While your diet plays a huge role in your eye health, it does not mean that you need to lose weight to have healthy eyes. Going on a strict diet could in fact be bad for your eyes if it doesn’t also include all the necessary foods. Many people find that trying to eat all the foods needed for healthy eyes means that they must eat much more than they normally would.
Your diet consists of the food you normally eat. For an eye healthy diet you need a lot more vegetables than many people currently include in their diet.
However, it’s vital that you have the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in the food you eat to protect and nourish your eyes. This can be difficult because vegetables don’t come with an ingredient list. How do you tell how much of each vitamin and mineral you are getting? For that matter how do you know how much of each vitamin and mineral you need each day?
This actually becomes more complicated, some vitamins our bodies can store up until we need them while others are flushed out of our body if we don’t use them that day.
Of course, some foods are better for you eyes than others. An eye healthy diet consists of foods that naturally contain the vitamins and minerals that your eyes need to function at their very best. You’ll be relived to note that many of these foods are ones that you probably already eat.
Concentrate on foods containing vitamins A, C, and E. Some common foods that contain these vitamins are:
- Dried apricots
- Raw carrots
- Collard greens, kale, spinach
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Green peas
- Nuts of all kinds
- Dairy products
Antioxidants work to remove harmful things from your body. Sometimes this includes damaged cells, but it can also mean toxic substances that our bodies produce or that we consume. Antioxidants are an important part of our bodies defense system.
Your eyes also need antioxidants to keep them healthy and working at their best. Two must-have antioxidants for healthy eyes are lutein and zeaxanthin. Fruits and vegetables are the best natural sources for these antioxidants.
Lutein can be found in mango, bilberries, and yellow peppers. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, collard greens, chard, broccoli, and kale are also excellent sources of lutein.
Some good sources of Zeaxanthin include orange sweet peppers, sweet corn, broccoli, oranges, eggs, spinach, and tangerines.
As you can see some of the foods on the vitamin list are also included in the antioxidant list. That’s a lucky bonus if you are trying to budget your grocery bill. Trying to fit all these fruits and vegetables into your daily menu can be time consuming and expensive. Another benefit is that in most parts of the world vegetables are usually less expensive than meats. In many parts of the world people still grow their own vegetables, so this could be a really low cost diet.
Americans have some special problems because they are used to all the prepared foods and take out foods that are available in the markets. Very few of these contain foods that are actually healthy for you. If they do include vegetables, many of the vitamins are destroyed during the preparation. One of the most difficult parts of changing to an eye-healthy diet is retraining yourself. Many people today grow up with microwave meals and frozen foods that are quick to prepare.
An eye-healthy diet requires more vegetables – either raw or cooked – and much less meat. Red meat is particularly bad for your vision. Fish and chicken are much better for you if you feel a craving for meat. Although, how you cook it can change it from good for you to bad for you, very quickly. Try to avoid deep frying or even pan frying whenever possible. If you do have the urge for fried foods, try using canola oil, olive oil or avocado oil to fry in.
Olive oil is considered to be the best oil, as it’s heart-healthy, packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, but it doesn’t always stand up to deep frying. For that, you’d need to go with light olive oil, rather than extra virgin olive oil. Canola oil actually contains some of the necessary omega-3 that our body needs. Fish and nuts may also contain good amounts of this “good fat”. Yes, we said good along with fat in the same sentence! Omega-3s are an important fatty acid that our bodies cannot produce. Most people do not get enough of this fat in our daily diets.
There is an easier way to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and antioxidants necessary for healthy eyes; an eye vitamin supplement. With this option you know that each and every day you are getting the correct amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your eyes need. This removes the worry you may be feeling about whether there is enough or some vitamin already stored in your system or not.
Natural eye health may seem like a lot more work, but in the end you not only get the benefits of stronger, healthy eyes, you get healthier bodies as well. By eating the foods that provide your eyes with the best sources of vitamins and minerals, you are also supplying the rest of your body with these necessary ingredients. Many of the weight problems experienced by people today are caused by eating take out foods, prepared foods, and foods high in saturated fats.
Since all of these are things that should be avoided in an eye healthy diet, you could also end up losing a bit of weight. That’s never a bad thing!
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