zeiss-logoIt is often believed that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain. In truth, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), found that certain nutrients such as zinc, copper, vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene may reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by 25%. The AREDS reports support the following 10 nutrient-rich foods:

1. Fishsushi-healthy-fish

Many fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish are fish that have oil in their gut and body tissue, so eating them offers higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil.

The fish that contains the most beneficial levels of omega-3s include:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Herring

Some studies have found that fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer.

2. Nuts and Legumes

Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain a high level of vitamin E, which can protect the eye from age-related damage. Nuts and legumes that are good for eye health include:

  • Walnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Lentils

3. Seeds

Like nuts and legumes, seeds are high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E. Seeds high in omega-3 include:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds

4. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Just like vitamin E, vitamin C is antioxidant which is recommended to fight age-related eye damage. Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits include:

  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits

5. Leafy Green Vegetablesleafy greens and carrots

Leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a good source of eye-friendly vitamin C.Well-known leafy greens include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collards

6. Carrots

Carrots are rich in both Vitamin A and beta carotene. Beta carotene gives carrots their orange colour and Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light. Research on beta carotene’s role in vision is mixed, though the body needs this nutrient to make vitamin A.

7. Sweet Potatoes

Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene. They are also a good source of antioxidant vitamin A and E.

8. Beef

Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration. The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina, and the vascular tissue surrounding the retina. Meats such as chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc, but at lower levels than beef.

9. Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also good sources of vitamins C and E, and zinc.

10. Water

It may come as no surprise that a fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which may reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.