‘Tis the season for great Holiday feasting. Remember the same diet that helps your heart and the rest of your body will also help your eyes. No need to wait till the new year to start a healthy diet, start today to benefit your vision and your health for the rest of your life.
Why Is Nutrition Important for Good Vision?
Eating a diet low rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help not only your heart but also your eyes. Your eyes rely on tiny arteries for oxygen and nutrients, just as the heart relies on much larger arteries. Keeping those arteries healthy will help your eyes.
- Orange You Glad – Be sure to enjoy orange veggies including: carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloup and apricots; all are a well-known source of vitamin A.
- Be Colorful & Citrus - Oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons offer vitamin C. Additionally, peaches, red bell peppers, tomatoes and strawberries also are good sources for vitamin C. According to the Age-Related Eye Diseases Study (AREDS), antioxidants can prevent or at least delay age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
- Go Nuts - Avocados, almonds and sunflower seeds offer vitamin E, also an antioxidant which helps keep cells healthy.
- Smells Fishy – Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut and trout are great options for omega-3 fatty acids which help in providing tear function and offer some relief to those that have dry eye.
- Greens and More Greens - Antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin are found in leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli and peas, which help protect the macula.
- Pass the Beans Please - Legumes including kidney, lima, black-eyed peas all offer the mineral zinc which helps keep the retina healthy and protect your eyes from the damaging effects of light.
- Party Proteins – Additional foods such as red meat, poultry, eggs, oysters and fortefied cereals can also provide eye healthy nutrients.
Are Vitamin Supplements an Option?
For picky eaters or those who can’t find the time to nosh on healthier food options, talk to your eye doctor about vitamin supplements. Additionally, it’s very important to inform your eye doctor ALL of your medication and supplements you take. Also know that not all vision supplements are the same, it’s best to contact your eye doctor or you can Shofner Vision Center for recommended quality vision supplements.
Don’t skimp on the turkey and gravy (or tofu), but do your best to include more healthy foods into your daily diet to help maintain healthy vision. If you are experiencing any sudden vision changes or it’s been over a year since your last exam, schedule an appointment online or contact Shofner Vision Center at (615) 340-4733. Happy Holidays!