Your eyes need proper nourishment for lifelong, healthy vision, and fall vegetables are some of the best sources of essential nutrients.
The autumn season provides a bountiful harvest of squash, root vegetables, legumes and leafy greens that contain high amounts of antioxidants. These vitamins and minerals neutralize free radicals and protect eye cells from oxidative stress.
Research suggests that people who eat more vegetables and fruits are less likely to develop chronic diseases. A diet that is rich in antioxidants like zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A, C and E can help prevent age-related eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Buying produce from a vegetable stand, co-op or farmer’s market allows you to eat vegetables that are locally grown and harvested at the peak of ripeness. You’ll find that the produce tastes better because it has ripened on the vine, which also makes it more nutritious.
Vitamin or Mineral That Promotes Eye Health
- Beta carotene and vitamin A: Pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, cantaloupe, acorn squash, curly kale
- Vitamin C: Broccoli, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip greens
- Vitamin E: Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, pumpkin seeds, butternut squash
- Zinc: Lima beans, spinach, beet greens, okra, sunflower seeds, peanuts, zucchini
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: Collard greens, radicchio, watercress, arugula, green peas, leeks, broccoli rabe
Eat a rainbow of fall vegetables for optimum eye health. Incorporate red peppers, orange yams, yellow squash, green limas and purple beets into your autumn menu and remember that More Matters. Try to eat at least five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily and purchase local produce if possible.
As the calendar year comes to a close, call your ophthalmologist for an annual comprehensive eye exam. Yearly eye check-ups are just as crucial for eye health as a well-balanced diet. Your eye doctor will test your visual acuity, evaluate your current prescription and screen you for degenerative eye disease.