Food and Your Eyes

How you can eat your way to better vision.

Remember when your mom used to get you to eat your carrots by saying they help your vision? While you may have stopped believing it a few years ago, what you eat does have a direct impact on how well you see.
If you want to give your vision a boost, eat the right foods to feed your eyes.

Carrot Talk

Believe it or not, carrots really are good for your eyes. That’s right – you may need to return to the hard, orange root, as it actually does the vision good, lending a hand with all your visual needs, particularly when the lighting is low. The vision-helping properties of carrots are found in the large amount of vitamin A found in each bite.

Don’t like carrots but still want good vision? Take heart! Carrots don’t have a monopoly on vitamin A. This vitamin can be found in a variety of foods, such as dairy products, asparagus, nectarines, and apricots. So if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably getting enough vitamin A to keep your eyes in tip-top shape.

Orange Clarity

Causing the eye’s lenses to cloud and make it difficult to see, cataracts affect millions of people worldwide. In the medical community, the common consensus is that cataracts are the end result of lens proteins going through the oxidation process (the same process that is related to cancer and is fought off by antioxidants). If only there were a way to stop this oxidizing process!

Well, there is: vitamin C. A study performed in the late 1990s showed that women who used vitamin C supplements (minimum of 500 milligrams) for a decade or longer had a substantially lower likelihood of experiencing early-stage cataracts. Other research has shown that large combined doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and beta-carotene also fend off macular degeneration, a condition that destroys the center of the eye’s retina and makes it hard for the affected individual to see clearly.

Bilberry Delight

Not to be confused with blueberries, bilberry has long been thought to improve vision, both during the day and during the night. Though it probably doesn’t do that, it does seem to improve a variety of eye disorders, such as cataracts and retina issues.

Even if you find bilberry doesn’t give your vision the upper hand against diseases, it seems useful for a variety of other conditions. From heart disease and chest pain to diabetes, hemorrhoids, and diarrhea, bilberry has long been a familiar face in the medical community. It is even thought to increase circulation, which ensures your eyes get all the blood necessary to remain healthy and in good seeing shape.

Ocular Omega

You’ve heard that omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart disease and stroke. You maybe realize that every one of your body’s major organs depends on these fatty acids found commonly in fish. But are you aware that omega-3 fatty acids actually help improve your eye health?

The most common connection between omega-3 fatty acids and your good eye health is a reduced risk of macular degeneration. But if it’s good at helping you avoid this frustrating sight stealer, omega-3s probably lend a hand in other ways to your peepers. So if you want to see better and live better, do your best to eat more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids than foods with just plain old fat.

Keep Seeing Well

If you have good vision, you should never take it for granted. To ensure the long-term good health of your eyes, eat the right foods and take the following additional steps:

  • stop smoking
  • exercise regularly
  • wear sunglasses when outside
  • keep away from excessively dry, hot environments
  • take regular breaks from looking at the computer screen
  • use safety glasses when working in the yard or with dangerous tools

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