The 6 Best Foods for Eye Health

By : | 0 Comments | On : March 14, 2017 | Category : health

As rates of chronic diseases like diabetes rise, along with an aging population, rates of blindness and low vision are expected to double to affect 6.6 million Americans by 2030.Despite their prevalence and significant impact on quality of life, few are taking the necessary steps to prevent eye diseases and protect vision health at all life stages… namely, by eating a healthy diet. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 87 percent of Americans are not meeting vegetable intake recommendations and 76 percent are not eating the recommended amount of fruits.

The 6 Best Foods for Eye Health

 Dark Leafy Greens– The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are primarily found in green leafy vegetables, with kale and spinach topping the list of lutein-rich foods. Other healthy options include Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Orange Pepper– According to one 1998 study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology orange pepper had the highest amount of zeaxanthin of the 33 fruits and vegetables tested. Zeaxanthin cannot be made by your body, so you must get it from your diet.

Organic Pastured Egg Yolks– Egg yolk is a source of both lutein and zeaxanthin along with healthy fat and protein, and while the total amount of carotenoids is lower than in many vegetables, they’re in a highly absorbable, nearly ideal form. According to recent research, adding a couple of eggs to your salad can also increase the carotenoid absorption from the whole meal as much as nine-fold.

Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon– Rich in omega-3s, the omega-3 fat DHA is concentrated in your eye’s retina. It provides structural support to cell membranes that boost eye health and protect retinal function, and research suggests eating more foods rich in these fats may slow macular degeneration. In fact, those with the highest intake of animal-based omega-3 fats have a 60 percent lower risk of advanced macular degeneration compared to those who consume the least.

Black Currants– Black currants contain some of the highest levels of anthocyanins found in nature — approximately 190-270 milligrams per 100 grams — which is far more than that found in even bilberries. They’re also rich in essential fatty acids, lending added support to their anti-inflammatory properties.Anthocyanins are flavonoids, and the health benefits of these antioxidants are extensive.

Bilberry– Bilberry, a close relative of the blueberry, is another nutritional powerhouse for your eyes. Its nearly black berries also contain high amounts of anthocyanins, just like the black currant (but contrary to black currant, bilberries tend to be difficult to grow and cultivate). Anthocyanin-rich bilberry extract has a protective effect on visual function during retinal inflammation.

 

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