Plant-Based Foods To Help Your Eyesight
Is there any truth behind the school playground rumour that carrots help you see in the dark? Keep reading to discover which fruits, vegetables, nuts seeds, grains and legumes are scientifically proven to improve eyesight (and health), even if not quite to the extent of military ops night-vision...
Everything you need to know about a vegan diet and eyesight.
Which fruit and vegetables are good for your eyesight?
Here are some of the best fruits and vegetables for better eyesight and our favourite vegan recipes to cook them.
What better place to start our journey than with the vegetable that started it all? Even though they might not help you see in the dark, there is some method behind the madness. Carrots are rich in vitamin A (also known as retinol) in the form of beta carotene which is key in maintaining good eye health and by extension, eyesight.
One of our favourite ways to cook with carrots is making Val’s maple and ginger roast carrots – they’re rich, savoury, sticky, sweet and tangy, making them pretty much perfect in our eyes.
Kale, spinach and other collard greens, including broccoli, all hold the iconic antioxidant duo lutein and zeaxanthin; two important plant-pigments key in maintaining good eye health. They’re also highly effective in preventing serious eye conditions, like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Why not make Val’s nourishing parsnip and kale soup and see if you can feel the benefits?
Citrus fruits and berries
Oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries and even kiwi fruit are all rich in vitamin C which is another key worker in protecting your eyes’ general health.
We love making Val’s vegan homemade coconut yoghurt recipe and eating it with a handful of fresh fruit, making it a great breakfast or dessert.
Omega 3 plays an important role in eye health throughout our lives.. The DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) part of omega 3 is key in eye development for children, and for maintaining healthy eyes as adults. Plant-based foods that are good sources of this are chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts.
Why not try our Mango, Turmeric and Chia Pot for a vegan kick of omega 3?
Vegan store cupboard staples to aid eye health
Foods with a low GI (glycemic index) like quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole oats and whole-wheat bread are an easy substitute for refined carbohydrates (like white bread etc.) that can help improve eye health. They’re all rich in vitamin E, zinc and niacin (a form of vitamin B3), nutrients that your eyes will thank you for.
For a tasty health hit that makes the most of its nutrient-rich ingredients, we recommend Val’s brown rice, kimchi and tofu soup recipe.
More vegan sources of vitamin E and zinc
For an additional top-up, we love snacking on:
- Sunflower seeds
Lentils, chickpeas, soy and virtually every kind of bean are the final few foods that can help regulate eye health and sight. As well as a hearty source of zinc, they contain bioflavonoids (a plant-compound that helps maximise the effect of vitamin C in your body) which will protect your retinas along with reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
In need of a fresh way to use more lentils, then how about trying this recipe for our Bhaji Daal for dinner tonight?
by Fabian Jackson
Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Interns who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.