I have beautiful eyes because I eat carrots.
When I was younger my mother tried so hard to get me to eat carrots. She even bought me a doll that talked and said, “I have beautiful eyes because I eat carrots, if I look way up high I can see the moon. She really wanted me to get my beta-carotene!
Did you know that more than 13 million people in the U.S. suffer from macular degeneration, and about half of all Americans over the age of 80 have cataracts?
Protect Your Eyes and Your Children’s Eyes with Food?
Yes, with food. You know I am always telling you to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat every day. One of the reasons is because they are full of antioxidants.
The most important foods for preventing macular degeneration are ones that are rich in the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and astaxanthin…plus zinc and omega-3 fats.
Top 5 Super Foods For Beautiful Eyes
- Mom was right! Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Carrots can easily be added into salads and soups, and are always a great side veggie with lunch or dinner. You can also dip them in just about anything — salsa, hummus, guacamole, almond butter and home made dressings.
2. Bell peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts
- Three B’s that provide a blast of vitamin C! Vitamin C is another key antioxidant shown specifically to protect the eyes. Steam them, roast them, add to soups and omelets … or, combine all three for a pasta primavera (lightly tossed in olive oil and garlic).
3. Sweet potatoes
- Beta-carotene to the rescue once again — thanks to the bright-orange flesh in these sweet, vitamin and mineral rich spuds. Sweet potatoes are a super side with lunch or dinner. Baked them with small amounts of oil, make yummy homemade fries. You can also prepare mashed sweet potatoes: Bake them, remove skins and mash and season with a dash of salt and ground black pepper add some OJ or broth to thin them out.
- Spinach provides four eye-protecting ingredients! It comes packaged with vitamin C, beta-carotene and large amounts of lutein and astaxanthin…a matched pair of antioxidants found in high concentrations in the tissue of the macula.
- Because they absorb 40 to 90 percent of blue light intensity, these nutrients act like sunscreen for your eyes. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in lutein and astaxanthin can increase the pigment density in the macula — and greater pigment density means better retina protection, and a lower risk of macular degeneration.
- Spinach is an obvious side vegetable with dinner. It is also a great base for any kind of salad, and it’s scrumptious sautéed an in an omelet.
5. Wild Salmon
- Even Omega-3 fats help your eyes! Studies have shown that regularly eating foods rich in omega-3 fats can help protect tiny blood vessels buried within the eyes. Wild salmon is a great source.