Happy new year, friends! Hope your holidays were filled with friends, family, and some relaxing time for yourself as well!
As usual, we celebrated over the holidays with family meals, potlucks, and leftover-turkey breakfasts, and while we sometimes overindulged, we always made an effort to eat healthy as well. Here are some tips from Dena, one of our star staff members to help you do the same!
5 Tasty Foods That Are Good For Your Eyes
Foodies rejoice - this one’s for you!
We’ve compiled a list of 5 healthy and delicious foods that not only help you keep your eyes healthy, but will have you going back for seconds!
#1 Carrots: What’s up doc?
We’re not fans of clichés, but we are big fans of carrots - and it’s true - they are good for your eyes! Other than being sweet and crunchy, carrots are jam packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene:
Vitamin A is essential for vision because it’s a component of rhodopsin, the protein in your eye that absorbs light. It also prevents dry eyes and helps protects the cornea.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and helps give carrots their orange colour. Antioxidants counteract the effects of free radicals, which are molecules that damage our cells. Additionally, our bodies convert beta-carotene into more of that crucial vitamin A.
#2 Kale: Superfood = super good for you.
Did you know that kale is one of the world’s healthiest foods? It is super rich in two antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. They are the only dietary carotenoids that are present in the macula at the back of the eye, which is why they are often referred to as “macular pigments”. As a result, they help protect your eyes from harmful UV light and may reduce your risk of macular degeneration! It’s also important to note that lutein and zeaxanthin are best absorbed with fat, so eat that kale salad with nuts, avocados, or other sources of healthy fat and don’t be shy with that extra virgin olive oil!
#3 Pistachios: Btw, best gelato flavor.
In addition to being delicious, pistachios contain significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, and lots of vitamin E. Vitamin E is another potent antioxidant that protects your cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Pistachios also contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which as we mentioned before, helps absorb all of those amazing antioxidants!
#4 Guava: Juice it or lose it!
Guava is one of the most vitamin C-rich fruits out there. Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant that will protect your eyes from free radical damage. In addition, vitamin C is vital to the production of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It’s found in the bones, muscles, skin, tendons. It’s also a protein that provides structure to your eye, specifically the cornea. This is especially important as we get older, so make sure to offer your dad some guava to help him “C” better (boom, mandatory dad joke)!
#5 Salmon: More sushi please!
One reason that salmon is so healthy is because it actually contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other type of fish out there! Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, they can keep the glands in your eyelids working well and help prevent dry eye symptoms. It doesn’t hurt that salmon is also really tasty! Mmm, when’s dinner please?
Written by Dena Ardestani,
with contributions from Dr. Peter Chan, OD.