Eating for Eye Health: 7 of the Best Foods for Your Eyes
As parents, we know how important it is to provide our kids with the right foods to fuel their brains and bodies. However, we want to add one more reason to your list: eye health. Research has shown that there are certain foods that are proven to be beneficial for your kid’s eyes, whether they have vision impairments or not. Feeding your kids the right dietary items can actually not only promote eye health, it has also been found to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye diseases.
We know, we know. Getting your kid to eat is hard enough without the “weird” foods. Luckily, this is an article geared at making your kid’s eyes healthier, not your life harder. This is why we are also including recipes for quick and easy ways to help you incorporate them into your kid’s diet.
These creamy, sweet treats contain an antioxidant known as beta-carotene. When processed in the body, beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A, a natural defender of the eye’s surface. We absolutely love that this food is a part of this list because it is so adaptable and (like most potato creations) can be made into most anything.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows : This amazing dessert is sure to be loved by kids and adults alike.
Sweet Potato and Spinach Quesadillas: Every kid loves a good quesadilla and (every good parent knows) there is no better way to trick them into eating something healthy by disguising it as something unhealthy.
A kitchen staple in many households, eggs (specifically, the yolks) can help prevent macular degeneration thanks to two of the antioxidants they contain: zeaxanthin and lutein. Studies like this one conducted by the Journal of Clinical Research and Ophthalmology suggest that this is because these antioxidants help protect your eyes from blue light rays.
3. Red Bell Peppers
Crisp, crunchy, and packed with more Vitamin C than most citrus fruits, this veggie is not to be trifled with when it comes to eye health. Helping cut down on the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, Red Bell Peppers have a ton of Vitamin C, a vitamin that supports healthy capillaries and, according to the American Optometrics Association, can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and visual acuity loss.
4. Leafy Greens
Included on pretty much every list mentioning foods good for your health, leafy greens are chock full of vitamins beneficial to eye health, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. According to WebMD, these vitamins have a plethora of benefits including the ability to “reduce disability and discomfort from glare, enhance contrast, and reduce photostress recovery times, the researchers say, and also may increase visual range.” Who knew?
Getting kids to eat their greens has always been a parenting struggle which is why we really love this Pineapple Avocado Green Smoothie and these Green Ice Pops. Nothing like serving your youngsters greens they don’t know they are eating!
Nothing says health like fish, and nothing says eye health like Omega-3. According to Harvard Health, the omega-3’s in fish have been linked to preserving vision as well as relieving dry eye and chronic inflammation of the eyelids.
Loaded with our good friends Vitamin C, Lutein, and Zeanxathin, Zucchini is a veggie poised to boost and protect your kid’s eyes. The best part? It doesn’t carry a heavy flavor, so you can make just about anything with it!
This Fall, your favorite Halloween decoration can now serve as a palate-pleasing post-holiday treat! Pumpkins not only have both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, but they also contain a high concentration of Zinc, as well! Zinc is great for preventing vision acuity loss and studies have shown that getting a healthy and regular dose of it can have some serious long-term benefits.
The best approach to eye health is preventative and nothing beats crowning your kid “Jr. Chef”, whipping up some creative recipes, and enjoying quality family time. So, grab your kid and one of the recipes above to enjoy an eye health-inspired cooking sesh!
-The Fitz Team