Of all the five senses humans have, vision is the most essential one. Probably why mothers make their children watch the Popeye show. That’s one trick to make the fussy eaters eat some greens. However, there need not be a fight over the greens every single time. Here’s a list of foods (read: delicious foods) that help you keep your vision sharp that doesn’t include greens (although, I feel they are delicious too).
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits, somewhere synonymous to vitamin C, should be very much a part of your diet if you are want to have healthy eyes and sharp vision. The best thing about these fruits is they simply taste yum. They are colorful – please the eyes, they are juicy – please the touch, they taste tangy – please the tongue, and they smell, what, citrusy? So, they take care of the fulfillment that all your senses need. And just to add to the list, they are excellent sources of vitamin C that can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (1). This vitamin also prevents poor eyesight and risk of cataracts.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries… there are so many of them. Why should you eat them? Again, they are abundant sources of natural vitamin C – 100 g of blueberries have around 9 mg of vitamin C. They could jolly well be one of your choices if you are looking at garnering your daily dosage of 75-90 mg of vitamin C. Couple a bowl or two of berries with citrus fruits, and you are pretty much good to go. Berries help your body produce collagen, particularly the eyes. They not only help retain your eyesight but also assist in making the skin around your eyes look fresh and healthy.
Sardines, herring, catfish, cod, tuna – they all have something in common. Of course, they are all fish. Apart from that, they are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Also, remember that if omega-3 fatty acids are your concern, make sure you eat more of wild fish rather than the tamed ones as wild fish have more of omega-3s in them. Research says that omega-3 fatty acids may slow the progression of vision loss from AMD and reverse the signs of dry eye syndrome (2).
Apricots are good for the eyes. Why? Because they provide your body with the pigment called beta- carotene (found in most of the orange-colored foods like carrots). This beta-carotene gets converted into vitamin A, which helps enhance ocular health. Concrete research that has been done on supplements for age-related macular degeneration says that beta-carotenes are potent enough even to reverse the symptoms of this disorder when provided to the body along with vitamins C and E and zinc (3).
Vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene – they are present in kiwis, and they are all wonderful for your vision. Lutein is a nutrient that is an antioxidant and helps curb the free radical damage in and around the eyes, keeping them safe from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Zeaxanthin is a pigment found in the yellow spot of the human retina that protects the macula from damage by blue light (4). And, of course, don’t they taste heavenly? A nice excuse for binging on these fruits a little more often, isn’t it?
It isn’t enough if you just keep providing loads of vitamin A to the body. You should couple it with zinc for better absorption of vitamin A. This is precisely why zinc plays a major role in reversing the symptoms of vision-related problems, AMD specifically. Yogurt is a delicious source of zinc.
8. Peanut Butter
Vitamin E is another important element that plays a significant role in maintaining your vision and ocular health. Peanut butter is one of the best resources of vitamin E, and as I promised, it is a tasty source that you can relish and also enjoy good health at the same time.
Of course, carrots. We’ve all been there and done that – having cups and cups of diced carrots. All this because our moms want us to join the army – not quite because our vision should be sharp just for the heck of it. All said and done, carrots did help us with our vision all this while because of the beta-carotene present in them. One raw carrot has approximately 5.6 milligrams of this pigment (5). So, around four carrots a day should do the trick – yes, you will make it to the army someday!
With these foods, you will have all that there is to good eyesight and sharper vision. From vitamins A, C, and E, and beta-carotene to zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin, there’s everything in these foods that will invariably promote good ocular health. Which one of them is the most delicious, though? Comment below and let me know.