You’ve all heard the one about carrots and other orange-coloured fruits and vegetables being good for your eye health. While that’s true (it’s the beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, that helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function at their best) there are also several other vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy eyes.
Approximately 7 per cent of Australians meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines for vegetable intake according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
However, getting your five serves of vegetables each day can assist in reducing your risk of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.
By making these vegetables a staple in your diet, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your peepers in tip-top shape.
Think spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli. These are all packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants found to lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Yellow capsicum has a really high amount of zeaxanthin — more than any other fruit or vegetable. Zeaxanthin is found in your retina and cannot be produced by your body, which means what you eat is important.
A study conducted some years ago found that a large serving of eggplants reduced the pupil size by 23 per cent and improved near point focus by 9 per cent. Eggplant has also been found to treat glaucoma, reading problems and other eye conditions.
Black-eyed peas (no, not the music group), Lima beans, kidney beans, lentils and other legumes are high in bioflavinoids and zinc, which studies suggest can help protect your retina and lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Finally, corn contains by lutein and zeaxanthin, and as has been written above this is good for reducing your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. It’s believed that the longer you cook your corn the higher the level of lutein is per serving.