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Vegetables for Your Eyes: Eating for Eye Health

There’s definitely some truth behind that old “you are what you eat” saying. If you load up your plate with certain healthy veggies and fruits, it could help boost your eye health in addition to your overall health.

Here’s what you should put in your basket on your next visit to the local farmer’s market to eat your way to better vision.

• Carrots: Your mom wasn’t wrong when she implored you to eat your carrots—the beta carotene in carrots and other orange vegetables can help keep your retina and other parts of your eye working properly. Not a big carrot fan? You’ll also find plenty of beta carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkin and butternut squash.
• Leafy greens: Heap your plate with spinach, kale and lettuce—they’re rich in antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which researchers believe may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and other eye diseases. (And they’re great sources of other vitamins, too.)
• Peppers: Whether you like spicy chilies or sweet bells, these pack three times the vitamin C found in oranges—and studies show that a vitamin C rich diet could reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. You’ll also find plenty of vitamin C in Brussels sprouts and citrus.
• Asparagus: This springtime farmer’s market favorite scores well on vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant linked with eye health, and packs in vitamins A, C, and K for good measure.
• Tomatoes: Consider those ripe, red tomatoes your daily vitamin supplement. They contain high levels of all four major carotenoids, including beta carotene and lutein, plus all three antioxidants—vitamins A, C, and E.

But it takes more than a daily salad to help you keep your eyes healthy. You’ll need to supplement your healthy eating habits with regular eye exams and a healthy lifestyle to see clearly for years to come. In fact, for those who are in the kitchen often, your doctor may suggest Optifog – a lens designed to help you see clearly, even while stirring steaming pots or peering into the fridge.