Diet And Eye Care: What Can You Eat To Improve Your Vision?

Posted on: 21 September 2015

If your optometrist diagnoses you with poor vision, take steps to improve it with a better diet. Sometimes, the things you consume in your daily diet affect the health of your eyes. Sugar, carbohydrates and even the oils you cook with can all affect the tissues, cells and blood vessels in your eyes. Instead, add healthy leafy green vegetables and avocado fruit your daily meals. Here's how you do it.

What's the Best Vegetables to Protect Your Eyes?

Although all vegetables benefit your health, some are better for your eyes. This includes leafy, dark green vegetables. Dark green vegetables contain lutein, a nutrient that protects and strengthens your eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts. In addition, lutein protects the cells of body from sun damage, including sunburn of the eyes.

UVB and UVA rays can burn the white portion of your eyes when you expose them to direct sunlight, even in cold weather. Once you develop sunburned eyes, you become overly sensitive to sunlight. If you repeatedly burn your eyes, you place them at risk for cataracts and macular degeneration, which can both lead to blindness.

Since you can't apply sunscreen to your eyes when you go out in the sun, wear darkly-colored sunglasses and eat plenty of leafy green vegetables each day.

How Can You Enjoy Your Leafy Green Vegetables?

According to Health Canada, adult men and women should eat between 7-10 servings of fresh vegetables per day, depending on your age and sex. Strive to eat at least 1-3 servings of your vegetables as raw or cooked arugula, collard greens and kale for the best vision health.

Here's a tasty soup recipe you can make in large batches and enjoy at least three times a week:

  • Rinse and cut 3 cups of collard greens into small bite size pieces.
  • Rinse and dice 3 cups of arugula and 3 cups of spinach in small pieces.
  • Heat 6 cups of water in a large cooking pot or slow cooker on high for 10 minutes.
  • Place your vegetables in the cooking vessel and turn the heat down to low.
  • Flavor your soup with 1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon of low-sodium seasoning and 1 cup of chopped garlic and red onions.
  • Add one cup of ripe tomatoes and carrots to your soup. These vegetables contain beta-carotene, which is antioxidant that improves the cell development of your eyes.
  • Cook your soup for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat. You don't want to lose the nutritional benefits of your veggies by overcooking them.
  • Ladle 1 serving of soup into a bowl and top with whole wheat crackers or croutons for taste.

Divide the rest of the leftovers into two separate meals and place them in sealed storage containers. Place the containers in the freezer to keep your soup fresh and tasty.

What's For Dessert?

After making your soup with leafy green vegetables, enjoy a cool glass of avocado smoothie for dessert. Avocado fruit contains lutein, beta-carotene and other nutrients that protect your eyesight from disease, infection and blindness. Although avocados are not sweet on their own, you can add several other ingredients, such as honey, to improve the taste.

Here's a quick recipe you can make right now for dessert:

  • Wash, peel and slice 2 large ripe avocados into bite size chunks.
  • Pour 1 cup of fat free milk into a blender.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons of vanilla-flavored yogurt to the blender.
  • Add the avocado chunks and 1 tablespoon of honey to the blender.
  • Mix the ingredients on medium for 1-2 minutes, then serve in a tall glass.

You can place your leftover smoothie mix in the freezer, then thaw it out in the refrigerator for later. Try to drink at least one smoothie a week for the best results. You can also enjoy your avocado in salads, cold soups and many other dishes throughout the week.

If you need additional meal ideas to protect your vision, speak to your optometrist, who can also give you additional info on other ways to protect your eyes.