June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables month – just in time for Farmers’ Markets in Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County to start offering local produce. Often higher in nutritional content than frozen options, fresh fruits and vegetables offer a delicious way to incorporate needed nutrients into your diet – several of which have been proven to help slow or even prevent certain age-related eye disorders and diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
While necessary for people of all ages, a healthy diet becomes increasingly important for adults over the age of 40, the point at which age-related vision problems can begin to take root. However, many supplements, while useful to a point, may not provide the right amount of bioavailable nutrients needed to offer maximum protection. Choosing a diet primarily consisting of whole foods is one of the easiest ways to make sure you are getting the nutrients your eyes need to stay healthy well into your autumnal years.
The Best Nutrients for Eyes – And Where to Get Them
Antioxidants have been identified as some of the most efficacious defenders of eye health. Key antioxidants include:
- Vitamin C. Readily available in bell peppers and broccoli, as well as kiwi fruit, many berries, and several tropical fruits
- Vitamin E. Found in sweet potatoes, avocados, dark leafy greens, and some vegetable oils
- Vitamin A & Beta Carotene. Abundant in carrots, squash, cantaloupe, kale, and collard greens
- Lutein & Zeaxanthin. Available in green peas, turnip greens, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce
- Found in tomatoes, grapefruit, and watermelon
Several of these antioxidants, as well as zinc and selenium, can be found in certain grains, several different types of nuts, a variety of beans and legumes, and select meat and dairy products. This allows people who subscribe to various diets, from Keto to Mediterranean to vegan, to get the nutrients they need through whole, unprocessed foods, something that can be especially useful for lifelong vision health.
Vision Problems? We Can Help
If you are experiencing any vision changes, our board-certified ophthalmologists are here to help. Please call Seeta Eye Center at 845-454-1025 to schedule a consultation at our Poughkeepsie or Fishkill office today.