Special Report

25 Foods That Damage and Protect Your Eyes


Seeds benefit the eyes, Sheren said. Flaxseeds, a popular addition in smoothies, contain a lot of omega-3 healthy fats, which help the body drain the intraocular fluid from the eye, decreasing the risk of glaucoma. Flaxseeds are also rich in antioxidants and fiber, which may also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Leafy greens

Leafy green vegetables are very good for the eyes, Sheren said. They contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which help prevent age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

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Sweet potatoes

Like other orange foods that promote eye health, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, which may slow age-related macular degeneration, Sheren said. The body turns beta carotene into vitamin A, which helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness.


Beets contain lutein, an antioxidant that helps protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Don’t throw away the green leaves, though. Just one cup of beet greens contain nearly 0.3 micrograms of lutein. Some experts say the recommended amount a day should be about 6 mg.

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Dehydration is a chronic problem among people. “As far as the eyes go, it exacerbates dry eyes, but it doesn’t cause permanent damage,” Sheren said. Dry eyes is a condition in which the surface of the eyes lacks sufficient lubrication and moisture. The eyes need that fluid to wash away debris and dust when you blink.

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