22 Foods to Eat if You Have Poor Eyesight

It may seem strange to people that you can eat to improve your eyesight, but in my more than 25 years as a holistic nutritionist specializing in nutritional medicine, clients frequently reported vision improvements just from changing their diet. There are many foods that support healthy eyes and vision, but here are the main ones to start eating or eat more of if you have poor eyesight.

Home made freshness kale salad with roasted sweet potatoes and chia seeds

Almonds

Almonds, almond butter and almond milk are not only delicious additions to your diet, they are also an excellent source of vision-protecting vitamin E. This essential nutrient prevents abnormal changes to the eyes and also helps to prevent cataracts from forming.

Apricots

You’ll want to ramp up your consumption of these sweet treats to keep your vision strong or to help strengthen it. That’s because fresh, frozen or dried apricots are an eye-health powerhouse of nutrients, including: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, rutin and zeaxanthin—the latter of which has been found to prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Beet Greens

Beet greens contain over 275 micrograms of lutein, which is a critical nutrient to maintain eye health and vision, and in the prevention of eye conditions.

Bell Peppers

Green, red, yellow and orange sweet peppers are excellent sources of 3 important vision-protecting nutrients: lutein, vitamin C and zeaxanthin. Vitamin C has been found in a study published in the medical journal Opthalmology to be one of the best ways to protect the eyes from cataract formation.

Bilberry

One of the best sources of anthocyanins, bilberries can help protect the retina in the eyes from damage from sunlight or other light sources. According to research published in the online medical journal PLoS One, researchers found an extract of bilberries to be an effective approach to preventing retinal damage in the eyes. It is most likely their rich anthocyanin content that helps this relative of blueberries protect the eyes against free radical damage.

Blackberries

Blackberries’ gorgeous color gives away their high anthocyanin content. Additionally, blackberries contain alpha-carotene and rutin which protect the eyes against damaging free radicals and strengthen blood vessels to the eyes.

Blueberries

In research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the compounds that give blueberries their deep indigo color, anthocyanins, demonstrated their ability to help protect they eyes against age-related macular degeneration.

Broccoli and Broccoli Microgreens

We’ve all heard of the importance of eating our broccoli—usually from a parent. It turns out to be a good idea because broccoli and broccoli microgreens are rich in a wide range of vision-protecting nutrients, including: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, rutin and zeaxanthin.

Carrots

Most people know carrots are good for the eyes so you probably won’t be surprised to see them in my list of top 22 foods for poor eyesight. Carrots are rich in alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Chia Seeds

Not only are chia seeds high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3s that help keep vision strong, they also contain vitamin E which battles free radicals which would otherwise cause damage to the eyes.

Eyebright Tea

While most people would classify eyebright as an herb rather than a food, a list of the best foods for poor eyesight would not be complete without eyebright, which can be made into a tea. It is good when mixed with a little peppermint. Drink 3 cups daily for the best results. Like its name says, it helps keep eyes bright and healthy.

Flax Seeds

Rich in Omega 3s and vitamin E, these nutrients help to reduce inflammation and free radicals which are precursors to eye conditions.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is one of the few foods that contain the eye-protecting nutrient, naringin. Additionally, it also contains rutin, which helps protect your vision from eye-damaging free radicals. You will need to eat some of the white pith surrounding the fruit (not the skin) to get more rutin in your diet. And, of course, grapefruit is a good source of the antioxidant nutrient, vitamin C.

Green Tea

In addition to eyebright tea, you’ll also want to drink more green tea to protect your vision. That’s because research in the medical journal Current Eye Research found that one of green tea’s medicinal compounds known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has a profound eye-protecting ability.

Leafy Greens

When it comes to vision-protecting foods, leafy greens are among the best. That’s because greens like Romaine lettuce, kale, spinach and collards contain a wide variety of nutrients that are needed for healthy vision, including: alpha-carotene, alpha lipoic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Mangoes

These delicious fruits are also vision-protecting powerhouses. They contain alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin that protect vision from the effects of aging.

Squash and Pumpkin

The brilliant orange color of pumpkins and squashes showcases its high beta carotene content. As the precursor to vitamin A, beta carotene is needed for healthy vision.

Sweet Potatoes

Like mangoes, sweet potatoes contain zeaxanthin as well as beta carotene, both of which are needed for healthy vision. Zeaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that protects the eyes from free radical damage while beta carotene is needed in sufficient amounts to ensure healthy eyesight.

Tomatoes

Because tomatoes are a rich source of the phytonutrients beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, they can help improve vision and protect your eyes from degeneration.

Wild Salmon

Rich in anti-inflammatory Omega 3s and vision-protecting astaxanthin, wild salmon is a good choice to help improve your eyesight.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, preserving, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life. Follow her work.

96 comments

Barbara S
Barbara Syesterday

Thank you

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Carla G
Frances G25 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Richard B
Richard B28 days ago

thank you for sharing

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Paulo R
Paulo Reesonabout a month ago

ty

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Maggie D
Maggie D1 months ago

Interesting article!

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Crystal G
Crystal G1 months ago

Thank You

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Susan B
Susan Brandwein1 months ago

Prefer getting nutrients from food rather than supplements. Thanks for the information.

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Doris F
Doris F1 months ago

ty for list and tips

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Ruth S
Ruth S1 months ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S1 months ago

Thanks.

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