The myth that carrots help your eyesight is true! However, so do other vegetables such as oranges, broccoli, peppers, spinach and more. As a matter of fact, having a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, saturated fats, nuts and fish will not only give you great vision, but will also maintain your overall health.
What Vitamins Do
There is a lot of focus on the beneficial factors of taking B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C. These vitamins aid in the regulation and reproduction of the immune system, vision health and even bone growth. Malnutrition could lead to loss of vitamin A in the body which leads to loss of vision, especially in children in developing countries.
The National Eye Institute released the results of its Age-Related Eye Disease Study in 2001. These results showed that mineral zinc, and anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin E, C and A lessen the chances of the risks of progression of age-related macular degeneration by 25%. They also reduce chances of moderate-level vision loss by at least 19%. Furthermore vitamins E and C lessen the chances of cataracts.
Vitamins A, C and E can be found in nuts, dairy products, bright fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, kiwis, oranges and dried apricots, and even seeds. However, the AREDS study determined that the required levels of the aforementioned vitamins cannot be acquired just by the intake of the necessary foods. If you happen to suffer from age-related macular degeneration, and wish to intake supplements, you can consult your optometrist. You must keep in mind that certain over the counter vitamins could be toxic if taken in large doses.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
As per studies conducted, omega-3 fatty acids could help keep your eyes safe from dry eye syndrome and age-related macular degeneration. These acids are also ideal for normal vision development in infants.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein
These two anti-oxidants show great potential in protecting vision. A good source is specially-fortified eggs that contain higher levels of DHA omega-3 and lutein. Other sources include mangoes, kale, peas, squash, oranges, spinach, green beans and broccoli.
Keep Away From Fats
To maintain long-standing eye health, it is crucial that one keeps away from sugar and fatty foods and relies of whole grains, fruits and vegetables instead. A diet full of saturated fats and sugar will lead to lack of minerals and vitamins needed for good eye health. Instead, your eyes are at risk, since saturated fats block the blood vessels, preventing proper blood flow to the eyes. On the other hand, sugary foods could mean diabetes, which could lead to diabetic retinopathy. These types of food could also result in obesity, another risk factor for the loss of vision; high weight could mean diabetes, cataracts and even macular disease.
Although there is no perfect amount of fruits, nuts, fish, whole grains and vegetables that one could have, it is good to have a balanced diet that consists of all of those food items. If you want to know more on the matter, you could start with the Canada Food Guide and work your way upwards.