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May 2016

Foods for Eye Health

Do your eyes have all the nutrients they need to protect your vision? Studies reveal that the five main eye diseases: cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy have a nutritional link. Certain nutrients with antioxidant properties are important for keeping your eyes healthy.   These nutrients are beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, zinc and Omega-3 fats. See below to find what foods have these nutrients.

Eat Right to Protect Your Sight
Choose plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, each day. Have fish that is rich in Omega-3 fats several times a week. Include healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil to boost absorption of key nutrients. It is best to choose food over supplements.

Carrots • Sweet Potatoes • Butternut Squash • Mangos • Spinach • Collard Greens
The above are rich in beta carotene which may slow macular degeneration. Beta carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body which helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Eggs, fortified milk and yogurt are excellent sources of Vitamin A. These nutrients are both fat soluble.

Strawberries • Oranges • Bell Peppers • Broccoli • Cantaloupe • Tomatoes
Rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help lower the risk of cataracts.

Legumes • Poultry • Lean Meat • Bulgur Wheat
Provides Zinc a mineral that protects the eye.

Avocado • Almonds • Spinach • Wheat Germ
 Contains Vitamin E, an eye-protective antioxidant.

Mangos • Bell Peppers • Egg Yolks • Oranges • Dark Leafy Greens • Corn
Lutein & Zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants found in these foods. They can protect the eye from sun damage which is linked to reducing the risk of AMD and cataracts.  They are best absorbed when eaten with a little fat. Drizzle veggies with olive oil, have low fat yogurt with fruit.

Salmon • Sardines • Trout • Tuna • White Fish • Halibut • Flax Seed
These are good sources of Omega-3 fats which can relieve dry eyes. Salmon is also a good source of Vitamin D which reduces inflammation and supports eye health.

Supplementing For Eye Health
Discuss eye supplements with your eye care professional first. If you are at risk of developing AMD, a supplement may be recommended. Your doctor will review the potential benefits & risks of eye health supplements. Use as directed.


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