Stephen Rose: Hi! I am Dr. Steve Rose of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and I am talking about healthy vision tips. Now I am going to tell you what to eat to keep your eyes healthy. As with every organ in our bodies, our eyes function best when they receive the right nutrients. Eating a diet rich in certain vitamins and nutrients can help keep your eyes healthy. And can even help prevent the onset of eye diseases like Macular Degeneration.
Let's start with the foods that are bad for our vision. In the media, we constantly we constantly hear about the obesity problem in America. And the terrible effects of being overweight can have on our health. Well, it probably won't come as a surprise to you that being over weight or obese, increases your risk of developing diabetes and other symptomatic conditions, which can lead to vision loss. Diabetic Retinopathy and Glaucoma are just two examples of this. So how do we lower our risk of these diseases and keep our eyes healthy?
The first step is to eat less fat, especially saturated fat and trans-fats. Trans-fats are often found in processed snack foods like package bake goods. Cutting items that are high in fat and low in nutrients out of your diet will help keep your eyes healthy, and it might whittle down your waist line too. Now that we've talked about what you shouldn't eat, let's talk about the different foods that can help boost your eye health. Generally speaking, fruits and vegetables are terrific combatants against vision loss, the more colorful the better. For instance fruits and veggies with a reddish pigment to them like carrots and cantaloupe offer a large dose of beta-carotene which is a terrific nutrient for your eyes. Dark green leafy vegetable like broccoli, arugula and kale are also very important in your healthy vision diet. They contain vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy, such as Carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eye against some of the natural deterioration that comes with aging. Incorporating antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A or beta carotene into your diet will also protect your eyes and boost your eye health. And certain minerals are also thought to be connected to eye health. Zinc for example has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by about 25%. Omega-3 fatty acids are also excellent for your eye health. Cold water fish such as tuna and salmon are high and helpful omega-3s. Or if you are not a big fan of fish, you can also take fish oil supplements to get Omega-3s. I've highlighted some very specific foods and nutrients that can help to boost your eye health. But it doesn't stop here, when it comes to eating for your eyes a good rule of thumb to remember is if it's good for your heart it's good for your eyes. Eat well and your vision could last a life time. If you'd like to learn more, visit fightblindness.
org and check out our other videos on tips for healthy eyes including how to protect your eyes from the environment.