Best Food Choices For Your Eye Health

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August 26, 2014

My husband has been urging me to get my eyes checked for a few months. We have no vision insurance so I put it off. I haven’t been having any problems, I just noticed that my distance vision was more blurry than usual. I’ve worn glasses since I was 3 years old so I assumed it was time for a stronger prescription.

Foods and Eye Health

The eye exam was fairly typical. Read the chart. Cover this eye. Which way looks clearer? Instead of dilating my eyes with drops, they used a digital camera to take photographs. After it was done, I was shown into the room to speak to the doctor. I could already picture the new glasses I’d get with the new prescription. I wasn’t prepared to be told that I have the beginning stages of cataracts. I’m 47. Sure, my Mom and Grandmother have them but I never really gave any thought to me getting them. If I did, I certainly never expected it to happen at 47.

After a brief moment of panic, I started asking questions. How long? Why? Can I stop it? Can I slow it down? Isn’t there some supplement I can take? The bad new is no, you cannot stop cataracts from progressing and somewhere between 5 and twenty years, I will need surgery.  The good news? There was no sign of glaucoma or macular degeneration which are two common eye problems that can be much more serious.

When I got home, I started doing a bit of research on foods and eye health.  There are foods that you should eat more of to keep your eyes healthy. The top 5 foods that impact vision and overall eye health are:

  1. Egg Yolks – The top eye problem for people over 65 is macular degeneration. Eating egg yolks can help slow  the process. Egg yolks contain lutein which helps act as a blue light filter in your eyes.
  2. Raw Spinach – Raw spinach is another food that contains lutein. Since cooking it can destroy some of the anti-oxidants, it is best eaten fresh. Other recommended vegetables include kale, broccoli, romaine lettuce, peas, Brussels sprouts and zucchini.
  3. Blueberries – Blueberries are one of my favorite berries so I was thrilled to learn they were good for eye health. They help protect the retina from unwanted sunlight and oxygen damage.
  4. Carrots – Bugs Bunny was right. Eat your carrots. Carrots contain lutein and beta-carotene which are beneficial for eye health. Other good orange foods to eat more of are mango, pumpkin, apricots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe.
  5. Almonds – Almonds are a truly amazing food and can be helpful for not only eye health but also for lowering cholesterol and improving your complexion.

If you’re considering foods and eye health, start with the five I listed above.  The best way to have healthy eyes is to keep them healthy from the beginning. Also, remember to ALWAYS wear your sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun.

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