Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Eye Healthy Foods and Nutrients

I have spent a lot of time researching eye-healthy foods to eat. Buying and eating the right foods for my eyes gives me a sense of control over the health of my eyes, as well as puts my mind at ease. Just knowing I’m providing my eyes with as much nutrition (and as much of a chance for success) as I can, really helps keep my anxieties at bay in regards to my macular degeneration.

Nutrition information overload

I know that it can feel overwhelming to think of all the things you should or shouldn’t do or should or shouldn’t eat. That’s because it IS overwhelming! There is SO much information out there in regards to eye-healthy foods and supplements. And, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t really get a ‘nutrition education.’ I have had to learn on my own, as an adult, what and ‘how’ to eat.

I thought I’d try to make it easier on anyone looking for some nutrition education for themselves. If you want to start adding eye-healthy foods into your diet, here is a list of common (and most of my favorite) foods for each eye-healthy nutrient found in the AREDS formula.

Quick Tip: Remember that these are just SOME of the common foods you can find for these nutrients, and it is important for you to know which nutrients are best for your unique needs.

Eye-healthy foods

Besides the eye-healthy nutrients found in the AREDS formula, I also threw in a few other nutrients that, through my own research over the years, I have found to keep me healthy overall…and I think it’s safe to say that my eyes thank me for that!

Foods with vitamin C

  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Bell peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruits
  • Kiwis
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangos
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watermelons

Foods with vitamin E

  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Nuts
  • Olives
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Vegetable oils

Foods with antioxidants

Purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables such as:

  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes

Reminder: Antioxidants are needed to help reduce disease-causing free radicals in our bodies!
Fun Tip: Dark chocolate can boost the benefits of your antioxidants and even has its own nutrients, yay!

Foods with beta-carotene

  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Collard greens
  • Grapefruit
  • Mangos
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Tangerines
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watermelon

Foods with calcium

  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Olives
  • Yogurt

Foods with copper (Cupric oxide)

  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Oysters
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Strawberries
  • Whole wheat pasta

Foods containing protein

  • Beans
  • Chicken
  • Nut butter/peanut butter (low sugar)
  • Nuts
  • Salmon (wild-caught is best)
  • Soy
  • Turkey
  • White fish
  • Whole grains

Quick tip: Meats – leaner is better, less red meat is better

Foods containing lutein

  • Arugula
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Corn AND popcorn (yay!)
  • Eggs
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash

Foods containing magnesium

  • Artichoke
  • Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Whole wheat pasta

Foods with omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA)

  • Nut butter/peanut butter (low sugar)
  • Nuts
  • Salmon (wild-caught is best)
  • Seeds
  • White fish

Oils

  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Flaxseed oil (add to low-sugar cereal or granola to add into yogurt)

Foods containing zeaxanthin

This includes green leafy vegetables or vegetables yellow in color, such as:

  • Bell peppers (especially yellow)
  • Broccoli
  • Collard greens
  • Corn
  • Eggs (specifically the yolk)
  • Kale (cooked is great!)
  • Spinach (cooked is great!)
  • Turnip greens

Foods with zinc

  • Black beans
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Lean beef
  • Legumes (black-eyed peas, lima beans, kidney beans)
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Peas
  • Yogurt

Whole wheat

Whole wheat pasta is much healthier for our eyes because it doesn’t contain refined sugar, as white pasta does. White pasta causes a quicker and higher spike in sugar levels in our bodies and can cause damage to our eyes over time because of it.

Peppers

Bell peppers are powerhouses for eye health! They are all very healthy, but red, yellow, and orange bell peppers pack more nutrients than green because they have A LOT more beta carotene. Green peppers are not as ripe as their colorful brothers and sisters (yes, bell peppers are male and female and the taste is different for each!). Male peppers have 3 ‘bumps’ on the bottom and female peppers have 4 ‘bumps.’ Female peppers are full of seeds but are sweeter and better for eating raw. Males are better for cooking. Now ya know!

Cooking oils

Olive oil is my go-to for cooking, as it follows the Mediterranean diet and has Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.

Hydration

It is so important for our bodies to stay hydrated in order to function at its best. Hydration keeps our bodies healthy and able to process nutrients better.

  • Water: I love to squeeze fresh fruit into my water for flavor and added nutrition (lemons, limes, and oranges are my favorite)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables: When you eat your fruits and veggies, you’re automatically hydrating yourself!
  • Coffee: Healthiest without the addition of sugar and flavors (Try to steer clear of soda and fruit juice/sugary drinks)
  • Milk

Gut Health

Our overall health is dependant on the health of our gut biome. Our gut is basically the epicenter of our bodies, so keeping it healthy (the more healthy bacteria, probiotics, than unhealthy bacteria the better). I tend to get most of my gut nutrients from supplementing with probiotics, specifically Acidophilus:

  • Kombucha
  • Cottage cheese
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Yogurt

On the way

Eye-healthy food is my passion, Friends. If you have any questions or want meal suggestions, please feel free to reach out! I’d also love to snag a few new eye-healthy recipes from you all if you have any! Coming soon, grocery lists to help get you started at the store!

Eat well, live well,

Andrea Junge

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MacularDegeneration.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

Poll