Nutritious Foods to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Nature has just what you need for energy boosts and vision protection. Get the most from what you eat by choosing a variety of colorful produce that’s rich in antioxidants. Bump up your nutritional intake by selecting foods with selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, zinc, and omega-3 fats. Throw together a colorful salad or steam some vegetables for a terrific side dish or grab some fresh fruit or vegetables for a wholesome snack.

Tasty foods for good health:

Carrots – These portable vegetables are perfect for on-the-go snacking. Carrots contain a lot of vitamin A, and there have been several studies recently showing that this vitamin – along with vitamins C and E – helps to reduce the impact of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Toss them in your salad, dip them in hummus, or just munch on them plain for a flavorful burst of nutrition.

Spinach, Kale, and other Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables – Deep green and leafy, spinach is filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, and loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants act like a natural sunscreen for your eyes and they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Use spinach in salads, steam it, or mix up a low-cal spinach artichoke dip and scoop it up with carrot and bell pepper sticks.

Blueberries – It’s no secret that blueberries are packed with antioxidants, but did you know they pack a punch for overall eye health and wellness, too? According to a study by Tufts University, blueberries may help to reduce your risk of cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. Blueberries are also good for the brain. Studies have shown that blueberries may not only help improve learning and memory capacity, but also can fight the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. They’re high in the soluble fiber pectin, which can help lower cholesterol. Put them in a covered container in the fridge and they’ll last for about a week. They’re very delicate, so don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them. Then, just pop them in your mouth, or add them to yogurt or cereal for a burst of blue goodness.

Sweet Potatoes – This bright-orange root vegetable provides beta carotene, just like carrots. For an easy and fun way to get your vitamins, cut a sweet potato in thin strips. Roast the strips in the oven with a little olive oil and your choice of spices and you’ll soon be enjoying sweet potato fries.

Turkey – This all-purpose protein is delicious in chili, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and more. It’s also loaded with zinc and B-vitamin niacin, which can help prevent cataracts.

Wild Salmon – Studies show that eating foods rich in omega-3s can help protect tiny blood vessels in the eyes. Broil some wild salmon for dinner—this luscious, pink fish is a perfect way to get the omega-3 fats you need. For a tasty and nutritional treat, serve a delicious spinach salad on the side!

Along with getting the most from what you eat, you can protect the health of your eyes by getting an eye exam every year. Combining good nutrition with yearly checkups will increase your defense against serious health conditions. Contact your VSP network doctor to see if they’re available for routine care. Need help finding the eye doctor who’s right for you? Find a doctor on vsp.com or call VSP at 800.877.7195.

Information provided by VSP, learn more at www.vsp.com