a detrimental impact on your eyesight, foods rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, Vitamins C and E, beta carotene, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent age-related eye diseases. So, the next time you go grocery shopping, be sure to stock up on these eye-friendly foods – while they won’t reverse the need for prescription eyeglasses or contacts, they may help your eyesight from getting worse.
While an apple a day may keep the doctor away, a carrot a day could keep the optometrist away! Foods loaded with beta-carotene, like carrots, are packed with health benefits. Once you ingest beta-carotene your body changes it into Vitamin A, which not only promotes good eye health, but endorses a healthy immune system and healthy skin. Non-processed full-sized carrots are a top source of beta-carotene, with almost 5,000 grams of Vitamin A in the average carrot, but foods like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and spinach are also great sources of the essential vitamin.
Kale is a superfood for a reason; it’s rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamins, and provides the top combination of lutein and zeaxanthin you’ll be able to find in a single food: one cup of kale contains 23.8 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin! The best thing about kale is its versatility – it can be eaten as a main course in the form of a salad, as a side dish sautéed with garlic and spices, blended into delicious fruit smoothies, or baked into a healthier version of a potato chip.
The Three B’s
Bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli. These superfoods contain tons of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells in your eyes from damage. Additionally, studies have shown that these foods can prevent or slow down age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. If you’re wondering how many servings you should eat per day, around half a cup of bell pepper or one cup of either Brussel sprouts or broccoli each day will keep your vision strong and protected.
Tuna, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, trout, and other fatty fishes are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Not only does Omega-3 help lower your cholesterol, but they can help protect your eyes against macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome. In fact, studies show that seniors who eat fish at least twice a week are only about half as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than those who don’t Although most doctors recommend getting your daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids directly from the source, it’s available in pill form for those who don’t like fish.