One of the biggest contributors to healthy eyes is our diet. Not only does your body need vitamins, minerals, omega-3s, and other nutrients but your eyes also benefit from them.
Different foods effect different parts of the eyes so let’s go through a few of these!
Vitamins are present in animals and plants. There are 13 different type of vitamins. They are divided into two categories; vitamins that dissolve in water and vitamins that dissolve in fat.
Since your body cannot store vitamins that dissolve in water, you must eat foods containing these vitamins often. Take a look at the chart below to find out which vitamins benefits what part of our eyes and which foods are high in these vitamins.
|Benefits the…||Eat these…|
|Vitamin C||Cornea, aqueous, vitreous, retina and lens||Kiwi, Broccoli, Citrus Fruits, All Coloured Peppers|
|Vitamin E||Retina||Nuts, Seeds, Healthy Oils, Eggs, Orange Peppers, Kiwi|
|Vitamin A||Retina||Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Carrots|
Minerals come from nature and are found in the earth, rocks and water. Whenever you eat, you’re also eating the minerals that plants and animals have taken from nature. Calcium, sodium and zinc are all examples of minerals used by your body. Out of all these minerals, zinc is the most important to the functioning of the cells in your eyes. It helps to transfer vitamins A and E to your eyes from your liver.
To naturally increase your zinc levels you can eat oysters (very high concentration of zinc), turkey, lean read meat, nuts, and whole grains.
Omega 3 is a good fat that’s great for your body. Some good fats are used as fuel for your body or are used to transport vitamins to different parts of the body. There are three different types of Omega 3 fatty acids; ALA which is commonly found in plant oils, and DHA and EPA which are both found in marine oils. Wild Salmon, sardines, rainbow trout and light tuna are all high in Omega 3 fats.
Omega 3 is very important for eye health. It is important for the health of the retina and the eyelids.
Carotenoids are plant pigments that are responsible for bright red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are important carotenoids for the well-being of human bodies. Both types of carotenoids are beneficial for the health of the macula and the lens.
Food containing lutein include kale, spinach, egg yolks, and broccoli. Meanwhile orange peppers, and goji berries are high in zeaxanthin.
When I was younger I was always told “Eat carrots if you want good vision”. But you can see the eye is a complex organ and needs a variety of different foods with different nutritional values for them to function properly.
Smoothies are one (fun) way to get most of your daily vitamins and nutrients. It’s also a great way to hide vegetables for those picky eaters. They are easy to make and easy to transport on the go. You can have lots of fun inventing different smoothies using what’s in season!
Here are two of my favourite smoothie recipes for you to try at home!
Berry Banana Booster
- 1 Banana
- 1 cup mixed berries
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 banana
- 1 cup honeydew melon
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 cup cold water
Written by: Dominique St-Georges