Eye Health and Nutrition: Eat Your Way to 20/20 Vision

Before we tackle the intricate world of nutrition and try to pick and choose the best foods and nutrition habits to elevate your eye health over the long-term, let’s get one thing straightened out first: there is no healthy diet that can substitute your prescription glasses or contact lenses, and there is no excuse for avoiding a trip to your eye doctor (professionally known as an ophthalmologist) at least once a year. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about how healthy eating might help you safeguard your vision over the years, prevent certain age-related conditions such as cataracts, and simply elevate your quality of life.

eye health and nutrition

As you might have guessed, many of the nutritional rules we’ll be touching on today are your basic rules for a healthier lifestyle overall, but tweaking your nutrition and even supplementing with the right vitamins and minerals can help you protect your eyesight. Here are the changes you need to make:

Choose complete protein sources

Protein is one of the building blocks of life, and it’s absolutely imperative that you get enough protein throughout the day to prevent the degeneration of muscle mass (muscle atrophy), boost mental health, and of course, preserve stellar vision as the years go by. However, your emphasis should be on quality protein, as there is a difference between proteins derived from sources high in saturated fats, and the proteins derived from lean sources.

In your quest to retain the quality of your eyesight and prevent the deterioration of the macula in your eyes, be sure to choose complete proteins found in lean meats, whole eggs which are also high in lutein (carotenoid also found in leafy greens), fish, nuts, legumes, as well as certain dairy products if you’re not lactose intolerant.

protein eye health

Banish sugary foods and drinks

It should go without saying that there is no room for junk food in a healthy diet plan. Junk food can be anything from overly processed foods, to sugary sweets and drinks, all the way to the seemingly “healthy” products such as cereal, which are actually laden with corn syrup and loaded with sugar. As you might have guessed, sugars and unhealthy fillers such as refined white flour are not only poor sources of micro and macronutrients, but they can also elevate the risk of age-related health conditions.

While there is no doubt that you should refrain from sugary sweets and processed foods as much as you can, you shouldn’t banish carbohydrates in the process. Carbs are the body’s primary source of energy, and certain carb sources are rich in healthful nutrients the likes of vitamins, minerals such as zinc, and antioxidants. These healthy sources will help you safeguard your eye health over the years.

Useful Resource: Things a Dietician Can Do to Help You

Consider supplementation for healthier eyes

Supplements are just that, they are there to supplement your healthy diet – not to replace a bad one, or to treat its effects. Nevertheless, some supplements such as multivitamins can help you protect your vision by supplying your body with the necessary micro and macronutrients. Supplementation can help you prevent dryness of the eyes, and allow you to buy good contact lenses online knowing that you will be able to wear them throughout the day without experiencing any discomfort. Even if you’re wearing prescription glasses, you can use supplementation to hinder eye fatigue and strain.

Supplementing with daily multivitamins and antioxidants becomes even more important later in life, especially as you’re approaching seniority, as you’re running a higher risk of developing mild conditions such as dryness, but also some serious conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Be sure to choose supplements high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.

Don’t forget about healthy fats

Healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), containing omega-3 fatty acids, are the kinds of fats you want in your diet no matter if you’re treating a certain condition or if you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle overall. When it comes to eye health, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as avocados, various nuts and seeds, fish, flaxseed oil and canola oil, dark chocolate, eggs, olives, and yogurt, can help you prevent dry eyes and maybe even prevent cataracts. Be sure to snack on these foods throughout the day to boost absorption and metabolize the right amount of healthy fats.

omega3 fatty acids eye health

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Stay hydrated throughout the day

And finally, do make sure you’re hydrated on a regular basis. In the quest to adopt healthier diet habits and other healthy regimes in general, people tend to forget that pure aqua enables numerous healthy processes in the body, including preventing dryness and age-related illnesses.

Yes, you can drink healthy smoothies, coffee, tea, various freshly-squeezed juices, and even dairy products to get those much-needed minerals and vitamins, but do remember to drink plenty of water during the day as well. You will find that you’re thirstier than you thought, and that hydrating is making you feel revitalized and energized.

Final thoughts

Healthy lifestyle changes can make a positive impact on your life in a myriad of ways, and tidying up your nutrition can help you preserve your vision as the years go by. Complement a healthy diet plan with the right prescription glasses or lenses, and don’t forget to visit your ophthalmologist from time to time, and you should have no problem retaining your 20/20 vision.

Lauren Laporte
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