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Did You Know You Need To Eat Right To Keep Your Eyes Healthy? If you're like most people, once you find out what to do, you will be able to maintain a proper course of action to keep healthy; and it's no different with the health of your eyes.

Eating right for your eyes is an extremely important and essential part of proper eye care, and one that Long Vision Center recommends you follow. The right foods will contain the right vitamins to help sustain the eyes in proper eye health. Long Vision Center needs to make sure you understand, that there is a preventative aspect to eating healthy as well. Eating the right foods lowers risks for most types of eye diseases.

Let's discuss how and what you can to help prevent eye disease by maintaining a proper diet:

Antioxidants Promote Healthy Eyes Antioxidants from a variety of sources can help you prevent many diseases affecting not only your heart, immune system, cancer but also your eyes.

What is an antioxidant? - Antioxidants include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A. These specific antioxidants can help to prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration, cataracts, and many other similar types of eye diseases. Good sources of antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables, and more specifically; ones with highly pigmented skins have a much higher concentration of those antioxidants. When you are picking fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, take notice of the color and chose the ones with a more visible bight color to them.

As a general rule of thumb, these antioxidants are more abundant in a raw form, but can be found in lower quantity through the cooking, canning, drying, and freezing preparation processes. Do not forget as well, that it is possible to obtain too much of these antioxidants. Too much could lead to some negative effects, so it is a must to be watchful of amounts of these antioxidants you eat in your daily diet.

Vitamin A - Vitamin A is an antioxidant found in foods made from animals which includes liver and eggs and in fruits and vegetables like carrots and spinach. Most types of milk are also fortified with vitamin A. Vitamin A is a critical essential food for proper functioning of the retina. It also helps prevent night blindness by helping the eye to adapt between bright light and darkness. Vitamin A also helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the forming of cataracts. With AMD and cataracts being the leading causes of visual impairment and with the number of people to be affected increasing, getting a good amount of Vitamin A is essential to the eye's health and beauty.

Selected Animal Sources of Vitamin A Include: (Recommended Daily Allowances, RDA)

  • Liver, beef, cooked, 3 oz
  • Liver, chicken, cooked, 3 oz
  • Egg substitute, fortified, 1/4 cup
  • Fat free milk, fortified with vitamin A, 1 cup
  • Cheese pizza, 1/8 of a 12" diameter pie
  • Milk, whole, 3.25% fat, 1 cup
  • Cheddar cheese, 1 ounce
  • Whole egg, 1 medium

% DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). They were developed to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for vitamin A is 5,000 IU (1,500 micrograms retinol). Most food labels do not list a food's vitamin A content. The percent DV (%DV) listed on the table above indicates the percentage of the DV provided in one serving. Percent DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.

You may be asking about the sources of these wonderful antioxidants and where they may come from. Let's take a look at some of these helpful foods that promote proper eye care and maintain health:

Selected Plant Sour>ces of Vitamin A (from beta-carotene)-

  • Carrot, 1 raw (7 1/2 inches long)
  • Carrots, boiled, 1/2 cup slices
  • Carrot juice, canned, 1/2 cup
  • Sweet potatoes, canned , drained solids, 1/2 cup
  • Spinach, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup
  • Mango, raw, 1 cup sliced
  • Vegetable soup, canned, chunky, ready-to-serve, 1 cup
  • Cantaloupe, raw, 1 cup
  • Kale, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup
  • Spinach, raw, 1 cup
  • Apricot nectar, canned, 1/2 cup
  • Oatmeal, instant, fortified, plain, prepared with water, 1 packet
  • Tomato juice, canned, 6 ounces
  • Apricots, with skin, juice pack, 2 halves
  • Pepper, sweet, red, raw, 1 ring, 3 inches in diameter by 1/4-inch thick

  • Peas, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup
  • Peach, raw, 1 medium
  • Peaches, canned, water pack, 1/2 cup halves or slices
  • Papaya, raw, 1 cup cubes

*DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). They were developed to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for vitamin A is 5,000 IU (1,500 micrograms retinol). Most food labels do not list a food's vitamin A content. The percent DV (%DV) listed on the table above indicates the percentage of the DV provided in one serving. Percent DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.Tables provided by www.nih.gov

Vitamin C - Vitamin C does is the best all-around antioxidant, it does it all. It strengthens your bones and muscles, keeps our immune system in good shape, keeps our teeth and gums healthy, reduces the risk of many diseases and it is no surprise that it is essential to keeping the eyes healthy. Vitamin C is another one of those antioxidants that also helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the forming of cataracts. Vitamin C, as we all know, cannot only be found in citrus fruits and of course orange juice, but also green peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.

Below is a List of Great Food Sources of Vitamin C -

  • Papaya, 1
  • Green Bell Pepper, 1 cup raw
  • Strawberries, 1 cup
  • Orange, 1
  • Broccoli, 1 cup raw
  • Sweet Potato, 1 cup
  • Red Chili Peppers, 2 tsp

Vitamin E - Vitamin E is yet another antioxidant that truly does it all. Consuming rich amounts of Vitamin E helps prevent or reduce the risk of Alzheimer's Disease, coronary heart disease, and helps protect against different types of cancers. For eye care, Vitamin E has been associated with the prevention of cataracts and the delaying of cataract growth. The best sources of Vitamin E are nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fortified products such as cereal.

List Of Great Food Sources of Vitamin E:

  • Wheat germ oil, 1 Tb
  • Almonds, dry roasted, 1 oz
  • Safflower oil, 1 TB
  • Corn oil, 1 TB
  • Soybean oil, 1 TB
  • Turnip greens, frozen, boiled, 1/2 c
  • Mango, raw, without refuse,1 fruit
  • Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 oz
  • Mixed nuts w/ peanuts, oil roasted, 1 oz
  • Mayonnaise, made w/ soybean oil, 1 TB
  • Broccoli, frozen, chopped, boiled, 1/2 c
  • Dandelion greens, boiled, 1/2 c
  • Pistachio nuts, dry roasted, 1 oz
  • Spinach, frozen, boiled, 1/2 c
  • Kiwi, 1 medium fruit

DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). They were developed to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for vitamin E is 30 International Units (or 20 mg). The percent DV (%DV) listed on the nutrition facts panel of food labels tells adults what percentage of the DV is provided by one serving. Percent DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Foods that provide lower percentages of the DV will contribute to a healthful diet.

Tables provided by www.nih.gov

Minerals - Selenium and Zinc - Selenium and Zinc are two of the key minerals that help the oxidation process. They help the body absorb antioxidants and getting daily values of these minerals will help antioxidants in the prevention of eye diseases. Zinc can be found in cheese, yogurt, red meat, pork, and certain fortified cereals. Selenium can be found in walnuts, enriched breads and rice, and macaroni and cheese. As with antioxidants, getting too much of these minerals can cause problems as well, so be sure to balance your intake in meals.

Great Food Sources of Selenium -

  • Brazil nuts, dried, unblanched, 1 oz
  • Tuna, canned in oil, drained, 3 1/2 oz
  • Beef / calf liver, 3 oz
  • Cod, cooked, dry heat, 3 oz
  • Noodles, enriched, boiled, 1 c
  • Macaroni and cheese (box mix), 1 c
  • Turkey, breast, oven roasted, 3 1/2 oz
  • Macaroni,elbow, enriched, boiled, 1 c
  • Spaghetti w/ meat sauce, 1 c
  • Chicken, meat only, 1/2 breast
  • Beef chuck roast, lean only, oven roasted, 3 oz
  • Bread, enriched, whole wheat, 2 slices
  • Oatmeal, 1 c cooked
  • Egg, raw, whole, 1 large
  • Bread, enriched, white, 2 slices
  • Rice, enriched, long grain,cooked, 1 c
  • Cottage cheese, lowfat 2%, 1/2 c
  • Walnuts, black, dried, 1 oz
  • Cheddar cheese, 1 oz

*DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). They were developed to help consumers determine if a food contains very much of a specific nutrient. The DV for selenium is 70 micrograms (mcg). The percent DV (%DV) listed on the nutrition facts panel of food labels tells adults what percentage of the DV is provided by one serving. Even foods that provide lower percentages of the DV will contribute to a healthful diet.

Great Lists of Food Sources of Zinc -

  • Oysters, battered and fried, 6 medium
  • Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Breakfast cereal, fortified with 100% of the DV for zinc per serving, 3/4 c serving
  • Beef shank, lean only, cooked 3 oz
  • Beef chuck, arm pot roast, lean only, cooked, 3 oz
  • Beef tenderloin, lean only, cooked, 3 oz
  • Pork shoulder, arm picnic, lean only, cooked, 3 oz
  • Beef, eye of round, lean only, cooked, 3 oz
  • RTE Breakfast cereal, fortified with 25% of the DV for zinc per serving, 3/4 c
  • RTE Breakfast cereal, complete wheat bran flakes, 3/4 c serving
  • Chicken leg, meat only, roasted, 1 leg
  • Pork tenderloin, lean only, cooked, 3 oz
  • Pork loin, sirloin roast, lean only, cooked, 3 oz
  • Yogurt, plain, low fat, 1 c
  • Baked beans, canned, with pork, 1/2 c
  • Baked beans, canned, plain or vegetarian, 1/2 c
  • Cashews, dry roasted w/out salt, 1 oz
  • Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 1 c
  • Pecans, dry roasted w/out salt, 1 oz
  • Raisin bran, 3/4 c
  • Chickpeas, mature seeds, canned, 1/2 c
  • Mixed nuts, dry roasted w/peanuts, w/out salt, 1 oz
  • Cheese, Swiss, 1 oz
  • Almonds, dry roasted, w/out salt, 1 oz
  • Walnuts, black, dried, 1 oz
  • Milk, fluid, any kind, 1 c
  • Chicken breast, meat only, roasted, 1/2 breast with bone and skin removed
  • Cheese, cheddar, 1 oz
  • Cheese, mozzarella, part skim, low moisture, 1 oz
  • Beans, kidney, California red, cooked, 1/2 c

  • Peas, green, frozen, boiled, 1/2

* DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). They were developed to help consumers determine if a food contains very much of a specific nutrient. The DV for zinc is 15 milligrams (mg). The percent DV (%DV) listed on the nutrition facts panel of food labels tells adults what percentage of the DV is provided in one serving. Percent DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet. Tables provided by www.nih.gov

Eating the right foods is essential to healthy eyes. One of the first criteria for Lasik is Healthy Eyes. Make sure you are getting all you can by what you eat; and include regular recommended daily doses of Antioxidants and minerals. These antioxidants and minerals can help keep our eyes stay healthy and reduce risk for eye disease.. If you have specific questions about your health or eyes, please contact us. Make an appointment with a member of our qualified staff.

Go To http://www.nih.gov for more helpful information contained in this article.

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