Healthy Foods for Healthy Eyes
February marks a whole month of putting those New Year's resolutions to work. One of the most popular New Year's resolutions we hear is to lose weight. I’m sure there are a good number of our readers who are still going strong, but for those of you who might be losing steam, here are 5 quick tips for eating not only for overall health, but also for eye health.
1. Make sure to eat those green, leafy veggies!
As we’re sure you know by now, green leafy vegetables are a wealth of vitamins and antioxidants. Mix that with the fact that they are low in calories and high in fiber, and you’ve got yourself a filling side dish, or meal, that really packs a nutritional punch. Leafy vegetables are full of lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that are known to slow the development of macular degeneration and cataracts.
2. Whole grains are delicious, and also great source of sight-saving vitamins.
Swapping out refined carbohydrates for whole grains automatically boosts your vitamin E, niacin, and zinc intake. Because whole grains have not been stripped of their nutrients, they contain high levels of these vitamins and minerals. By making a conscious effort to eat whole grain carbohydrates, such as quinoa, brown rice, whole grain pastas and breads, you are promoting overall eye health within your body.
3. There’s a fish in the sea for everyone, and they’re full of Omega 3’s.
Do you have dry eyes? There is research that says eating more Omega 3 fatty acids will help in your battle against them. The best place to find Omega 3 fatty acids are in cold water fish. Not only are Omega 3’s great for dry eyes, they may help protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. If you hate fish, nuts are also a great place to find Omega 3’s.
4. Kate Spade says “Live Colorfully”--Take that advice with your food as well.
Colorful fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins A and C, as well as carotenoids, a phytochemical that may help decrease your risk for certain eye diseases. Vitamins A and C also help protect the surface of the cornea, keeping it nice and healthy and functioning. They also aid in fighting off dry eye symptoms.
5. Eat your seeds, Sunshine! Sunflower seeds are good for you!
One snack that is low in calories and high in nutrition are sunflower seeds! Not only do they offer a healthy alternative to chips and candies, they also are packed with vitamin E and zinc. Zinc is a mineral that not only helps your body absorb vitamin A, but also helps reduce the number of free-radicals, non-charged atoms that can wreak havoc on your cells. Sunflower seeds, the unsalted variety, are a great snack if you’re watching salt intake and want to protect your eyes in the process.
Making small changes is the key to success when it comes to sticking to a new nutrition plan. Pick one of our points to implement, and you’ll start noticing a happier, healthier you in no time.