You’ve probably heard that antioxidants are good for your health. They actually benefit not just your body, but your eyes as well. Not only can antioxidants reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, but specific antioxidants can have additional benefits, such as vitamin A for protection against blindness and vitamin C for possibly helping to prevent glaucoma. To keep your eyes at their healthiest, try to include these foods in your regular diet:
- Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash – These foods are high in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A that is well-known for its benefits for eyes. When taken in combination with zinc as well as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene may help to slow down the progression of macular degeneration. Other foods high in beta-carotene are spinach and kale.
- Citrus fruits and berries – These are high in bioflavonoids, which may protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Other food sources of bioflavonoids include legumes, soy products, tea, and red wine.
- Leafy greens – Greens such as spinach, kale, turnip greens, and collard greens are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which, like bioflavonoids, can help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. They can also help protect against eye damage from things like sunlight, cigarette smoke, and pollution.
- Cold-water fatty fish – Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent macular degeneration and dry eyes. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include freshly ground flaxseeds and walnuts.
- Eggs, butter, milk – These foods, as well as beef or chicken liver, are high in vitamin A, which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Milk is also a good source of vitamin D, which benefits eyes in helping to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.