Five foods to improve your eye health

Dr.Kevin Mountain Eye Care

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For decades, the carrot has been known as the vegetable that will help us see better in the dark. While it’s true that the beta-carotene found in carrots does improve your vision, there are many other eye-health superfoods that you should be eating to help protect your eyes this summer.

When you’re out shopping for summer lunches or loading up the picnic basket for a day out, remember this list of five eye-health superfoods that will help prevent the development of Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, and help maintain overall eye health.

1. Leafy greens: Lutein and zeaxanthin found in leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli and iceberg lettuce protect the eyes from light-induced oxidative damage which can lead to the development of AMD. To encourage kids to eat their leafy greens, try crisping kale in the oven for a healthier take on chips, serving broccoli with your favourite dip or sandwiches with lots of lettuce.

2. Eggs: The zinc found in eggs is important for vision because it helps to maintain the mineral levels in the retina while helping to build a biological pigment, melanin, which protects the eye. Hard boiled eggs and egg salad sandwiches are quick and easy ways to take eggs on the go.

3. Citrus and berries: Vitamin C can lower your risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of AMD. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries will give your body that extra boost of vitamin C. Try tossing berries with oranges into a fresh fruit salad this summer – ripe, juicy and delicious!

4. Almonds: Almonds are an easy snack to pack and are full of vitamin E. Vitamin E plays an important role in protecting certain parts of the eye by neutralizing the oxidation, which is important as the lens of the eye is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage that can cause cataracts. Just throw a handful of almonds into a baggie, zip it up and go! As a special treat, add dried fruit and dark chocolate chips to the bag to make your own healthy trail mix.

5. Fish: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, is a major component of maintaining good retina and brain health. Incorporate fish into your diet this summer by packing a salmon burger or canned tuna and crackers to add more of the omega-3 fatty acid into your diet.
During your next eye exam, ask your doctor of optometry about other foods that help maintain and improve eye health. To book an eye exam with a doctor of optometry today, visit doctorsofoptometry.ca.

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