By Deborah Pinnock on Feb 19, 2015 @ 11:00 AM
If you’re like millions of Americans, you are constantly battling to find time for the gym and struggling to get more fruits and veggies into your diet. The motivation? Get that summer beach body. Of course, the benefits of a healthy diet extend far beyond having a rockin' body. Having a balanced diet provides your body with the vitamins and nutrients you need for overall growth and development. In fact, the right vitamins can help to naturally improve your vision.
The American Optometric Association has identified six main nutrients that promote eye health and protect your vision. They are:
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Essential Fatty Acids
• Lutein and Zeaxanthin
So the key is to stock up on the foods that are rich in these nutrients and eat your way to healthier vision. Here's a list of vitamins that are good for your eyes:
Vitamin C- rich fruits fight against cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the continuous loss of the ability to see things clearly, as well as the appearance of an empty or dark area in the center of your vision. Your fruit choices include:
- Orange Juice
- Grapefruit Juice
- Green Peppers
The following foods are rich in antioxidants and slow down cataract formation and AMD.
- Safflower Oil
- Corn Oil
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sweet Potatoes
Who knew that eating red meat could help you avoid getting cataracts? It also helps to protect your night vision. If none of the following sources of zinc appeal to you (because you are vegetarian like some of my friends) baked beans and whole grains are also good sources.
- Red Meat
Essential Fatty Acids
At this point, most people know that eating fish, like salmon and tuna (excellent sources of essential fatty acids) are great for your overall health. Foods containing essential fatty acids also protect against dry eye and AMD. Here are some other ways to work this important nutrient into your diet:
- Flax Oil
- Lean Meats
- Whole Grain
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
I agree that neither spinach nor kale might seem tempting but their ability to decrease your potential for AMD makes them an important part of your diet. Try adding one or both to your salad instead of just lettuce. Another great idea is to put a handful into your smoothie, along with some of your favorite fruits. You won’t even know it’s in there. Here are various other options to choose from:
- Collard Greens
- Green Beans
Some of the goals we have for our lives require us to save more, work out more, call our moms and dads, take more vacations, to name a few. Here’s a goal that requires us to EAT MORE...that is more veggies, fruits, lean meats, fish and nuts. Add a great vision plan to the mix and you are on your way to healthier, long-lasting vision.