Forget the rose-colored glasses. Perfect your peepers by learning how to eat for better eyesight! Your future never looked better (see what I did there?).
Want to enjoy perfect portions to polish your peepers? Well, I’ve got some useful tips and recipes that will help give you holographic vision and laser-powered retinas! I’m kidding. But we’ll get you pretty darn close! Now, if there’s one thing that’s critically important to maintain as you age, it’s your eyesight. With the right foods and supplements combined with some eye-strengthening exercises, you’ll be on track to keep your future looking bright . . . and clear!
I don’t remember much of my life without lenses. I’ve worn glasses since I was five years old and contact lenses since age 14. To say the least, they’ve been interesting filters through which I view the world. I’ve sometimes felt a lot of anger and confusion as to why my eyesight declined at such a young age and why nobody seems to know the reason. I’ve yet to see any substantive, clinical research studies regarding the causes of macular degeneration or nearsightedness. Furthermore, modern science has yet to find a reversal or cure. On another note, it’s also amusingly ironic how the script can get flipped in life: I went from being relentlessly teased in my teens for having “four eyes” to being publicly adored as a frame-wearing, culinary Casanova in my thirties. Go figure. Social commentary and style preferences aside, my vision has definitely changed as I’ve gotten older, and my prescription changes slightly about every ten years. As I age, I’m more mindful than ever about my dietary choices and making sure I’m setting myself up for a lifetime of good eyesight.
Can you relate? Do you experience issues with your vision, or do you currently wear corrective lenses of some kind? I wouldn’t be surprised. It looks like eyesight issues are pretty common for a whole lot of folks in the U.S., with many people needing corrective aids later in life:
- Americans spend more than $400 million on reading glasses each year
- People typically start needing higher prescription lenses in their forties
- By 55 or 60, many people find that they need reading glasses in two strengths
Besides getting a boost from glasses or contact lenses, there’s an abundance of perfect foods and nutrients to keep your eyesight strong (or prevent it from getting worse). Essential antioxidants like carotenoids are fantastic for maintaining sharp eyesight. You can find them in brightly colored foods like carrots, squash, pumpkin, gourds, and other nutritious root vegetables. Nature gives you some pretty easy-to-follow clues regarding which foods contain carotenoids, as indicated by orange, yellow, or red pigmentation.
Eye Love These Nutrients and Foods!
Thanks to Bugs Bunny, most of us think of carrots as the best food for helping our eyesight, with their abundance of beta-carotene and vitamin A. But there are other key nutrients and foods that are just as important for keeping your eyesight sharp as you age.
Vitamins C, A, and E, along with minerals such as copper and zinc, are essential to eyesight. Antioxidants, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, as mentioned, protect the macula, a small area of the eye near the retina, from sun damage. You can get these awesome antioxidants from dark, leafy greens, yellow peppers, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Notice any more color patterns happenin’ here? Current research shows that consuming yellow and green vegetables can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness.
Foods rich in sulfur, cysteine, and lecithin help protect the lens of your eye from cataract formation, which is the clouding of your lenses. Excellent choices to prevent this include garlic, onions, shallots, and capers.
Anthocyanin-rich blueberries, blackberries, grapes, and goji berries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help improve your vision. And DHA, an essential fatty acid found in seaweed and ocean microalgae, provides structural support to the cell membranes, boosting eye health.
As always, it’s best to get these nutrients from whole-food sources, as these foods may contain many other macronutrients and phytochemicals that haven’t been discovered by research yet.