Beyond carrots..what to eat for better vision

Improving your eyesight and eye health can start with what you put on your plate (and what you leave off like sugar.)

 

Good eye health may be achieved when you eat foods that contain certain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fatty acids such as

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Lutein & zeoxanthin
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA
  • Zinc

Common eye problems that diet may help with are:

  • Dry eye
  • Poor Night Vision
  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma

Foods the contain Vitamin A 

Needed to prevent dry eye and improve night vision

​Foods that are a high source of beta-carotene, the form of Vitamin A that must be converted into retinol in the gut:

  • ​Carrots, of course;)
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Spinach

Foods that have the preformed source of Vitamin A called retinol​ and is bioavailable, meaning the body can use the Vitamin A directly:

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Liver (a readily useable form of Vitamin A that doesn’t have to be converted in the body, but eating too much can cause an unsafe build up of Vitamin A)

Foods that contain Vitamin C

Needed to slow the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, decrease risk of cataracts and visual acuity loss

  • Peppers – red, green, orange, chili (side note: when eaten with spinach, you’ll absorb more of the vitamin C)
  • Guava
  • Kiwi

Foods that contain Vitamin E

Needed to slow the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, decrease risk of cataracts

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Spinach

Foods that contain Lutein & Zeoxanthin

Needed to slow the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

  • Cooked Spinach
  • Cooked Kale
  • Egg yolks
  • Summer Squash

Foods that contain Omega 3-Fatty Acids DHA

Needed to slow the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration​, Dry eye syndrome and glaucoma

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Seaweed & algae

Foods that contain Zinc

Needed to bring Vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, the protective pigment in the eye

Needed to protect against poor night vision and cloudy cataracts

  • Red meat (stick with grass-fed finished for the healthiest and most nutrient rich meat)
  • Oysters
  • Kidney beans, black beans, lentil

 

Sources:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/vitamin-a

https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/best-foods-for-eyes

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=VitaminA

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/vitamin-c

https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/vitamin-c-foods.php

https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/vitamin-e-foods.php

https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/lutein.htm

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/lutein-zeaxanthin-vision

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323144#vegetarian-and-vegan-sources-of-omega-3

https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/fatty_acid_1.htm