It is an established and known fact now that eating right is the best way to keep your body and heart healthy. And it seems like the ‘right food’ has decided to give us extra bonus for doing the right thing.

A low fat, rich in fruits and vegetables and whole grains will not only benefit your heart but also your eyes.  So how did the connection build up? Our eyes rely mainly on tiny arteries for oxygen and nutrients, just like the heart relies on much larger arteries. So it goes without saying, healthy arteries, healthy eyes.

And it’s time we move beyond ‘Beta-carotene’, a type of Vitamin A that is found in carrots and other orange-colored fruits and vegetables that help protect & improve eye vision. It’s time for change! There are other lesser known vitamins and minerals as well which are equally important for healthy eyes and good vision. Let’s get started!

Green is the new orange

Spinach

Seems of the greens are up for some more attractive offers. The antioxidants – Spinach and Kale have been reported to protect human eyes against eye damage from things like sunlight, cigarette smoke, and air pollution. Also, the leafy greens in general are full of lutein and zeaxanthin (Plant Pigments) that reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts, studies say.

If you are not a big fan of Spinach and Kale, you could consume romaine lettuce, collards, turnip greens, broccoli, peas and corn, as they also contain significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Cold-water fish

Various studies point out that cold-water fishes: Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel and Halibut are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids help in reducing the risk of developing eye diseases or issues in later stages of life.  A study by Johns Hopkins in the year 2010 stated that “people who had a diet high in omega-3 fatty acid were much less likely to develop ‘Age-Related Macular Degeneration’.

And for all the Vegetarians, you can receive a decent supply of omega-3s by using/utilizing fish oil supplements or taking vegetarian supplements that have black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil.

Eggs

Eggs have always been one of the most controversial food items. The debate of whether egg is Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian is a never ending one, however, that’s an argument restricted only to India.

Paul Dougherty, MD, medical director of Dougherty Laser Vision in Los Angeles says, the egg yolk is a prime source of lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc which also helps in reducing the macular degeneration risk like the leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C House

Big juicy oranges are one of the first things that come to our mind when Vitamin C is mentioned and why not they are amazingly useful and good for our food. However, there are other veggies and fruits as well which are a powerhouse of Vitamin C and keep your eyes healthy – Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Bell peppers and a lot more.

Others

Almonds, Oysters, Red Meat, Poultry, Milk, Shellfish, Baked beans, Sunflower seeds, Lima beans, Fortified cereals, Tomatoes and Strawberries are other food items that are also well packed with zinc, Vitamin C which helps your eyes from the damage done by light.

Here’s a list from Dr. Leland Carr, OD, a ‘VSP network’ doctor on food items you should be getting at least three servings per week of — from each group.

Vitamin A:Carrots, kale, spinach, dairy products, egg yolks
Vitamin C:Citrus fruits (especially kiwi fruit) and juices, green peppers, broccoli, potatoes
Vitamin E:Eggs, whole grains, vegetable oils, sunflower seeds
Lutein:Spinach, corn, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
Fatty acids:Coldwater fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and rainbow trout; sunflower oil, corn oil
Zinc:Meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, dairy products

What do you think?

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