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The Best Foods for Healthy Eyes

Eating carrots is supposed to improve our eyesight, right?

That’s actually a leftover idea from a British propaganda campaign during World War II. The British wanted to keep their newly developed radar technology a secret from the Germans, so they claimed as far and wide as possible that their airmen developed superhuman night vision by eating plenty of carrots.

The idea still persists today, eight decades since the war. It does contain one grain of truth: carrots and other nutritious foods help our eyes stay healthy, even though they don’t really give us superpowered eyes.

How Good Are Carrots for Our Eyes, Really?

Carrots actually are good for us. Along with other yellow and orange leafy greens and vegetables, they are a great source of vitamin A. They get their color from beta-carotene, a compound our intestines use to produce vitamin A. Our eyes use vitamin A to help convert light into brainwaves and strengthen our corneas (the clear layer over the front of the eye). A deficiency in vitamin A contributes to as many as half a million children going blind every year.

Sweet Potatoes and Oranges

Antioxidants like vitamins C and E are important for overall health, and for eye health, vitamin C lowers the risk of cataracts and may also slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, are major sources of vitamin C. Vitamin E helps protect our eyes from “free radicals” (molecules that disrupt healthy tissue). Sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin E.

Eggs and Leafy Greens

Studies have shown that when we get plenty of lutein and zeaxanthin in our diets, we have a lower risk of chronic eye diseases like AMD and cataracts. Eggs and leafy greens are the best ways to get these nutrients.

Oysters and Fish

Good brain function and a healthy immune system rely on getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, and research also shows that they help with visual development and retinal function. There’s no better source of these nutrients than fish.

Meanwhile, oysters are an excellent source of zinc, which acts as a vehicle to transport vitamin A from our livers to our retinas. A diet rich in vitamin A isn’t very useful without zinc to move it where it needs to go. There is also zinc in nuts, beans, and meat if you aren’t a fan of oysters.

Nutrition Isn’t the Only Part of Being Proactive About Eye Health

Even if we eat all the right nutrients in the perfect amounts for the sake of our eye health, that’s no substitute for getting regular eye exams. Eye problems can happen for a wide range of reasons that have nothing to do with nutrition, and that’s why the optometrist is so important. The eye doctor can detect problems in the early stages and get started on treatment or intervention.

Helping our patients maintain healthy eyesight for life is what we love most!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Important Insurance Changes

Dear patients, After much consideration, we are making a change with Vision Service Plan (VSP). As of October 1, 2021, Redmond Eye Doctors is moving from "in-network" to "out-of-network". The continuing changes in your VSP insurance and restriction placed on us as providers has been frustrating. We considered many options, and the choice was clear. Being independent of managed care plans will allow us to provide the level of care you have come to expect from Redmond Eye Doctors, without restrictions or limitations from your vision insurance. While we may not be "in network" with VSP, we want to take care of you! We offer many discounts to patients when payment is made on the date of service.

  • Discounts on routine vision exams that includes a comprehensive eye health check and glasses prescription.
  • Discounts on glasses made with quality, independently owned frame manufacturers and lens labs. 20% OFF your first pair, 30% OFF all additional pairs.
  • Seasonal specials - like our Annual SunSational Sale and Computer Blues Sale.

We are happy to provide all the forms and receipts to self-submit for out of network reimbursement. Also, vision plans have no effect on medical visits such as dry eye treatments, diabetes exams and glaucoma checks. We are still part of most major medical plans. For more information on how this will affect your specific situation, please call us at 425-885-7363.