Nutrition can significantly impact various aspects of the body, including eye health. Mark R Fleckner MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologist specializing in treating diseases of the retina, strives to educate patients in prevention as well as treatment methods. He suggests five foods to eat for healthier eyes.
5 Best Foods for Eye Health
Leafy greens, such as kale, watercress, arugula, and spinach, are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients related to vitamin A and beta carotene. These antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. The body needs fat to absorb these antioxidants, so eat your leafy greens with a healthy source of fat, such as fish or olive oil, avocado, or nuts.
Eggs are another great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as zinc, another nutrient that can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Dr. Mark Fleckner says it is important to note these nutrients are stored in the yolk, not the whites. Eat the whole egg to get the most nutritional value.
Fatty fish, including salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These “healthy fats” are essential for eye health and retinal function. The American Optometric Association* says omega-3s can reverse dry eye and help prevent age-related macular degeneration. These nutrients are also good for your brain, heart, and skin. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds and walnuts are another great source of omega-3s.
Berries, particularly blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries, are another food rich in antioxidants. They also contain high amounts of vitamin C, which can boost your immune system. A healthy immune system can reduce your risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. It also promotes faster healing if you are injured.
Carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin A. These nutrients help the body synthesize the protein rhodopsin, Dr. Mark Fleckner explains, which helps the eyes adjust to the dark. Lutein can also help prevent age-related macular degeneration.
In addition to a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, Dr. Mark Fleckner recommends seeing your eye doctor regularly.
To learn more about Dr. Mark Fleckner and his practice, visit http://drmarkfleckner.com/index.php.
American Optometric Association* – https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/essential-fatty-acids