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8 Foods that Promote Eye Health

by dwasylow 5 March 2014 06:06 AM

Mom was right, eating carrots is good for your eyesight, but they’re certainly not the only food that promotes good eye health. The eyes are complex organs that require a mix of the right nutrients to perform their best and last a lifetime. Regularly eating foods from the list below will put you on the right path to vision-sustaining nutrition.

Carrots

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Carrots owe their orange coloring to a type of vitamin A called Beta-carotene. This antioxidant helps the retina and other parts of the eye work properly. Beta-carotene may also reduce your risks for cataracts and macular degeneration

Leafy Greens

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Spinach, kale and collard greens are great sources for the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These substances increase pigment density in the macular tissue of the retina and absorb up to 90% percent of blue light, shielding the tissue from damage.

Fatty Fish

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Don’t worry, eating “fatty fish” won’t necessarily add pounds. It will, however, provide a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish including tuna, salmon, mackerel, anchovies and trout are rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which help prevent dry eye syndrome.

Citrus Fruits and Berries

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Found in high concentrations in citrus fruits and most berries, vitamin C produces multiple benefits for eye health. Besides reducing risks for age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, vitamin C also helps keep ocular blood vessels healthy. Our bodies don’t naturally produce vitamin C, so dietary intake is essential.

Almonds and Peanuts

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Almonds and peanuts are filled with vitamin E, believed to fight off damage from free-radicals. Research also shows this nutrient plays a key role in slowing macular degeneration. Just a couple handfuls provide enough vitamin E for your whole day.

Kidney Beans

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Kidney beans are an excellent source of zinc, a mineral that helps transport the vitamin A from other foods (like carrots and leafy greens) from the kidneys to the retinas. Zinc also plays a role in improving night vision.

Apricots

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Apricots are eye health dynamos. They contain just about every nutrient a healthy eye needs, from Beta-carotene and vitamin C to lutein and zeaxanthin. Apricots also provide significant levels of calcium, potassium and iron.

Ostrich

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If you’ve never tried ostrich, here’s a great excuse to give it a shot. Ostrich is rich in zinc, which promotes healthy functioning for several enzymes that benefit the eyes. For those with less exotic tastes, you can get similar levels of zinc from turkey.

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