15 Best Foods For Eye Health: How Nutrition Affects Eyesight

Jul 17, 2023
 – Besser Eye Care Team
  • Eye Health

Proper nutrition and healthy vision go hand and hand. Here are the 15 best foods for eye health

Proper diet and nutrition play a crucial role in maintaining health. A healthy diet can help patients manage their weight, prevent several diseases, and live a longer life.

Like carrots, sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene. This nutritional combination makes them one of the best foods for eye health.


Carrots and other orange-colored vegetables contain vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Vitamin A helps turn light rays into the images we see. A lack of vitamin A has been linked to conditions like dry eye.

Beta-carotene gives carrots their orange color. Researchers have linked it to improved night vision.

Sweet Potatoes

Like carrots, sweet potatoes have a high dose of vitamin A and beta-carotene. This nutritional combination makes them one of the best foods for eye health.

Additionally, researchers say sweet potatoes contain an even more nutrient-rich profile than carrots. This includes higher doses of vitamin C, Potassium, and other nutrients linked to eye health.

Bell Peppers

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can profoundly impact eye health. It protects the eyes from damage caused by diet, unhealthy habits, and environmental factors. Vitamin C can also help repair and grow new tissues.

Bell peppers provide more vitamin C per calorie than most vegetables. To get the most benefits for your eyes, nutritionists recommend eating the peppers raw. Cooking bell peppers breaks down the vitamin C contained in the food.


Looking for a sweet and healthy source of vitamin C? Eating a medium-sized orange can give you nearly all the daily recommended dose of vitamin C.

Additionally, citrus fruits like tangerines, grapefruits, and lemons are vitamin C-rich alternatives nutritionists consider some of the best foods for eye health.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds supply a healthy dose of vitamin E — an important antioxidant that keeps the cells in your eye healthy. Studies have also found that vitamin E can slow macular degeneration and help prevent cataracts.

An ounce of seeds have about half the daily recommended amount of vitamin E. Simply eating a handful of seeds can provide a healthy boost to the eyes.

If you don’t like sunflower seeds you can swap them out with other vitamin E-rich legumes like almonds and hazelnuts.


Avocados are also a rich source of Vitamin E. If patients want a fast and delicious serving of vitamin E, they can prepare a salad, make avocado toast, or whip up a bowl of guacamole.


The omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish reduce the risk of developing eye disease, protect the retinas, and prevent dry eyes.

Salmon has 2,150 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per serving, making it one of the best foods for eye health. Patients can also substitute salmon with other cold-water fish like trout and halibut.

Kale and spinach

Leafy greens like kale and spinach give your eyes antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants help protect the macula — the area of the eye in charge of our central, most detailed vision.

Green lovers rejoice! In addition to kale and spinach, lettuce, collard greens, and peas also provide healthy doses of these antioxidants.


For even more antioxidants, add a hard-boiled egg to your salad. In addition to leafy greens, eggs also provide a solid source of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Egg yolk is especially good for the eyes as it contains high amounts of lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc — all of which improve eye health.


Broccoli comes with a variety of nutrients that promote eye health, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. These antioxidants protect the eyes from free radicals, an unstable molecule that can break down healthy tissue in the eye.

Brussel sprouts, a related plant species, provides similar nutritional support and eye protection.


Legumes are high in zinc — a mineral that leads to retinal health and can protect the eyes from the damaging effects of light.

Members of the legume family, such as black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, and black-eyed peas, provide your body with healthy amounts of zinc and are considered among the best foods for eye health.

Best foods for eye health


As part of the legume family, chickpeas supply the zinc needed to keep your vision sharp. Enjoy the chickpeas themselves, or use them to create a delicious hummus spread. Bonus points if you pair the spread with other eye-health foods like bell peppers and carrots.

Chicken (lean poultry)

Lean poultry like chicken, turkey, and duck provide a protein-rich source of zinc — which protects your retina.

In addition to poultry, lean cuts of beef and pork have similar nutrients.


Shellfish lovers have reason to celebrate! Oysters have more zinc per serving than any other food. The AARP even listed oysters near the top of their list of superfoods for the eyes.


Blueberries, strawberries, and other types of berries have anthocyanins, a potent antioxidant. Anthocyanins protect the structure of the retina, improve night vision, and shield the eyes from harmful rays.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat for eye protection, a handful of berries is a good choice.


If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our Culver City office.

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