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Top Foods that Promote Eye Health
Food & Nutrition
Top Foods that Promote Eye Health
Amy Sunderman, MS, RD • May 2, 2022

Best Foods for Eye Health

You know it’s essential to protect your vision, but did you know nutrients from the foods you eat play a big role in the long-term health of your eyes? Some vision changes are a natural part of aging, with our eye health reflecting those effects over time.1 Unfortunately, most people don’t think about eye health until they start noticing vision changes.

Annual eye exams are important, but what happens between those exams makes a considerable difference in the health of your eyes. Regular exercise, wearing UVA/UVB protecting sunglasses, and avoiding smoking are important steps in supporting your eye health. You can also help protect and preserve the health of your eyes by eating the right foods for eye health.

Top foods that promote eye health

Eggs and Lutein: Ideal for Eye Health

Egg yolks are an excellent source of both lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that help protect eyes from oxidative stress and help reduce the risk of certain age-related eye concerns.2 Since these carotenoids are absorbed more efficiently by the body when consumed with fat, the fat content in egg yolks makes them an ideal source of these eye-protecting nutrients and one of the best foods for eye health.

Dark, Leafy Greens: Lutein Foods and Antioxidants for Eye Protection

Spinach, kale, broccoli and other dark greens have seemingly endless health benefits. They help protect your eyes because they are high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, and dark greens contain both lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these nutrients for eye health add up to a protective antioxidant effect for your eyes, helping shield them from UV rays.3

Orange-colored Fruits and Vegetables: Beta-Carotene for Your Eyes

The pigments in orange-colored fruits and vegetables come from beta carotene, a type of vitamin A, which is critical for vision. It helps protect your eyes, helps guard against age-related eye issues, and supports the functioning of the cornea.4 Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, mangos, cantaloupe, peppers and apricots are all sources of vitamin A and great foods for healthy eyesight.

Fatty Fish: Omega-3 for Eye Health

Two crucial omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish: EPA and DHA.5 Studies have shown that people with diets high in omega-3 have fewer age-related macular issues.6 In fact, the people studied were a whopping 40% less likely to have age-related eye issues than people with very little omega-3 in their diets. The lower risk was associated with eating at least two servings per week of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, halibut, herring or other oily fish.7 If you're looking for a vegan source of omega-3 benefits, try our award-winning Plant Based Omega-3 supplement.

Citrus and Berries: Vitamin C and Protective Antioxidants

Citrus fruits and berries are high in vitamin C, considered to be one of the single best vitamins for eye health, as well as citrus bioflavonoids and other antioxidants. There is evidence that these antioxidants play a role in slowing the progression of age-related eye concerns, and studies have shown that high dietary intakes of vitamin C are associated with lower risks of developing some eye diseases.8 Darker berries, like bilberries and blueberries, contain anthocyanosides, a type of plant pigment with potentially positive effects for protecting the retina.9 IThe same benefits are also available in bilberry tea.

Other Foods that are Good for Your Eyes

While the list above isn’t exhaustive, it’s a great start on your journey to better, long-term eye health and preventative care. Other foods that are good for your eyes include corn, avocados, tomatoes and spices such as cayenne pepper or paprika, which are all sources of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Looking for a simple way to get nutrients to support eye health and vision? Our celebrated Synergistic Eye Health features both lutein and zeaxanthin in a convenient combination formula. Similarlly, our Age Related Eye Support formula offers the eye health benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin, combined with vision-supporting nutrients like zinc and vitamin C. 

Click here to discover all the many vision health supplements offered by Swanson Health Products!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Amy Sunderman, MS, RD, Director of Science & Innovation Registered Dietitan
About Amy Sunderman, MS, RD

Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health Products

Amy is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author with over 17 years of experience in the supplement industry. Amy is passionate about dietary supplements and the health benefits they offer. She enjoys working to find novel nutritional ingredients with strong clinical research behind them to drive innovation and provide health-promoting products to consumers.

Sources

1. Vision and Aging Resources. National Eye Institute. Read source

2. Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin. National Library of Medicine. Read source

3. Eating for Healthy Vision. Vision Service Plan. Read source

4. Vitamin A and Carotenoids. National Institutes of Health. Read source

5. The Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids. WebMd. Read source

6. Fish Oil May Help Save Your Eyes. WebMD. Read source

7. Eating Fish May Preserve Eyesight. WebMD. Read source

8. Vitamin C. National Institutes of Health. Read source

9. Anthocyanidins. PubMed. Read source

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