The world is full of wonderful things to look at—mountains and masterpieces, sunsets and street tacos, films and football games, bodies of water and beautiful babies.
That list—objects of our visual affection—can go on and on. For me, I love going out on nature walks and paying attention to all the flowers and plants around me (I was a botany major, so I like seeing if I can identify the genus and species, especially in Utah, where I didn’t grow up but where I now live). I also love looking at architecture in places like Chicago, where there’s so much variety (I don’t have any architectural talent whatsoever but I really admire it). And I love people-watching—noticing the details on people, like what watch they’re wearing or noticing a small twist in a chain on someone’s neck.
Your list is different from mine, but the point is the same.
Part of the joy in our world comes from consuming the world around us with our eyes—appreciating the beauty, the wonder, the details, the things (big and small) that give us joy in so many ways.
Our eyes, of course, provide that emotional service, and they also work as one of our foundational senses that allow us to navigate the word.
It’s why eye health is so important—and remains vital as we age, especially when we become at higher risk of age-related conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. (Let’s also be clear that vision is not the same as eye health. My vision has always been pretty bad—I’ve worn glasses since kindergarten—but my eye health is very good.)
Taking care of your eyes and lowering the risk of eye-related conditions that do affect vision and overall quality of life does center largely around good nutrition—fueling your body with nutrients that can protect your eyes.
While there’s a lot of genetic variability at play here, we shouldn’t chalk up bad eyes as a genetic inevitability.
While I don’t want to get into ranking our senses in terms of what’s most important, I do know that if we have a chance of keeping our eye health as good as it can be, that’s something, well, worth looking into.
C for See
You likely grew up thinking that there was one food that was responsible for eye health. The almighty carrot. (Thanks, Bugs!)
While it’s true that carrots are loaded with nutrients that benefit eye health, that doesn’t mean that your squishy orbs are picky feeders. Many nutrients contribute to overall eye health. The top ones:
- Vitamin C: It helps protect your eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Interestingly, there’s a higher concentration of C in the retina than in the blood. Think citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, and kale.
- Vitamin E: it also helps by reducing free-radical damage. You can get E in spinach, almonds, avocados, sunflower seeds, and more.
- Zinc: This helps transport Vitamin A to the retina, and it has been shown to help preserve night vision. Find it in red meat, shellfish, beans, and nuts.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: These carotenoids support many facets of eye health, including filtering out blue light. Dark green vegetables are excellent sources of these nutrients.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These help support vision and maintain the health of the retina. They’re found in fatty fish like salmon, as well as in chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.
One of my favorite USANA supplements is Visionex DS, which is a specially formulated supplement that packs in nutrients that are optimal for eye health. So it contains the carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as Vitamins A and C, as well as zinc. While you can certainly get many of these fabulous nutrients from your diet, I do like the convenience of the supplement as a way to ensure you get the nutrients that can help support eye health.*
What Do You Like to Look At?
Let’s celebrate all of the wonderful things our eyes can see. What do you appreciate viewing in the world around you? If you have a photo, please send to DrRobSinnott@AtthePeakofHealth.com. I’ll share some of your beauties!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.