A number of nutrients can help keep your eyes healthy, and some may even improve your eyesight, an eye doctor says. It’s particularly important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, said Dr. James McDonnell, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill.
Food still life.“Make a colorful plate, especially with greens, blues and reds. Certain foods have distinct benefits for the eyes in addition to overall health, including many of the trendy superfoods such as kale, broccoli and sweet potatoes,” he said in a Loyola news release. Dr. McDonnell said healthy eating might help protect you from cataracts, macular degeneration — a leading cause of vision loss in older Americans — and even blindness.
He listed seven nutrients that are especially good for your eyes.
1. Astaxanthin: “This supernutrient protects eyes from developing cataracts, macular degeneration and blindness,” McDonnell said. “Seaweed and wild, rather than farmed, salmon are excellent choices high in astaxanthin. It also aids in so many aspects of wellness that astaxanthin is my top recommendation for incorporation into your diet.”
2. Omega-3: This fatty acid contained in fish protects against dry eye and age-related macular degeneration, he said.
“Studies show that individuals who ate oily fish such as tuna, sardines, herring and salmon at least once a week were 50 percent less likely to develop neovascular [wet] macular degeneration than those who ate fish less than once per week,” McDonnell said.
3. Anthocyanins: “Blueberries, bilberries and especially black currants contain high amounts of anthocyanins and help to maintain the health of the cornea and blood vessels in every part of the eye,” McDonnell said. “They also help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration as well as decrease inflammatory eye disease and diabetic retinopathy.”
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