Eating more fruits and vegetables is not just delicious, but it can also help prevent eye disease. The Center for Disease Control suggested eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, but they have recently revised the recommendation and created a slogan called “More Matters.” Five servings of fruits and vegetables might not be enough for certain individuals, based on gender, weight, age and physical activity level. Truly, the more fruits and vegetables we consume, the better our health will be.
For optimum eye health, more fruits and vegetables matter because fresh produce is full of vitamins and minerals called antioxidants that keep cells and tissues healthy. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals that can harm cells and cause degenerative diseases. Here are some antioxidants and the fruits and vegetables that contain them:
- Vitamin C- Red berries, kiwi, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, citrus fruits and guava.
- Vitamin E- Green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, avocados
- Vitamin A and Beta Carotene- Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and leafy green vegetables.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin- Kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, corn, peas and Brussels sprouts (Source: New York Department of Health)
Sometimes we need some fun, new ways to add more fruits and vegetables into our diet. Try some of these ideas when you want to boost your nutrition power!
Grab the blender—Nothing is more delicious and wholesome than a fresh smoothie. Just use plain yogurt, fruit, 100 percent fruit juice and ice to create a delectable concoction.
Juice it—Juicers are very popular. If you do not like the taste of certain vegetables, you may not mind them in the juicer. Try using several types of vegetables, and add carrot or apple for some sweetness.
Make fruit pops—Blend fruit and even some vegetables into a puree and freeze in ice cube trays overnight.
Dip it!—Chop raw veggies into pieces and dip into low-fat dressing.
For more ways to eat right to preserve your vision, talk to your eye doctor or find a physician near you.