Foods for Your Eyes

Woman holding a slice of cucumberYou can do more for your eyes than wear glasses.

The other day, I was visiting with my young niece after she returned from an eye doctor’s appointment. She’d been wearing glasses for a year and was told she should keep wearing them as a preventative measure against worsening vision.


But there is so much more that she can do to protect eye health. And you can do just as much. As important as corrective lenses are, the foods you eat can also help prevent failing eyesight and other vision-related problems.

You might think that poor vision is inevitable with age. But food choices can reduce the risk of age-related vision loss and keep you looking clearly towards the future.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) published in 2001 identified a series of nutrients that may reduce age-related declines in eye health. In 2013, they found that specific variations and combinations may offer added benefits.

Nutrients found to possess benefits to eye health and reduce risk for vision impairment include:

  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Beta carotene
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Lutein

So, what can you eat to promote healthy eyes and better vision? Try the following:

Fish: Tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and more are rich in omega-3s and other nutrients that benefit eye health. To get the most from fish, don’t fry or deep fry.

Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes: Nuts, seeds, and legumes are great sources of vitamin E and omega-3s.


Leafy Greens: Leafy greens are a great source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which have notable benefits to eye health. Spinach, kale, and collards are great sources. They also pack plenty of vitamin C.

Carrots and Sweet Potato: Bright orange foods are rich in vitamin A and beta carotene. These nutrients help the retina absorb light to promote good vision.

Beef: Beef is a great source of zinc, which may help delay age-related sight loss and other vision problems. You can get decent amounts of zinc from chicken and pork, but not as much as you’ll get from beef.

Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.