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Holiday Edition: Eating Your Way to Good Eye Health

Colorado doctors of optometry agree that you should aim for eye health nutrition such as Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc, Copper and Vitamins A, C, E & K.

Reducing Inflammation with Cruciferous Vegetables

One study shows that participants who reported eating the most cruciferous vegetables (1.5 cups per day) had substantially less inflammation than those who ate the fewest. The women who consumed the most cruciferous vegetables had, on average, 13%-25% lower levels of three (3) important inflammatory markers in their blood.In addition to possibly lowering inflammation in the body these important veggies can do so much more as they are packed with additional eye health nutrients.

Cruciferous vegetables are a diverse group of nutrition packed veggies that are part of the mustard family. They can easily be found in most grocery stores.

Full list of cruciferous vegetables: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, broccoli romanesco, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chinese broccoli, chinese cabbage, collard greens, daikon, garden cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, komatsuna, land cress, mizuna mustard – seeds and leaves, radish, rutabaga, tatsoi, turnips – root and greens, wasabi, watercress 

Harnessing the Power of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are famous for eye health protection because they are powerful antioxidants that defend against free radicals. These two carotenoids are pigments produced by plants that often give foods a green or orange color.

Foods with high sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Kale, spinach, collard greens, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, pumpkins, turnip greens, corn, broccoli, kiwi, grapes, many squash varieties.

Carotenoids and Vitamin A: Allies for Eye Health

Vitamin A is so important for our eyes that deficiency in this vitamin is the most common cause of blindness globally due to malnutrition. Vitamin A is a group of antioxidant compounds that impact your vision, bone growth and health of the immune system. Vitamin A supports the surface of the eye and reduces the risk of eye infections and other infections throughout the body.Vitamin A is found in products like liver, fish, meat, and dairy products.

 If you’re not a fan of the foods high in vitamin A then remember beta-carotene. It’s a carotenoid that reduces oxidative stress in the body. Beta-carotene is one of the most common and effective provitamin A carotenoids. Unlike vitamin A, Beta-carotene can be sourced from fruits and vegetables.

Great sources of beta-carotene include apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, guava, kale, mangoes, mustard and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash (yellow and winter), sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.

1 https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(13)01891-1/abstract

 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lutein-and-zeaxanthin

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-vitamin-a