Top Eye-Healthy Foods? Hint: Not Carrots

Nutrient-rich foods can improve eye health, follow these recommendations from the Colorado Optometric Association

Denver, CO – A balanced diet is an important foundation to maintain good health, but manyAmericans don’t know what nutrients are best for their eyes, and that diet can affect your eye health and vision as you age. Dr. Sean Claflin, Colorado Optometric Association President, encourages Americans to visit their doctor of optometry annually to discuss proper nutrition and to ensure their eyes are functioning properly.

“It’s important for people to be proactive with their health—make good lifestyle choices now to help avoid problems later,” said Dr. Claflin. “Stick to the building blocks for overall well-being: enjoy a nutrient-rich diet, stay active, and avoid harmful habits, such as smoking. All this can help people avoid sight-threatening disease and enjoy a lifetime of healthy vision.”

February is “American Heart Month” and a focus on heart-healthy eating habits include: eating more whole grains, nuts and fish, consuming less sugar and sodium, and avoiding trans & saturated fats all together can have a large effect on your overall health. Be sure to visit the American Heart Association’s website (www.heart.org) for more details on their list of “Life’s Simple 7” which includes seven factors to a healthier heart.

Drumroll—so what are the best foods for eye health? Forty-eight percent of Americans think of carrots as best, according to the American Optometric Association’s 2015 American Eye-Q® survey. Contrary to what many heard throughout childhood, kale, collard greens and spinach are actually the most nutrient-rich foods for the eyes.

Claflin recommends these eye-healthy “power foods.”

Power foods:

  • Green, leafy vegetables (such as spinach and kale) and eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts, fortified cereals and sweet potatoes
  • Salmon, tuna, and other cold-water fish

A complete list of the nutrients these foods give you and why they are good for the eyes can be found here: http://colorado.aoa.org/Documents/CO/Power%20Foods%20for%20Eye%20Health.pdf

In addition to a healthy diet, an eye doctor can recommend specific vitamins or other supplements for balanced nutrition based on each patient’s individual dietary intake, risk factors and laboratory analysis. Visiting a doctor of optometry annually for a comprehensive eye exam is one of the best investments in overall health and is an important, preventive way to preserve vision and maintain healthy eyes.

About the Colorado Optometric Association (COA):
The Colorado Optometric Association (COA) is the professional organization of optometrists in Colorado. Over 600 Colorado Doctors of Optometry are voluntary members of the Association.
Since 1892, the COA has assisted its members in providing the highest standard of professional care to their patients by sponsoring continuing education programs for doctors, advocating in local and state governments for programs and laws that represent patients’ best interests, and providing information for the public. For more information, please visit www.visioncare.org or call 303-863-9778.