Discover how diet can affect your sight, and how a few small lifestyle changes and food swaps can help protect vision.
FOODS THAT IMPROVE
The foods we eat can play an important role in keeping eyes functioning well by helping decrease the risk of eye disease and vision loss. Vitamins and minerals found in certain foods can play a role in reducing the chances of developing cataracts (cloudy vision) or age-related macular degeneration (vision loss) among other benefits. The good news is that the things you already eat for a healthy diet—fruits, vegetables, low-fat protein like fish and whole grains—are also good for eyes. Like the rest of the body, eyes rely on blood flowing through arteries for oxygen and nutrients. Food can have a direct impact on keeping arteries clear of blockages, which reduces blood flow. Limiting the amount of fatty foods such as processed meat, fried foods and full-fat dairy you eat also can help keep eyes healthy and vision clear.
Incorporate these eye-friendly foods into your diet to see results.
Foods with vitamin A, including carrots, help turn light into the images we see. They also help prevent dry eye and grow new tissue cells to support retina health.
Diet isn’t the only way to maintain vision.
Here are a few lifestyle changes to consider:
More ways to support eye health
Increase physical activity.
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Get eight hours or more of sleep each night.
Take time away from your screen, whether computer or smart phone.
Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Wash hands thoroughly before touching contact lenses or any part of your eye.
Eating a diverse diet is a simple, effective way to get many of the nutrients needed to maintain healthy eyes. For example, yellow and orange produce generally contain vitamins A and C, which may help lower the risk of developing some eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Additionally, dark leafy greens have the highest concentration of antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage that may lead to blurred or impaired vision.
The Need For Variety
Reduced vision among mature
adults can result in social isolation, family stress and a higher likelihood
of additional health conditions.
with Kale Pesto
American Institute of Opthalmology
36 Foods to Boost Eye Health
Blueberry- Banana &
—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Diversify Your Diet
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15×10-in. rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Combine ½ cup Hy-Vee chopped walnuts, ½ cup Hy-Vee natural sliced almonds, ½ cup coarsely chopped Hy-Vee dried mixed berry blend, ¼ cup whole golden flaxseed, ¼ cup Full Circle Market organic chia seeds and ¼ cup white sesame seeds in large bowl. Stir in ½ cup Hy-Vee honey and 2 Tbsp. melted Hy-Vee refined coconut oil until well combined. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Press out to within 1 in. of edges of pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Tear into pieces. Serves 24.
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Eat a Colorful Diet
Vitamin C, found in lemons and other citrus fruits, is an antioxidant that can delay cataracts, an eye condition causing blurry vision. It helps repair cells damaged by smoking, sunlight and eating fried food.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant in almonds and other nuts that has been linked with slowing the progression of macular degeneration.
Two powerful antioxidants in kale and other leafy greens, lutein and zeaxanthin, can help protect the eye’s macula and maintain precise vision.
Omega-3 fatty acids in some fish have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent dry eye, support tear function and reduce the risk of developing eye disease.
Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, seeds are a good alternative source of omega-3s for those who do not eat fish.
Find a Local Dietitian
Talk to a Hy-Vee dietitian for personalized nutrition advice. They also can recommend dietary adjustments or supplements to support eye health.
Place 1 cup ice cubes, 1 cup Hy-Vee frozen unsweetened wild blueberries, 1 cup 100% pomegranate juice and 1 peeled and sliced medium banana in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into 2 serving bowls. Garnish with Hy-Vee chopped walnuts, pomegranate arils, fresh blueberries and/or blueberry hemp granola. Serve immediately. Serves 2 (1⅓ cups each).
We heard it growing up—‘Eat your carrots, they’ll help you see better.’ While carrots are an eye-friendly pick due to their vitamin A content (a vitamin needed for healthy vision), don’t count out other nutritious foods. By adding dark leafy greens, peas, summer squash, broccoli and pistachios to your meal plan, you’ll reap the benefits of nutrients that are thought to play a key role in preventing macular degeneration. Adding these, along with some healthy fats for better absorption, will be a sight for sore eyes.”
—Paige Green, RD, LD
LET A HY-VEE DIETITIAN HELP