What We Eat Now Affects Our Health – and Eyes – Later


There’s no doubt that you’ve heard all the talk about how the food you eat has a major impact on your overall health. I mean, if you’ve been here before, you know we talk about it all the time!


You know that you can develop heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and many other health issues as a result of the food you put into your body. What we can’t stress enough is that the food you eat also has an impact on the health of your eyes and vision now and as you age.


When your mom used to tell you stories about how eating your carrots would keep your eyes healthy, it wasn’t just a gimmick to get you to eat your veggies – or maybe it was, but it is actually true. There are many different foods, nutrients, and vitamins that can greatly improve your eyesight and decrease your risks of developing age-related eye problems later on.


You should also be aware that it isn’t just the good healthy foods you put into your body that can affect your eyesight, but it’s the bad foods too. If your diet consists of a lot of saturated fats and sugars, you could be increasing your risk for developing eye and vision problems.


Your Diet and Your Eyes

No one wants to consider the possibility of losing their eyesight or developing problems that make their vision worse, but it can and does happen every single day to people all around the world. Even if genetics play a part in certain eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, you can still decrease the likelihood that you will develop those conditions by ensuring that you are getting all the proper nutrients that promote good eye health.


A healthy diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables. That’s not news to most people, but some people don’t realize just how much of these foods they need to stay healthy. You should be eating between five and 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which translates to between 2-1/2 and 6-1/2 cups every day.


Most people eat three or less servings of fruits and vegetables each day, which is way under the recommendation and might explain why so many people are suffering from eye diseases as well as other health problems.


For the majority of people, it’s not that they just aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables every day because they don’t want to, but rather it’s because it’s difficult to find the time to eat enough of them.


Let’s face it, life is chaotic and these days you’re lucky if you have time to sit down as a family to eat a decent dinner, much less find the time to eat a well-balanced meal at breakfast and lunch as well, so it’s no wonder why so many people aren’t getting the proper nutritional intake that they need to keep their eyes and bodies healthy.


The Right Foods to Eat

In regards to eye health specifically, dark green leafy vegetables and bright orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are the ones that contain the best sources of nutrients that promote good eye health. Vitamins A and C and nutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin are found in high concentrations in these color groups of fruits and vegetables and they are the ones you want to target specifically for your eyes.


Other beneficial eye-healthy nutrients include Omega-3-fatty acids, protein, and whole grains. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high amounts in fish as well as in walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil.


Protein can be found in a lot of different foods like meats and dairy, but you want to be careful to stay away from the saturated fats that are also found in these food groups, so it’s better to go with lean meats, nuts, eggs, fish, and legumes for your daily protein intake.


Whole grains are better for your eye health because the refined white flour and sugars that are found in other grains can increase your risk of eye diseases.


You want to have healthy eyes for as long as possible and eating the right kinds of food, cutting out the junk and bad foods, and taking a supplement on a daily basis will help to delay the onset of age-related eye diseases and possibly even prevent them from occurring altogether later on.


This post originally appeared on Rebuild Your Vision.