Nutrition for Healthy Eyes

Photo Credit: Laitr Keiows CC-BY-SA-3.0 2009
You’ve probably heard that eating carrots can help improve your vision. While it may not be true that carrots improve vision, a healthy diet is important to healthy eyes. Some foods contain nutrients that are especially good for your eyes. Vitamins A, C and E and minerals like zinc are important for eye development and continued eye health. Two nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, are particularly important to healthy eyes. These nutrients are important antioxidants that help to remove free radicals in the eye that can damage cells. Lutein and zeaxanthin help to protect the eyes from exposure to ultraviolet light by preventing UV light from reaching the back of the retina where it can damage vision. 
Many dark colored fruits and vegetables contain both lutein and zeaxanthin. The nutrients can be found in vegetables like spinach, squash, pumpkin, kale greens, sweet potatoes, corn, broccoli, green beans, peas and Brussel sprouts. Fruits that contain lutein and zeaxanthin include grapes, kiwi, mango, prunes papaya and melons. Dark red berries, kiwi, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, grapefruit, and oranges are good sources of Vitamin C. Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, eggs, and green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach and lettuce contain Vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye health. 
A well-balanced diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits should meet most people’s eye-nutrient needs. Protect your eyes from excessive exposure to ultraviolet light by wearing a hat with a brim and UV blocking sunglasses on sunny days. Be sure to get regular eye exams, too. 

For more information about nutrition and eye health, see:

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