Special Report

25 Foods That Damage and Protect Your Eyes


Squash is rich in vitamins A and C, which is what you want in eye-friendly foods, Sheren said. Butternut squash also contains lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, all of which help protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.

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Legumes, such as beans and black eyed peas, are rich in bioflavonoids and zinc, which help protect the retina, thus lowering the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.

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Whole grains

You want to eat less refined grains and more whole grains, Sheren said. They are high in antioxidants and lutein, as well as zinc, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and protects the eye tissue from light, he noted.

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Eggs are controversial when it comes to eye health, Sheren said. They contain some saturated fat, which you want to avoid, but also a lot of nutrients that help protect the eyes. The yolks are a rich source of vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc, all of which are good for healthy eyes.

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Studies about supplements and their eye-related benefits are not conclusive, Sheren said. Some research has shown that they have a positive effect only in patients who already have age-related macular degeneration. “They did better in the long-term as their eyesight improved,” he noted. But supplements won’t improve the vision of a healthy person. “If patients did not have the disease, supplements made no difference at all,” Sheren added.

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