Our diet plays a major role in our overall health including our vision. Years of eating bad food can significantly increase the risk of developing eye conditions due to vitamin deficiency. Studies have shown that diets enriched with vitamins like omega-3 fatty acids, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of developing poor sight by 25%.

Which are the right foods to improve eyesight and keep the eyes healthy well into our old age, though? The answer may surprise you.

First, let’s clear up one misconception – the answer is not solely carrots! Though our grandparents and parents may have told us to eat our carrots for good eyesight, as beta-carotene makes Vitamin A, allowing people to see under conditions of low light, there are other foods that are equally as important for overall visual health.

This National Nutrition Month, we are offering a list of 5 tasty foods that will boost your eye health and reduce your risk of developing more serious eye issues in the future. Take a look at our eye health tips here:

Leafy Greens:

Popeye was right, you should eat your spinach, but don’t forget to add kale, collards, and other green leafy vegetables to your next meal too! These tasty and healthy options are rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, which studies suggest significantly reduce the risk of developing sight threatening eye diseases such as macular degeneration. There are many ways you can enjoy leafy greens including in salads, smoothies, or sauteed. So the next time your waiter asks if you would like a salad to start, say yes!

Fish:

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important vitamin in maintaining good eye health. You can find it in many of your favorite fish dishes including salmon, tuna, and other oily fish. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve retinal health and prevent dry eyes. To ensure you are getting the highest quality fish, try to source choose wild fish rather than canned or farmed, which can contain higher levels of saturated fat.

Protein:

We also know how important it is to get lots of protein. It helps build strong muscles and gives us energy, but did you know it’s also good for your eyes? Eggs, nuts, beans, are great sources of protein as well as containing vitamins that boost eye health, including vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc. These protein-rich foods are also helpful in the prevention and treatment of macular degeneration, an eye condition that causes vision loss over time.

Oranges:

Is it just us, or is there nothing as tasty as an orange?! These juicy treats are a great way to reduce the risk of common eye ailments like cataracts thanks to their high levels of Vitamin C. Other citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes are also great sources of Vitamin C and can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Oysters:

You may be surprised to find oysters on the list, but these sea-dwelling delicacies have more than just pearls inside. Oysters have a major eye health-boosting property – mineral zinc. This important vitamin protects the eyes from the harmful effects of sunlight, transferring Vitamin A from the liver to the retina so that melanin – a protective pigment in the eyes – can be produced. Other shellfish like shrimp, lobster, and crab are great alternatives if oysters are not your favorite meal.

No matter what foods you decide to eat to improve your eye health, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remain mindful of what you’re putting into your body.

It is also important to take care of your eyes by getting enough rest, not spending too much time in front of digital devices, and making sure to see your eye doctor regularly.

If you suspect you may be having difficulty with your vision, book an appointment with one of our friendly eye care associates who can help you find the right solution for your vision health. In addition to providing tips on eating right for your eye health, our Brentwood eyecare specialists can also offer suggestions for vitamin supplements or drops that can improve your level of comfort and slow the progression of eye disease.