If you have myopia or astigmatism, you probably know how inconvenient it is to deal with contact lenses or glasses. Lasik surgery is an option, but if it is not your cup of tea to go under the knife and the laser, you can at least improve your eyesight with something more pleasant…food!
There are various foods that are surprisingly beneficial in improving eyesight. While these foods are not panaceas and will not restore you to 20/20 vision, eating generous amounts will help prevent further deterioration of vision and maintain good eye health. They are also excellent for recovery and healthy eyes after lasik surgery. Some of foods good for your eyes are described below, as recommended by a reputable specialist in cataract surgery.
1. Yellow or orange-colored fruits – Papaya, mango, and pumpkin are all loaded with Vitamin A, which helps sharpen sight and prevent night blindness.
2. Green leafy vegetables – Spinach may not give you instant super strength as it does to the cartoon character Popeye, but it does contain substantial amounts of carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect eyes from degeneration. No less than the Glaucoma Research Foundation has attested to this fact. Other healthy green leafy vegetables include broccoli, kale, lettuce, and Brussels sprouts.
3. Fish rich in oils – Tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel contain an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for eye health. They are also excellent sources of DHA which support cell membranes of the eyes and helps treat dry eyes and prevent macular degeneration.
4. Fruits containing Vitamin C – Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, and other Vitamin C rich fruits like tomatoes, guava, and gooseberry help prevent degenerative eye disorders like cataracts. Not only that, they also protect you against infection. You can eat them whole or in the form of juices or smoothies. So enjoy your lemonade, and see the difference!
5. Dark chocolate – Yes, those flavonoids in dark chocolate don’t just keep you in excellent spirits, they also help protect the blood vessels in the eyes to maintain integrity of the cornea and lens. You should look for purer forms of dark chocolate containing at least 60% cacao extracts, as these are the most potent in terms of antioxidants.
6. Eggs – Egg yolks are rich in lutein, fatty acids, B-vitamins, zinc, and sulfur which are all vital for healthy eyes. Sulfur in particular protects against cataract formation.
7. Garlic and onion – They may be somewhat odorous, but don’t shove them aside. Garlic is rich in sulfur which is great for your eye’s lenses. They also boosts immunity and enhances blood circulation. Fresh versions are more effective, so hold your breath but don’t exclude garlic and onion from your diet!
8. Dark berries and grapes – They contain anthocyanins which are helpful for night vision. Some claim that bilberry is especially potent in inhibiting or even reversing macular degeneration, although this is not yet clinically proven. Blueberries, blackberries, and dark grapes also belong to this group.
9. Herbs – Oregano, turmeric, and parsley have been proven beneficial for eyes. And they provide that extra zing and tantalizing aroma in pastas and stews.
The best part is that you can easily obtain these foods from any grocery or health food store without wreaking havoc on your food budget. They not only improve eyesight but also make for a healthy, disease-free lifestyle. So stock up now, and bon appetit!
Dunya Carter is a health writer and a medical student interested in cataract surgery, hoping to become an expert in this area one day.