Having keen senses can make anyone feel like a superhero, and eagle-eye vision is particularly useful. We are all told as children to eat our fruits and veggies, and though many of us have rolled our eyes and gone on with our picky eater ways, there was (and is) a lot of merit to that nagging command.
Healthy eyes and good vision play a critical role as we grow and age. Pregnant women especially should eat well and make sure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals not only for themselves, but for the new life growing inside. We all know that aging impacts vision, be it through cataracts and astigmatism or just declining vision in general.
Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in color (a pretty reliable sign that they’re extra nutritious), can give anyone an edge in not only maintaining great health, but sharpening all the senses. Fruits and vegetables also provide an invaluable source of protein, almost twice as much as that found in animal protein such as dairy or meats. Plant proteins contain amino acids that are easily assimilated and incorporated into the body.
As an integrative physician, I do a lot of in-depth testing of my patients’ health, and micronutrient and assessment is a big part of it. Americans suffer from a pandemic of what I call micronutrient deficiency. Due to the poor and highly processed diets Americans follow, we are probably worse off than some Third World countries in terms of nutritional health. This in turn affects aging, hormones, neurotransmitters... and of course, a decline in the strength of our senses, especially vision.
The fruits and vegetables that I recommend below are high in the crucial vitamins and minerals responsible for vision health. If these nutrients cannot be obtained through diet, always discuss with your physician what supplements may be necessary. Consumption of drinks, foods or supplements that are high in zinc, chromium, selenium, copper, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E will maintain excellent eyesight, while also offering a multitude of other health benefits.
Carrots contain lots of beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A, which is important for overall eye health. Beets contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which support macular and retinal health. Apples are rich in bioflavonoids, which are also known for boosting vision health.
Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale and the cruciferous broccoli are rich in many antioxidants and are important in supporting visual wellness. Like beets, they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which actually absorb blue light that would have been harmful to the retina.
Dr. Deepa Verma of Synergistiq Integrative Health believes that healthy and holistic living is the key to happiness and aging gracefully. Follow her on Twitter @DrDeepaVerma and subscribe to her Youtube Channel.