May is Healthy Vision Month and I encourage you to eat right for your sight by adding more eye healthy foods to your plate (e.g., fatty fish, nuts and legumes, seeds, citrus fruits, dark leafy green vegetables, orange vegetables, eggs, tomatoes, olive oil and corn).
Enriching your daily diet with certain nutrients can help preserve your vision and protect your eyes against diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Top nutrients for healthy eyes include:
Lutein - an antioxidant that protects the macula and lens of the eye. Sources include dark leafy green vegetables, Brussels sprouts, green beans, citrus fruits, orange vegetables.
Zeaxanthin - an antioxidant that protects the macula and lens of the eye. Zeaxanthin also helps filter out damaging blue light emitted from digital devices. Sources include red and orange fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C - an antioxidant that helps reduce free radical damage. Vitamin C improves mineral absorption in the lens and supports brain and immune system health. Sources include citrus fruits, red and green peppers, kale, broccoli, strawberries.
Beta carotene - an antioxidant that is the precursor to Vitamin A. Beta carotene improves macula and lens health and reduces free radical damage in the eye. It also improves night vision and reduces inflammation. Sources include carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cantaloupe and apricots.
Vitamin A - helps prevent dry eye, night blindness, macular degeneration and strengthens the cornea. Sources include eggs, squash, apricots, spinach and kale.
Vitamin E - an antioxidant that protects the macula and reduces free radical damage. Sources include sunflower seeds, almonds, red peppers, collard greens.
Zinc - protects the retina and lowers the risk of developing macular degeneration. Sources include kidney beans, flax/pumpkin seeds and spinach.
Omega 3 fatty acids - help lubricate the cornea, reduce eye inflammation and protect the retina and optic nerve. Sources include walnuts, egg yolk, wild-caught salmon and chia seeds.
Here are a few recipes that are bursting with vision-protecting vitamins and nutrients:
Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Frittata
Chicken Chopped Salad
Roasted Salmon and Melon Salsa