Age and other factors can affect our vision, but a nutrient-rich diet can certainly play a part in helping maintain vision as we age. Here’s a look at some of the essential vitamins and minerals experts tell us can help protect and preserve vision.
Vitamin C: Do you love citrus? Vitamin C is a secret weapon because it can diminish exposure to environmental factors. It’s also a boon to maintaining healthy blood vessels. So “C” your way to healthy eyesight. This sweet potato and black bean chili recipe delivers on vitamin C.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A, found in liver, egg yolks, etc., is necessary in the process by which the retina detects light. But there’s more to vitamin A than meets the eye. Beta carotene is a precursor of Vitamin A, because the body converts it into A. You can find beta carotene in yellow and orange vegetables, such as carrots and pumpkin. Green leafy vegetables are chock full of vitamin A, too. This vitamin A juice packs a mean nutritional punch.
Lutein and zeaxanthin: This dynamic duo acts as a nutrient powerhouse. Both are powerful protectors against oxidative stress. Oxidation is a normal and necessary biological process. Oxidative stress, however, occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity. When functioning properly, free radicals can help fight off pathogens and ultimately disease.
The best food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, broccoli and parsley), egg yolks, kiwi, corn and pumpkin. Speaking of kale, it’s more than just a trend — it’s a favorite of nutritionists for a reason. Kale chips make for a tasty and healthful side dish or snack.
Zinc: Nutrients run the gamut from A to Z, literally. Zinc can help in the fight against macular degeneration. The human body does not produce an adequate amount of zinc, therefore daily intake of zinc through diet, nutritional supplements, or fortified foods and beverages can help to bridge the gap. Red meat, quinoa, seafood, poultry, eggs, wheat germ, mixed nuts, black-eyed peas, tofu and beans contain zinc.
Beyond your shopping list, you can take control of your vision by staying current on eye exams. Request an appointment today at one of our locations and rest a little easier knowing you’re in good hands.