What you eat plays a key role not only in your overall health, but in the
health of your eyes, as well. Eating a healthy, nutritious diet and plenty
of fruits and vegetables keeps your eyes healthy, prevents vision loss
and may help prevent some
eye conditions such as night vision problems, macular degeneration, dry eyes and eye
Must-haves nutrients for healthy eyes
Vitamin A— Helps prevent night vision problems, dry eyes, eye infections, cataracts
and macular degeneration.
Carotenoids— Help protect the retina from damage by the sun’s rays and prevent
macular degeneration. (Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that
are particularly good for your eyes.)
Vitamins C and E—antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Zinc— an antioxidant that helps the body absorb vitamin A. It has also been shown
to protect against macular degeneration and night blindness.
Which spring foods contain these nutrients?
Spinach—This is arguably the best spring food for eye health. Rich in zinc, beta-carotene,
vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, spinach contains the nutrients to protect
the eyes against a number of eye conditions, including age-related degeneration.
Kiwi— Not only are they a sweet, refreshing treat, but kiwi fruits contain vitamins
C and E, as well as the carotenoid lutein, which protects against age-related
Asparagus—This fleshy green vegetable is rich in folate and vitamin K. Asparagus
comes with a long list of health benefits, including protecting the eyes
from developing cataracts.
Eggs— There is no true “season” for eggs, but chickens do tend to
lay more eggs during spring, with its longer days and mild temperatures.
Eggs are full of lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect against cataracts.
Oily fish— Wild salmon and sardines are both in season during the spring. These oily
fish contain vital omega-3 fats that are good for your overall health
and help protect the tiny blood vessels inside the eye.
For a delicious, refreshing spring meal, try this grilled salmon and spinach
salad with peach dressing from
Jackie Mills, R.D.,
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-oz) salmon fillets
2 (5-oz) packages baby spinach
Combine sugar, spices, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Rub salmon with brown sugar mixture. Place fillets, skin side down, on
a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill over medium-high heat (350°
to 400°) for 12 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove
skin and discard.
Toss spinach with 1/3 cup Peach Dressing (recipe below). Arrange spinach
on individual serving plates, top with salmon, and drizzle with remaining dressing.
2 peaches, peeled and sliced
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping
occasionally to scrape down sides.