Dr. Jim Martin 03/16/2015

grocery_basket.jpgWhen it comes to staying healthy, most people focus on their heart and weight. But healthy eyes are just as important, especially as you age. Keeping your eyes healthy is the best way to prevent age-related eye diseases like dry eyes, night vision, cataracts, vision loss and macular degeneration.

Protecting your eyes begins with putting the right foods on your plate. Take a look at five foods that will keep your eyes bright and healthy.

1. Green Leafy Vegetables

Dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, collard greens and kale should be on your plate. They contain two important nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, that have powerful antioxidants to prevent cell damage and prevent macular degeneration, a progressive eye disease that damages the retina and causes vision loss.

2. Orange Fruits and Vegetables

Beta Carotene, a bright orange color found in fruits and vegetables, is a precursor of vitamin A, which promotes healthy vision. It helps your eyes adjust to low light levels at night, reducing the risks for night vision. Make sure you add plenty of oranges, apricots, carrots, squash and pumpkin to your diet.

3. Fatty Fish

Oily fish like sardines, tuna, mackerel and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that help to fight eye inflammation. National Eye Institute studies show that omega-3 fatty acids protect the eyes from dry eye syndrome and macular degeneration. Including fatty fish in your diet not only promotes good eye health, it also has numerous benefits for your heart, bones and brain.

4. Beans and Legumes

All types of beans and legumes contain high levels of zinc, an important mineral that helps to release vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is stored in the liver, but is eventually released and used by the eyes. A zinc deficiency can contribute to macular degeneration, night vision and vision loss. Zinc and vitamin A help to regulate cell function and act as building blocks for cells and organs, including the eyes.

5. Nuts

Nuts contain high levels of vitamin E, a strong antioxidant that helps with numerous health problems including heart disease, Alzheimer's and glaucoma, a serious eye disease. Studies show than vitamin E helps to slow the growth of cataracts. The best food source of vitamin E is nuts. Although they're high in calories, eating small portions has so many benefits, it's well worth it.

For more information on eye health, contact Broome Optical in Amarillo today. We can help you with all of your vision needs, as well as eye problems and diseases that can impact your sight.

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