Q: Dr. Schramm, which foods are good for my eyes? What about carrots?
A: Eating carrots for eye health is a bit of an old wives’ tale. It was once thought that beta-carotene was the only carotenoid found in the eye. At the time, we were not able to differentiate the different types of carotenoids.
Now it is known that beta-carotene is one of many types of carotenoids. Recent studies point to lutein and zeaxanthin as having greater impact on ocular health.
My list of healthy foods for the eyes includes the following:
Raw or steamed green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens (lutein), and yellow vegetables such as squash and orange bell peppers (zeaxanthin).
Walnuts and fruits, especially berries like blueberries, goji, acai, raspberries and strawberries. If you are diabetic, watch your blood sugar.
Some spices are beneficial, such as turmeric (curcumin) and cinnamon. Himalayan salt is best salt but use sparingly.
Cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna all have eye healthy essential fatty acids such as omega 3’s. Great sources of beneficial fats are fish oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
Drink hemp milk (omega 3’s), green tea, water and red wine (in moderation).
Even some dark chocolate is good for your eyes (and heart)! The darker, the better! Don’t eat more than 1/3 of a 100g bar per day. Goes great with walnut butter or goji berries
Dr. Nathan Schramm, OD, CNS is an Optometric Physician and Certified Nutrition Specialist practicing at Natural Eyes of Weston. He is currently accepting new patients; appointments can be made at 954-217-2992 or NaturalEyesOfWeston.com.
This brief does not replace the need for a yearly comprehensive eye exam by a qualified eye care professional.