As we begin to focus our sights more clearly on healthy eating, it’s easy to let calories and fat dominate as the only focal points in our diet. But we shouldn’t let ourselves forget about those important little nutrients that enable our eyes to focus in the first place. In a recent blog post, Healthy Eats for Healthy Eyes, Louise Goldberg of An Apple a Day Nutrition Consulting shares nutritious and healthy ways to keep our eyes strong throughout life.
Let’s take a glimpse at a couple of nutrients that are key players in keeping our eyes healthy and our vision sharp.
Lutein. Lutein is an antioxidant that protects our bodies (and eyes) from harmful free radicals caused by high intensity rays of light. If the free radicals build up, over time they will cause severe damage to the nerves of the eye resulting in vision problems. The bad news is that Lutein is not synthesized in the body; however the good news is that our diets can provide us with plenty of rich sources of Lutein.
Dietary Sources of Lutein:
Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, romaine lettuce)
Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Omega-3 fatty acids. Recent studies have also shown significant evidence that Omega-3 fatty acids may prevent macular degeneration. To put it simply, macular degeneration occurs when the small portion of the retina, known as the macula deteriorates. Omega-3s prevent this deterioration of the macula because of its anti-inflammatory properties and behave similarly to Lutein with the key role of eliminating free radicals.
Dietary Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Fish and Seafood
It’s easy to pump up our diet with free radical fighting Omega-3s by simply adding flax seeds to cookies, cakes, oatmeal, or granola. Also strive to cook fish or seafood at least once or twice a week. Your eyes will thank you later!
What are your favorite Lutein-rich foods? Omega-3 rich foods? Any not on the list?
An Intern Behind the Plate,
An Apple a Day Nutrition Consulting is a blog written and maintained by Louise Goldberg RD, CSP, LD, CSNC. Louise is one of Around the Plate’s Nutrition Experts and is a member of thePlate Community. As a Nutrition Expert, Louise makes eating healthy simple. Find other nutrition experts, recipe gurus, and healthy eating champions on our community blog network.