January 4th, 2011
By: Cindy Jones-Shoeman
Ask most people what they think is their most valuable sense, and a majority will say their sense of sight. While the sense of touch is arguably more important, people who have had the sense of sight all their lives can’t imagine life without it. That said, these people will likely want to know how to best preserve the health of their eyes. Of course, there are things people can do to keep their eyes safe (such as wearing protective goggles in situations that require them), but how can a person’s diet protect and preserve the health of her eyes? How can a person maintain good eye health through his diet?
Foods that Maintain Eye Health
Green tea may benefit eyes, thanks to the Vitamin C and Vitamin E as well as the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein. Green tea is also known to be beneficial for the body in general. It’s easy to see that a cup a day could benefit one’s eyes.
Carrots might seem cliche, but there’s a reason why experts recommend carrots for maintaining good eye health. Bite for bite, carrots contain ample amounts of Vitamin A — so much, in fact, that just one carrot a day can help a person meet his daily requirements. Some people prefer to take their carrots as juice, which is also a good way to benefit from the vegetable.
Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that also aids eye health. According to the American Cancer Society, lycopene is believed to lower the risk of macular degenerative disease, which can cause blindness. Lycopene is concentrated in tomatoes, which makes them a great food choice.
Garlic, often recommended for heart health, is also good for eye health. That’s because garlic contains healthy, reliable amounts of selenium. Like lycopene, selenium can protect the eyes from disease.
Spinach and other dark leafy greens are typically high in Vitamin C and contain other phytonutrients and carotenoids so vital to the health of the eyes as well as other parts of the body. There are few foods like them, and it’s best to include a portion of these foods every day in one’s diet.
Maintaining one’s eye health isn’t too difficult when one looks at the choices of foods available to help one’s eyes. From drinking green tea to eating a spinach salad, it’s easy to envision why feeding the body with eye-friendly vitamins, minerals, and nutrients is so important.