Eye Conditions and Nutrition: A Guide to Shopping the Local Farmers' Markets to Feed Your Eyes

Posted By Ryan Kuhn || 21-Mar-2012

Growing up your mom may have told you to eat your carrots because they are good for your eyes. Whether you believed her or not, your mom was onto something. Nutrients found in fresh produce and even those found in some nuts are in fact good for the health of your eyes. What you eat can help prevent eye conditions like macular degeneration and dry eyes.

If you want to maintain healthy eyes and prevent eye diseases, we suggest supplementing your diet with the following nutrients.

Vitamin A - A lack of vitamin A can cause night vision problems, dry eyes and even leads to some eye infections. Eating foods rich in vitamin A can lower your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin A is found in colorful fruits and vegetables that contain carotenoids. It is also found in beef, chicken liver, cod liver oil, milk and eggs. Do not eat more than 2,800 micrograms of vitamin a day, as too much vitamin A can be harmful to your health.

Carotenoids - The yellow, orange and red pigments found in many fruits and vegetables are carotenoids, and for overall health, not just eye health, it is recommended that you eat carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables every day. There are different types of carotenoids. Lutein and zeaxathin 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. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet and high-energy visible rays increase risk of damage to the retina and risk of developing macular degeneration.

To ensure you are eating plenty of carotenoids, look for red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. Lutein and zeaxathin are also found in green vegetables like dark, leafy greens such as romaine, kale and spinach, as well as broccoli, squash and bell peppers. While there is no recommended daily amount, researchers suggest that adults should eat at least six to ten milligrams of lutein daily for eye health.

Vitamin C - Vitamin C is another antioxidant that is important for your overall health as it protects the heart, can prevent some cancers and strengthens the immune system, but it is also important for your eyes. Like vitamin A, vitamin C may reduce your risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. Vitamin C is found in oranges, orange juice, red and green bell peppers, grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli and kale.

It is recommended that adults get as much as 1,000mg of vitamin C daily.

Vitamin E - Vitamin E is also thought to reduce risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration of the eye. It is a powerful antioxidant found in almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, spinach, avocados, olive oil and whole grains.

Eating healthy isn’t only about maintaining your figure. Your eyes depend on it. The more fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts you have in your diet, the healthier your eyes will be. To buy the freshest produce and organic produce, shop at one of the many area farmer’s markets. Shopping for fresh produce at the Dallas Farmer’s Market or one of the other area farmer’s markets can help promote a healthy lifestyle, but it can also be fun.

When considering your eye care, be sure to stay up to date with the latest news and information about our life-changing services at Key-Whitman Eye Center. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected!

Categories: Eye Health
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