What’s on the menu for healthy eyes?

Certain foods are good for your eyes, so why not eat more of them? We know taking care of our diet can help manage and prevent complications from health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure – but it’s also great for protecting our eyes into the future.

Foods that are rich in zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin could reduce the risk of eyesight deterioration as we get older by as much as 25 per cent.

While some of these nutrients sound unusual, they’re found in everyday foods that can be picked up from your local shops.

Foods for eye health

Carrots

While the idea that carrots give you special night vision isn’t entirely true, the humble carrot can help to keep your eyesight healthy. Carrots are packed with beta carotene and lutein - antioxidants which can help prevent age related eye damage and diseases.

Our bodies convert lutein into vitamin A – and if we’re deficient in it, our ability to see at night may be affected, so get some carrots into the mix!

Capsicum

Capsicum is packed with vitamin A, plus C and E which can help reduce the risk of cataracts. Vitamin C can also keep the blood vessels in your eyes healthy. It’s best to eat capsicum raw as vitamin C is sensitive to heat and can be destroyed when cooked. If capsicum’s not your cup of tea, there’s always citrus fruit for a boost of C.

Leafy green vegetables

Dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are high in lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin C. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids (pigments responsible for the bright colours in fruit and vegetables) which are found in the eye. Researchers believe eating plenty of leafy green vegetables regularly could improve your eyesight and help protect against age related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Fish

Get some oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel on the menu – they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids which scientists say has a protective effect against vision loss. No worries if you’re a vegetarian though - nuts, legumes and seeds are also great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Sweet potato

Packed with beta carotene and vitamin E, eating sweet potato regularly may help reduce the risk of eye infections and slow the progression of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Beef

Zinc is a mineral found in beef which is linked to improved eye health. Zinc helps the body absorb vitamin A, which may delay the onset of age-related eye conditions like macular degeneration.

Eggs

Eggs are a great food for eye health. Just like leafy greens, they’re a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin which can help improve eyesight and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. They’re also packed with other nutrients which promote eye health like vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc.

You might also like

How to minimise eyesight deterioration

How to minimise eyesight deterioration

While not all eye conditions can be prevented, there is a lot you can do to take care of your eyes to minimise eyesight deterioration.

How to look after your eyes

How to look after your eyes

We all know how powerful the sense of sight is – but when we think of body health, we often don’t think about what our eyes need.

Working from home? Here are 4 ways to protect your eyes

Working from home? Here are 4 ways to protect your eyes

COVID-19 has seen a lot of us set up offices at home. Bupa Optometrist Karen Makin has a few tips for keeping your eyes healthy while working from home.