Keep Your Eyes Healthy with These Foods This Summer

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 16-Jun-2015

Keep your eyes healthy with these foods this summerWhat you eat has a direct effect on your overall health, including your eyes. A lack of proper nutrition weakens the eyes and can lead to any number of eye conditions, including macular degeneration, dry eyes, eye infections and cataracts.

Here’s a quick refresher on the nutrients you need for strong, healthy eyes.

Vitamin A
A vitamin A deficiency can cause night vision problems, dry eyes and even some eye infections. Eating foods rich in vitamin A can lower your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Foods that contain vitamin A include:

  • Colorful fruits and veggies
  • Beef
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Milk
  • Eggs

Vitamin C
An important antioxidant that protects the heart, vitamin C can prevent some cancers and strengthen the immune system. Like vitamin A, vitamin C may reduce your risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. Foods that contain vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit
  • Papaya
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Sweet red peppers
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts

Vitamin E
This is another powerful antioxidant that is thought to reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Foods that contain vitamin E include:

  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Seeds
  • Wheat germ
  • Peanut butter
  • Spinach
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Olive oil
  • Whole grains

Carotenoids
The yellow, orange and red pigments found in many fruits and vegetables are carotenoids. It is recommended that you eat carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables every day for overall health (not just eye health). Lutein and zeaxanthin are two types of carotenoids that are important to your eye health, as they help protect your retina from damage by the sun’s rays. Foods that contain carotenoids include:

  • Red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables
  • Dark, leafy greens such as romaine, kale and spinach
  • Broccoli, squash and bell peppers
  • Sweet potatoes

Recipe: Refreshing Citrus Avocado Salad

Boost your eye health this summer with this recipe for a citrus and avocado salad.

DRESSING:
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

SALAD:
2 large grapefruits
4 large oranges
1 small avocado
4 cups shredded lettuce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients except oil; beat with wire whisk until blended. Add oil; beat until well blended. Set aside.

2. Peel and section each fruit. Peel, halve and pit avocado; cut into slices about same size as grapefruit and orange sections.

3. Place shredded lettuce on large platter. Arrange grapefruit and orange segments over top. Toss avocado slices in dressing to prevent darkening. Place avocado on top of fruit. Spoon dressing over salad. Sprinkle with parsley.

Categories: Eye Health
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