We often think about eating healthy as a means to feeling and looking good – but did you know that just like other parts of our bodies, our eyes favour specific nutrients in order to function at their best? Check our these healthy food recipes for your eyes.
Omega 3 fatty acids are an important addition to your diet for good eye health. Eating two or three serves of fish per week will give you enough omega 3 nutrients needed. If you don’t eat fish regularly, look at taking a fish oil supplement to get your recommended dose of omega 3.
Most parts of our body benefit from the nutrients found in leafy green vegetables and our eyes are no exception.
Another food group high in omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamin E, are nuts. Try munching on almonds, walnuts, brazil or pistachio nuts as a healthy snack between meals or sprinkle a handful over your salads for a bit of crunch.
An important source of bioflavonoids and zinc, legumes including kidney beans, lentils and black-eyed peas protect the retina and decrease the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Vitamin C is associated with reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration so include plenty of citrus fruits and berries in your diet. Enjoy your fruits whole for morning or afternoon tea or whizz them up in a drink and include the nutritious pulp.
Eggs are another good source of vitamin A and can help protect against dry eye. Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are carotenoids shown to reduce the risks of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. The lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the eyes’ lens and the macular region of the retina protecting the eyes from damage due to oxidation.
Many of the foods for good eye health contain vitamin A but we need to make sure our bodies absorb as much of the vitamin as possible. Beef contains zinc which helps us absorb vitamin A.
While it’s not strictly a food, water is an important ingredient in our diets. Staying well hydrated keeps your eyes from drying out. Like all organs in our bodies, eyes need water to function properly so make sure you are getting your eight glasses per day.
Here are some meal ideas, jam-packed with nutrients your eyes will love:
- Soups – pumpkin, minestrone, carrot
- Stews & casseroles – load them up with veggies
- Stir fries – change it up with different veggies and sauces
- Beef and veggie sliders – great way to get spinach into the kids!
- Roast vegetables – think carrots, sweet potato and squash
- Kale and spinach salads – throw in some broccoli or grated carrot
- Eggs – add some greens for an extra boost
- Oily fish – try a salmon bake with a side of greens