Diet Reset: Try These 4 Eye-Healthy Foods for Your Daily Snack

  
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January 17, 2019, by Bard Optical

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary added the word “hangry” in 2018 for good reason. This newly popular slang term is the perfect way to describe that feeling of being “hungry” + “angry” (or irritable from the hunger).

When you feel hangry in 2019, here are four delicious options for eye-healthy snacking.

You can quiet the hunger AND promote good vision for life.

There are many eye conditions you can prevent with a healthy diet, according to Healthline, including:

Most snack foods are highly processed.

Such processed carbohydrates aren’t good for eye health.

In general, opt for whole grains and complex carbs over simple starches and white breads.

A new study by Tufts University researchers demonstrated that following this recommendation reduced the risk for macular degeneration—the leading cause of blindness in seniors. 

Instead of starchy snacks, try these four healthy options to keep your eyes healthy.

 

1. Trail Mix

Nuts and seeds are some of the very best nature has to offer in terms of nutrition.

That’s true for your eyes, just as for other body systems.

Pistachios and walnuts in particular are sources of eye-healthy vitamins and nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Dietician Julie Upton points out that “a study found that those who added pistachios to their diet significantly boosted levels of lutein.”

Pistachios are the only nut to contain any significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin.

In addition, their mono and polyunsaturated fats promote the absorption of carotenoids.

 

2. Citrus Fruit

If you’re not keen on too much citrus, grab some blueberries or strawberries instead.

The Tufts study also found that blueberries may reduce risk for glaucoma, cataracts, cancer, and other diseases.

The vitamin C in citrus fruits and berries is an antioxidant that the American Optometric Association recommends we all have plenty of in order to fight age-related damage to the cells in your eyes, as well as the rest of your body.

 

3. Veggies and Healthy Dips Like Hummus and Guacamole

Orange vegetables, such as carrots, are always a boost to eye health, but less known is the red bell pepper. Not only are they a great source of vitamins E and C, but they also contain enzymes that protect the health of retinal cells at the back of your eye where light is focused.

Speaking of the retina, this part of the eye needs zinc to function. Lower levels can lead to macular degeneration.

The garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) that are the main ingredient in hummus have very high levels of zinc. 

Even the other ingredients in hummus have eye-healthy ingredients, like antioxidant-rich olive oil and lemon zest with its vitamin C.

Another healthy dip is the avocado-based treat guacamole.

It is difficult to overstate the health benefits of avocados: “Not only do avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, they are also high in antioxidants themselves,” as well as the carotenoids mentioned earlier—lutein and zeaxanthin.

Because of this, avocados greatly reduce risk for AMD and cataracts.

 

4. Don’t Forget What You Drink!

It’s also important to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will reduce the symptoms of dry eye and digital eye strain from long hours at the computer.

And if you prefer sipping to snacking, it’s easy to get eye-healthy foods into nutritious drinks and smoothies.

Try any of these nine recipes from the Daily Meal for refreshing drinks that are good for vision.

Then there’s green tea, which have flavonoids that also protect against AMD, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Flavonoids are a kind of antioxidant.

One flavonoid found in green tea—gallocatechin—is sometimes referred to as “sunscreen for the eyes” because it protects the retina against damage from ultraviolet radiation that can damage sight.

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