Super Foods For Better Health

Many people have asked me, “are there foods I can eat to prevent my vision from worsening?”, and “do carrots really help you see better?”. The answer is, both, yes and no. While you won’t cure any vision loss you already have, you can potentially keep your eyesight where it is and prevent conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Not only is it good for your vision, but it is good for your whole body. Keep reading to learn more!

 

In the United States, way too many people eat a diet extremely high in unhealthy fats with a lack of fruits and vegetables. To protect your vision, it is important to eat a low-fat diet that is accompanied by grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables. You may wonder, how about healthy fats? As I will explain a little bit further down, there are natural and unprocessed fats that are perfectly fine! I did not say a no-fat diet, I said low. The fats you want to avoid are processed fats. A few examples of that would be fast food, butter, desserts, fatty cuts of meat, etc. When your body is not clogged up with processed fats, the arteries will open up, allowing oxygen to transport easily. This just makes for better overall health!

 1. Leafy green vegetables

Lowering the risk of age-related macular degeneration – Leafy green vegetables

Macular degeneration is a condition that occurs inside the macula, which is inside the retina. This controls your detailed central vision. If you have this condition, you will not be able to see well. It usually looks like a giant blind spot right in the middle of your vision. We do not want this to happen! There are two different types of macular degeneration, dry and wet. For dry, there are no treatment options other than glasses or contacts. For wet, there are injections. Who wants an injection in the eye, though? To prevent this, it is so important to make sure you are eating plenty of leafy green vegetables. A couple of great examples are spinach and kale. These are high in Lutein and Zeaxanthin. There are many options when it comes to adding greens to your diet. Of course, you can have a salad. But if you aren’t a fan of salad, try chopping some up and adding it to your sandwiches, pastas, or smoothies.

 

2. Vitamin C

Preventing damage from free radicals, cataracts, and macular degeneration – Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great for your eyes! It helps repair and grow new tissue. In addition, it could also prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. These fruits have antioxidants and are great at preventing damage from free radicals. Fruits high in vitamin C includes oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.

3. Carrots 

Finally….what everyone asks about…carrots!

Carrots have beta-carotene which is extremely beneficial to the body. Once you eat beta-carotene, it turns into Vitamin A in the body, which turns into retinol. Beta-carotene metabolizes inside the retinal cells. It is also good for the cornea and the mucus membrane of the eyes. Retinol is important for maintaining the structural integrity of the retina. It also helps form the photo-sensitive pigments of the retina that initiates vision. We definitely want these things to happen!

4. Orange fruits and vegetables

While carrots do have these properties of nutrition, it is important to understand that a lot of fruits and vegetables have an even higher amount of Vitamin A. These include sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and apricots. If you like sweet potatoes, that is a super easy way to get plenty of Vitamin A in a small serving. A great way to snack on these is just to roast them in the oven or air fryer with a little bit of olive oil and salt.

 

5. Zinc

Many people are interested in healthy fats. This is where the “low-fat”, not “no-fat” comes in. Here are a few! They are almonds, avocados, and sunflower seeds. Yum!

 

Macular integrity and regulating the tear film – Zinc

Black-eyed peas, lima beans, oysters, lean red meat, kidney beans, cereals, and cold-water fish are all high in zinc. These foods are important for preventing conditions that could occur later in life. One food, in particular, is fish. Fish is great for regulating the tear film. When the tear film is healthy, you are doing a great job at combatting dry eye syndrome. Fish is also rich in omega-3 which is healthy for many reasons. The main fish options that are super healthy include salmon, tuna, and sardines.  

 

I hope you learned about a food you can implement into your diet to help protect your vision! Thank you for reading and if you would like to watch my YouTube video explaining this all, you can watch it below!

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Aloha!

I'm Rupa Wong.

Hi! I'm Dr. Rupa Wong. Physician. Private Practice Owner. Mama to 3 kids. Managing Partner. Educator. Textbook Author. Conference Co-Founder. Mentor. I am more than just one thing, even as a doctor and I bet you are too. I would love to help you envision the life you want, and then get after it. What are you waiting for?

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