Staying healthy obviously involves keeping a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. This usually refers to a healthy heart, strong bones and a healthy, slim body. But keeping healthy also implies taking care of vision, our most important asset. After all, seeing well into the future requires healthy eyes and, most certainly, after reaching an old age, many people develop vision problems. Issues such as cataracts, dry eyes or other ocular disease may be prevented by following simple eating guidelines and basically “keeping an eye” on healthy foods. Here is a rundown of some of the best foods for healthy eyes and better vision:
The number one obviously goes to carrots. Bugs Bunny certainly knew that carrots are the way to having a perfect vision. These orange colored vegetables are packed with beta carotene (carotene actually comes from carrots, hence the name) and antioxidants to help fight degenerative eye diseases such as cataracts and macular diseases.
Carrots are easy to add to any dish or salad, but if you don’t like them whole or solid, carrot juice is a great option. After all, most food supplements or child drinks have carrot juice as a main ingredient. Carrots can be a fine ingredient for soups, stews or any other sauce, be it hummus, spice sauces or sweet pastes. You can even dip them in salsa, hummus, peanut butter, or guacamole for added flavor and texture.
2. Bell peppers
Bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C, a crucial element for keeping a healthy vision. Also, they are high in antioxidants and other vitamins that will protect your eyes.
They can be eaten fresh in salads, sauces, and sandwiches or cooked in stews or even an addition for meat plateaus or steaks. Bell peppers can also add color and texture to a dish, as well as that added healthy element. Steamed, roasted, in soups, or in your favorite pasta dressing, bell peppers are the ideal ingredient for having great eyesight.
3. Poultry meats – turkey, chicken or ostrich
Poultry is the lean and healthy substitute for the red, fatty meats you usually come across in dishes, including beef, pork or lamb.
Even though ostrich meat may be hard to find in stores, it is packed with zinc, potassium, proteins and iron which are key elements for having excellent eyesight. Zinc is a crucial mineral found in the retina and it causes enzyme production which is related to having healthy eyes. Also, iron helps fight ocular degeneration, keeping eyes healthy even during old age.
Turkey and chicken also have high amounts of zinc, but as a plus, are also rich in a variety of vitamins such as Vitamin B, niacin and vitamin E. These are essential in fighting cataracts and other debilitating eye diseases.
These types of meats are incredibly versatile, being a staple ingredient for many dishes. You can eat them in chili, steaks, soups, stews or even low fat salads.
Popeye knew his secret. Spinach is literally packed with almost every vitamin out there, but the key components are vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene. Also, spinach has a high concentration of antioxidants that will help fight macula degeneration. Zeaxanthin and lutein increase the pigment density in the macula area, which acts as a natural sunscreen for the eyes, absorbing 40 to 90 percent of the dangerous blue light spectrum rays. Spinach can be eaten stewed, boiled, in salads or as a sauce for pasta.
5. Sweet potatoes
Here comes another high beta carotene food for great vision. The bright orange colored flesh of these vegetables is packed with this important element. They can be baked, fried and mashed just as regular potatoes. The sweet, soft taste will leave you breathless. Sweet potatoes really are a sweet ingredient when trying to keep healthy.
6. Fish – salmon and sardines
Fish, in general, has high amounts of healthy omega 3 fats, essential for any healthy lifestyle. But salmon and sardines are even better, having a higher amount of omega 3 fats, which will ensure a healthy vision. Omega 3 fats work by protecting the tiny blood vessels that surrounds and are buried in the eyeball. Try to eat at least 6 ounces of wild salmon or sardines every day and you will surely see the difference.