Did you know 39 million people all over the world suffer from visual problems? And that 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 years old and above? Visual impairment is typically caused by aging and refractive errors. Once visual problems set in, it is hard, if not impossible, to reverse their effects.
The good news is, eating certain types of foods helps promote better vision! These foods are high in beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that improves eye health. To achieve healthy eyes, we recommend boosting your consumption of these foods:
Tomato is one of the most nutrient-dense fruits there are! And if you want to achieve better vision, you better start eating more tomatoes. This fruit is loaded with carotenoids including lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives tomato its vibrant red color. Studies show that lycopene helps protect the eyes from vision damage by preventing light-induced damage to the retina.
Apart from lycopene, tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C. This nutrient protects the nerves from free radical damage. Vitamin C keeps the eyes healthy by protecting it from natural aging.
Cruciferous vegetables refer to all types of dark green, leafy vegetables including kale, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli. All these vegetables are classified as superfoods. Superfoods are a special class of vegetables that contain more nutrients and antioxidants.
Cruciferous vegetables like kale, spinach, and brocs are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants protect the retina from UV damage. Lutein and zeaxanthin have the ability to absorb blue light, neutralizing its effects to the eyes. Apart from improving vision, lutein and zeaxanthin maintain healthy eyes for the long term! Because these nutrients are fat-soluble, consuming a little olive oil promotes better absorption of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin too! A study found that participants who consume one egg a day increased their lutein levels by 26% and zeaxanthin levels by 38%! Adding eggs to your diet helps reverse the harmful effects of UV rays to the retina. Apart from lutein and zeaxanthin, egg yolks contain vitamin D, which also promotes better vision.
Even better, consuming one egg per day will not increase the bad cholesterol level in the blood. Specialty eggs contain more lutein per egg than your average eggs so if you can, opt for those when you shop!
Wild salmon – along with tuna and herring – are the best sources of omega 3 fatty acid. This beneficial fat promotes better vision while neutralizing internal inflammation. Studies show that omega 3 fatty acid reduces the risk of various eye disorders including age-related macular degeneration or ARMD and dry eyes. Studies show that consuming salmon regularly reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 38%.
Olive oil is packed with beneficial fats that reduce the risk of retina diseases. The health benefits of olive oil to vision health are enhanced when paired with foods high in oil-soluble nutrients. An Australian study found that participants who consume olive oil were 48% less likely to develop ARMD. However, not all types of olive oil are created equal. To maximize its benefits, opt for extra virgin olive oil!