We often tailor our diet to achieve a variety of health benefits – forgetting that the foods we eat can benefit our vision.
Dr. Helen Brandenborg was featured in the news publications 24 Hours Toronto, Toronto Sun and Niagara Falls Review to discuss the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help keep your eyes strong – and where to find them.
Above all, Dr. Brandenborg recommends a balanced diet to prevent or delay age-related eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. These ailments currently affect more than 25 million people worldwide. The solution? Cut back on saturated fats and sugar, and boost your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Brandenborg recommends introducing nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C and E, beta carotene and zinc to your diet to improve your vision. Lutein and zeaxanthin, which can be found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale, are naturally found in the retina. Even more, foods high in vitamin C, such as berries, brussel sprouts and broccoli, can help keep your eyes strong as you age.
Carrots are often thought to be the best vegetable for visual health – with its supply of beta carotene – however, Dr. Brandenborg also suggests eating foods such as sweet potato, pumpkin soup, squash, kale and red pepper – all of which are sources of beta carotene.
To get your fill of vitamin E, eat more sunflower seeds, almonds or pecans, or introduce a small amount of vegetable oil or wheat germ oil to your diet.
There are a variety of foods which supply the eye with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it requires:
Rich in lutein and zinc, eggs help to protect the sensitive retina and prevent macular degeneration
The fatty acids omega 3 and DHA often found in fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel supply the eye with moisture
Leafy greens, acai, blueberries, collard greens, corn, bright coloured fruits and grapes are all great sources of antioxidants which lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts