7 Foods for Healthy Eyes

For brighter eyes and clearer vision, these foods can help.
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  • Kale
    Kale

    Kale

    Cooked kale, spinach, collards, and turnip greens (along with broccoli and eggs) are crammed full of lutein and zeaxanthin -- two powerful antioxidants that may help protect against retinal damage and the onset of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Try it: Put kale on the menu tonight with this braised kale recipe from dLife. 

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  • Oranges
    Oranges

    Oranges

    Vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies -- like oranges, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, and red bell peppers -- help support blood vessels in the eye and may reduce the risk of cataracts. Try it: Get a burst of C with this banana and orange smoothie recipe from Dole.

     

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  • Peanuts
    Peanuts

    Peanuts

    Peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, a nutrient known for protecting eyes from free-radical damage. Vitamin E may also hinder the progression of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are other good sources of vitamin E. Try it: Treat your eyes to this beef satay with peanut sauce recipe from dLife.

     

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  • Kidney Beans
    Kidney Beans

    Kidney Beans

    Your eyes do love a cup of red kidney beans straight out of the can. Why? Because they are a good source of zinc, a mineral that is vital to eye health. It helps get vitamin A from the liver to the retina for eye-protective melanin production, and proper amounts of zinc help with night vision and cataract prevention, too. Oysters are another good source, along with beef, seafood, poultry, and pumpkin seeds. Try it: Go south of the border with this hearty garden taco salad recipe from dietician Kat Barefield.

     

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  • Salmon
    Salmon

    Salmon

    Salmon has two types of omega-3 fatty acids -- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) -- both of which may be important in preventing or slowing down eye diseases. A lack of omega-3s may also contribute to dry eye syndrome. Other omega-3 sources include tuna, sardines, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Try it: Whip up this Asian-style salmon with sautéed carrots and leeks from Dole.

     

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  • Whole Grains
    Whole Grains

    Whole Grains

    A recent study suggests that a low-glycemic-index (GI) diet may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by almost 8%. One way to quickly lower the GI of a meal? Use high-fiber whole grains instead of refined carbs. Think quinoa, brown rice, whole oats, and whole-wheat breads and pasta rather than products made from refined grains or refined, enriched flour. Try it: Go whole grain with your side dish tonight by using this quinoa bean salad recipe.

     

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  • Apricots
    Apricots

    Apricots

    Trouble seeing at night? Maybe some apricots are in order. Apricots are rich in beta carotene, a carotenoid that the body converts to vitamin A. And research shows beta carotene may help with night vision -- and possibly even play a part in preventing cataracts. Carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and winter squash are other great sources of beta carotene. Start your day with these morning muffins.

     

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  • Do the Combo
    Do the Combo

    Do the Combo

    Emerging research suggests that getting eye-supporting nutrients in combination -- in the context of a low-glycemic-index diet -- may have the most profound effect on slowing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). So do your eyes an even bigger favor: Don't focus on a single nutrient. Instead, eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, choose healthy fats and high-fiber carbs, and reduce your intake of red meat, sugars, and refined flours. Are you getting the nutrients you need to stay young?

     

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7 Foods for Healthy Eyes