All of us have heard that eating carrots is good for your eyes.
That idea actually comes from leftover World War II propaganda. In order to make sure German soldiers did not learn about the British new radar technology, they told the world that their airmen had superhuman night vision by eating lots of carrots.
In spite of whether or not the ruse worked, the concept endures today in some form. Although carrots and other nutritious foods don’t grant us vision-based superpowers, they do keep our eyes healthy.
The Truth About Carrots and Eye Health
It is true that carrots are healthy for us. Carrots contain high levels of vitamin A, just like other yellow, orange and leafy green vegetables. Beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the intestines, gives the yellow color. Vitamin A provides our eyes with the energy to convert light into brainwaves and keeps our corneas (the clear layer that covers the front of the eye) strong. A vitamin A deficiency causes blindness in up to half a million children each year.
You Can’t Go Wrong with Orange Veggies for Eye Health Purposes
Staying healthy requires antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Vitamin C benefits eye health by preventing cataracts and slowing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are packed with vitamin C. Our eyes require vitamin E to protect them from free radicals (molecules that cause damage to healthy tissue). Sweet potatoes and nuts have a lot of vitamin E.
Greens Eggs and Ham..
Researchers have found that people who get lots of lutein and zeaxanthin are less likely to suffer from chronic eye diseases such as cataracts and AMD. Among the best sources of these nutrients are eggs and leafy greens.
The Catch of the Day: Fish and Oysters
Our brain and immune system require plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, and it has been demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids also support visual development and retinal function. Fish is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids.
The oyster, meanwhile, is a great source of zinc. Vitamin A is transported to our retinas by zinc from our livers. It is useless to eat a vitamin A-rich diet without zinc along with it. Nuts, beans, and meat contain smaller amounts of zinc if you are not a fan of oysters.
Nutrition Isn’t All There Is To Eye Health
We cannot substitute a regular eye exam with eating right, no matter how many nutrients we consume to keep our eyes healthy. A variety of reasons can lead to eye problems unrelated to poor nutrition, and that’s where the optometrist steps in. Problems can be detected in the early stages and treated. So call an eye doctor, like Dr. Medina at Radiant Eyes of Boca for your routine check up.