The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, found that certain nutrients — zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — may reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by 25 percent.
This study was updated in 2013 to test different versions of the original formula. The variations included omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene; the study found that certain combinations may work better than others.
Ten best foods for eye health
Organizations such as the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) continue to recommend nutrients for eye health based on the Areds reports.
The Areds reports support the following 10 nutrient-rich foods:
Many fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Oily fish are fish that have oil in their gut and body tissue, so eating them offers higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil. The fish that contains the most beneficial levels of omega-3s include:
Some studies have found that fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer.
2.Nuts and legumes
Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain a high level of vitamin E, which can protect the eye from age-related damage.
Nuts and legumes that are good for eye health include:
- Brazil nuts
Like nuts and legumes, seeds are high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E.
Seeds high in omega-3 include:
- chia seeds
- flax seeds
- hemp seeds
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Just like vitamin E, vitamin C is an antioxidant that is recommended by the AOA to fight age-related eye damage.
Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits include:
5.Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a good source of eye-friendly vitamin C.
Well-known leafy greens include:
Carrots are rich in both Vitamin A and beta carotene.Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light.
Research on beta carotene’s role in vision is mixed, though the body needs this nutrient to make vitamin A.
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene. They are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration.
The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina, and the vascular tissue surrounding the retina.
Meats such as chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc, but at lower levels than beef.
Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also good sources of vitamins C and E, and zinc.
It may come as no surprise that a fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health.
Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which may reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Good eye health starts with the food on your plate.
To get them, fill your plate with:
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards
- Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
- Eggs, nuts, beans, and other nonmeat protein sources
- Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
- Oysters and pork
A well-balanced diet also helps you stay at a healthy weight. That lowers your odds of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
It makes you more likely to get cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration, among many other medical problems. If you’ve tried to kick the habit before only to start again, keep at it.
The right pair of shades will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.Choose a pair that blocks 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses help protect your eyes from the side. Polarized lenses reduce glare while you drive.
4.Use Safety Eyewear
If you use hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, wear safety glasses or protective goggles.Wear eye protection. Helmets with protective face masks or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses will shield your eyes.
5.Look Away From the Computer Screen
Staring at a computer or phone screen for too long can cause:
- Blurry vision
- Trouble focusing at a distance
- Dry eyes
- Neck, back, and shoulder pain
To protect your eyes:
Make sure your glasses or contacts prescription is up to date and good for looking at a computer screen.If your eye strain won’t go away, talk to your doctor about computer glasses.Move the screen so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor.Try to avoid glare from windows and lights.Rest your eyes every 20 minutes. Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
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