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8 Foods That Support Seniors’ Eye Health
While the two may seem unrelated, your diet can impact your eye health. Older adults are at higher risk of eye and vision problems like cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and more. Luckily, one thing you can do to protect your eye health is to eat the right foods. Learn what foods support a senior’s eye health below.
Carrots are a delicious and healthy way to support your eye health, as they’re a rich source of beta-carotene which your body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for good vision, helping protect the rod and cone cells in your eyes, preventing night blindness.
Turkey contains a high amount of zinc, which has proven to slow the progression of AMD and preserve vision. Turkey is also rich in vitamin B6, which helps reduce inflammation in blood vessels. Other great sources of zinc include shellfish like oysters, lean red meat, beans, and legumes.
This fruit is rich in anthocyanins—antioxidants that support collagen structure in the retina. This benefit, partnered with a high level of vitamin C, helps lower the risk of AMD and cataracts. Anthocyanins can also help protect your retina from UV light exposure.
Opt for peanuts, almonds, cashews, or hazelnuts if you need a snack. All are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect your eye’s membranes, which can help prevent cataracts and AMD.
Egg yolks are chock-full of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants vital for protecting the macula, the eye area that gives us our central, most detailed vision. Egg yolks also contain vitamin D, which can protect against AMD.
Fish like salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies are full of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are vital for eye health, as they help protect you from dry eye, cataracts, glaucoma, and AMD.
Oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, and lemons are rich in vitamin C. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, these antioxidants can prevent or delay AMD and cataracts. Other great sources of vitamin C include strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, red bell pepper, and broccoli.
Like eggs, dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, and turnip greens are also full of lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help protect the eye from damaging light, such as blue light (light illuminated by digital screens). Eating enough can also help promote blood flow to your eyes and could reduce your risk of developing age-related cataracts by more than 20%.
Always consult your doctor before starting a new diet.