Eat your way to better eyesight

March 18, 2009 5:42:25 PM PDT
As the old adage goes, you are what you eat.

Research now shows that eating right can also be a literal feast for the eyes, especially when it comes to maintaining eye health! Foods rich in nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, essential fatty acids, and vitamins C & E have been shown to help reduce the risk of certain chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, which affects millions of Americans.

Dr. Ong of the American Optometric Association says proper nutrition can keep you seeing clearly.

Dr. Ong recommends five foods to maintain a healthy vision:

  1. Spinach: to showcase the importance of green, leafy vegetables in the diet and having lutein/zeaxanthin in the diet
  2. Eggs: to showcase the importance of omega-3/essential fatty acids in your diet
  3. Oranges: to showcase the importance of Vitamin C in your diet
  4. Almond or Pecans: to showcase the importance of Vitamin E in your diet
  5. Milk: to showcase the importance of Zinc in your diet
  • Research shows that 30 million Americans age 40 and older suffer vision loss.

  • In a recent survey conducted by the American Optometric Association, nearly three-fourths (72%) of respondents age 55 and older began noticing changes in their vision between the ages of 40 and 45.

  • To cope with vision loss or various eye problems, more than half (60%) said they schedule more frequent eye exams, and just under one-third (29%) are increasing their nutrient intake for healthy eyes.

  • Most respondents (48%) still believe that carrots are the best food for eye health, when in fact spinach and other dark leafy greens are the healthiest foods for the eyes because they naturally contain an important nutrient called lutein. Lutein helps eyes protect themselves against certain eye diseases, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts.

  • In order to maintain healthy eyes, studies show that we need to consume 10 mg of lutein each day through our daily diet - just one cup of spinach four times a week. You would need to eat 20 cups of celery or 370 baby carrots a day to meet this same goal!