Thursday, August 11, 2011

Powerhouse Foods For Eyesight

Adding the proper super foods to our diet can promote and maintain eye health as well as general health. The Antioxidants, highly concentrated in vibrant fruits and vegetables, have been shown to improve eye sight. Antioxidants that promote eye health include, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and carotenoids. Highly pigmented fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants that benefit eye health. So, the next time you’re grocery shopping, choose fruits and vegetables that appear rich in color. When you color your plate. you color your world.

Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, the antioxidant pigment responsible for giving certain produce a vibrant orange color. Beta-carotene is the precursor to vitamin A, which ensures normal functioning of the retina and prevents the development of night blindness. Vitamin A also protects against vision related degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. (Tip: If your kids aren’t fans of carrots, offer them watermelon instead, because this hydrating fruit contains the same antioxidants that promote eye health that carrots do.)

Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are loaded with antioxidants that promote eye health, including vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that protect the eye from damaging free radicals found in UV light. In other words, carotenoids act as a sun block for our eyes, preventing UV light from causing degenerative eye disorders. Fruits, such as mangoes, apricots, peaches, oranges, tangerines, and melons are also great source of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C, which has been shown to prevent the development of degenerative eye disorders, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and even glaucoma. Vitamin C can also be found in tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Additionally, these vitamin C containing foods are also great sources of lutein and lycopene, antioxidants that support eye health and prevent age-related degenerative disorders.

Goji berries are the number one source of zeaxanthin available. Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that protects our eye from age related degenerative changes. Goji berries are loaded with tons of antioxidants, especially carotenoids. Snacking on goji berries is a delicious way to protect your eyesight.

Sunflower seeds are packed with selenium, a mineral that prevents harmful free radicals from damaging the eye. Other sources of selenium include garlic, brown rice, oatmeal, and walnuts.

Avocados are the best fruit source of lutein, an antioxidant that protects the eye from degenerative disorders, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Avocados are extremely nutrient dense and contain an array of additional antioxidants that promote eye health, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Vitamin E is especially helpful in delaying cataract growth and preventing cataract formation. Other food sources of vitamin E include green leafy vegetables, nuts, and fortified cereals.

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote overall eye health and help to maintain proper eye moisture. Flax seeds and flax seed oil are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.


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