10 of the best foods for eye health

Winking woman with healthy eyes

Foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will help protect your peepers from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Here are 10 of the best food items, that are great for eye health, to add to your trolley.

1 Corn

Corn is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These powerful carotenoids protect your eyes from age-related vision loss, as well as cataracts.

Per cob: 704kJ (168cal), 22.8g carbs, 9.1g fibre, 5mg sodium

2 Carrots

This sweet root vegetable is rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in the body. This improves night vision, protects the cornea (the surface of the eye), and may slow down age-related vision loss.

Per carrot: 172kJ (41cal), 6.5g carbs, 5.2g fibre, 49mg sodium

3 Peanut butter

Peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent age-related vision loss and cataracts.

Per tablespoon: 656kJ (157cal), 6.1g protein, 2.4g sat fat, 1.6g fibre, 6mg sodium

4 Salmon

This delicious oily fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats protect the health of your retina by reducing inflammation. They may also help prevent dry eyes.

Per 150g (raw) fillet: 1295kJ (310cal), 32.3g protein, 4.2g sat fat, 63mg sodium

5 Kale and other green leafy veggies

Leafy vegetables contain powerful carotenoids that protect the health of the retina. Kale also contains the eye-friendly vitamins A, C & E.

Per cup (raw): 125kJ (30cal), 1.8g protein, 3.9g carbs, 3.1g fibre, 17mg sodium

6 Pumpkin seeds

These little nutrition powerhouses are a good source of zinc, which helps protect your retina and can slow the development of age-related vision loss.

Per tablespoon: 281kJ (67cal), 3.5g protein, 1.1g sat fat, 0.7g fibre, 2mg sodium

7 Tomatoes

The ever-versatile tomato is an excellent source of lycopene. This powerful antioxidant protects your eyes from sunlight-induced damage.

Per small tomato: 90kJ (22cal), 3g carbs, 2.8g sugar, 1.6g fibre

8 Extra-virgin olive oil

The queen of oils, EVOO can help your body absorb lutein and zeaxanthin, those all-important carotenoids that are vital for good eye health.

Per tablespoon: 681kJ (163cal), 2.8g sat fat

9 Egg yolks

The nutrient-packed centre of an egg is a good source of antioxidants that protect the retina from sunlight and blue light emitted from computer and mobile phone screens.

Per egg: 272kJ (65cal), 6.4g protein, 1.2g sat fat, 77mg sodium

10 Chickpeas

Chickpeas/garbanzos are another good source of zinc, which assists in the production of melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes.

Per ½ cup: 402kJ (192cal), 5.4g protein, 11.5g carbs, 4.1g fibre, 216mg sodium

First published: Mar 2021

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