Although carrots have traditionally been hailed as the “go-to” vegetable to prevent vision problems, research suggests that green and yellow vegetables may be better options. According to the American Optometric Association, kale and spinach are particularly high in the nutrients associated with a decreased risk for age-related eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Green and yellow vegetables are potent sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that protect the retina against the oxidative damage that leads to vision problems. Spinach and kale top the list of eye-friendly veggies. Kale contains more nutritional value per calorie than any other food. One cup of kale provides 20 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale is also a potent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Spinach is another nutritional powerhouse that is loaded with many of the same nutrients.
Related: What Foods Help Improve Eyesight?
Other vegetables that offer vision benefits include squash, broccoli, turnip greens, collard greens and lettuce. Always choose organic, locally grown vegetables for maximum nutritional value.
Because many people don’t get the nutrients they require through diet alone, millions of Americans use nutritional supplements to help protect against vision problems. Talk to your holistic health practitioner about adding supplements to your daily regimen.
While nutrition plays a vital role in vision health, an overall healthy lifestyle is equally important:
Don’t Smoke: Studies show that smoking doubles the risk for cataracts and triples the risk macular degeneration. Smoking harms the eyes because it impedes the circulation of blood to the eye and damages the delicate blood vessels in the eye.
Wear Sunglasses: The UV radiation from the sun can damage sensitive eye tissue and can actually burn the front surface of the eye. Always wear sunglasses that provide maximum UV protection. Wear a wide-brimmed hat when you are in direct sunlight.
Step Away From The Screen: Excessive time in front a computer screen can cause eye strain, dry eye syndrome and other vision problems. If your job requires you to use a computer several hours a day, take frequent breaks to rest your eyes.