Just like the rest of your body, your eyes change throughout your life. Getting older means an increasing risk of many common eye problems, like cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, to name a few.
These conditions can compromise your vision, but the reality is that there’s a lot you can do to protect your eyes and your vision — no matter your age.
Taking care of your eyes starts with getting regular comprehensive eye exams, and it doesn’t end there. In fact, lifestyle habits like the foods you eat every day can also affect your eye health.
The links between nutrition and eye health
Food is your body’s main source of energy, and the food you eat matters. You might already know that healthy foods include things like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Unhealthy foods are typically high in sugar and trans fats.
But what exactly is it that separates healthy and unhealthy foods? The answer lies in their nutritional value. Healthy foods are higher in essential nutrients, like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, that your body needs to function at its best.
Everyone can benefit from eating a nutritious diet. Healthy eating helps you feel more energized, it lowers your risk of chronic disease, and it makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
If you want to boost eye health, some specific nutrients are directly linked to eyes and vision, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Lutein and zeaxanthin
- Omega-3 fatty acids
These vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are found in your eyes, and they play key roles in eye function and vision. Nutrient deficiencies can increase your risk of eye conditions, because your eyes can’t work like they should, while eating a diet rich in these nutrients can help prevent eye problems from developing.
Foods to boost your eye health
So, your diet impacts your eye health. Eating foods rich in certain nutrients can help prevent eye conditions as you get older, but let’s get specific. What foods should you be eating?
As eye specialists, our team at Pacific Eye works with people of all ages to improve their eye (and overall) health. Some foods to consider adding to your diet are:
- Bell peppers
- Beans and legumes
- Brussels sprouts
- Lean meats (like beef, chicken, and pork)
- Nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, or peanuts)
- Sweet potatoes
To get the most nutritional value from your food, eat raw fruits and vegetables as much as possible. When you’re cooking meat and other foods, choose steaming, grilling, or baking, and avoid adding extra salt and oils.
Eating a healthy diet can take some practice, but the benefits for your eyes and your whole body can serve you well for years to come.
Want to learn more about caring for your eyes? Our San Luis Obispo optometrists are here for you. Schedule an appointment by phone or book online now.