Writers, Eat These Foods to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Photo of fresh carrots on a wooden background.
Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene. (Photo: Lukas Gojda)

Good eyesight—it’s at the top of the list of prerequisites for a writer. So, what are you doing to make sure you maintain it?

Yellow or Orange

If you’re thinking that your friend the carrot is the best food to eat for eye health, give yourself a gold star. But you can have an extra gold star if you know why (other than, “Everybody knows that.”)

Yes, carrots are loaded with a carotenoid known as beta-carotene, which gives it that distinctive orange color. That’s your clue: Any natural food item that’s yellow or orange in color is most likely packed with beta-carotene. You’ll want to munch on it because it can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

Photo of a plate with grilled salmon on it.
Salmon is one of the foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids. (Photo: siraphol)

Further Down the Spectrum

Yellow and orange are eye-friendly colors. Look for foods with high concentrations of these nutrients:

  • Lutein. It means “yellow” in Latin—and it means nothing but good news for your eyes. It’s believed that lutein can help to keep the eye safe from stress caused by the light cast from computer monitors. Lutein has been proven in studies to prevent macular degeneration.
  • Zeaxanthin. This is the pigment that gives paprika its characteristic color, and it’s a substance that in scientific studies has been connected to decreasing the incidence of age-related eye diseases.
  • Zinc. Cataracts occur when protein in the eye’s natural lens breaks down, but zinc can help to prevent this. Your body can’t store zinc, however, so you must eat foods with an adequate amount to provide it.
  • Vitamin C. Hello? Oranges!
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. There’s nothing fishy about looking for this important nutrient in salmon. And as with zinc, the human body can’t synthesize them so they must be supplemented.
Photo of a bowl of Brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts have more vitamin C than oranges do. (Photo: handmadepictures)

On the Plate

  • Eggs. They contain lutein. Eat the whole egg… Skipping the yolk defeats the purpose.
  • Salmon. It’s one of the foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Ostrich. Don’t stick your head in the sand about this source of protein: It’s super low in fat, but an amazingly high source of zinc, iron, and protein (these three substances complement the main building blocks of ocular health).
  • Brussels sprouts. These little bombs of vitamin C contain 50 percent more of this nutrient than an orange. Just four to six Brussels sprouts contain the adult daily requirement for vitamin C.
  • Spinach. This is a jackpot food for writers because it contains lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.
  • Kale. As with its relative, spinach, munching on this vegetable gives you an all-around dosage of all the good stuff for your ocular health.
  • Blueberries. Oops, wrong color! But you want to include this berry because it has a distinct advantage of improving blood circulation in your eyes.
  • Bell peppers. Seek out the orange variety because besides being super high in beta-carotene, orange bell peppers also give you a big dose of zeaxanthin and vitamin C. Plus, they contain three times the average amount of vitamin C than the average orange.

Writers, here’s to your eye health!

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Dave Baker

View posts by Dave Baker
Hi, I’m Dave Baker, founder and copy chief of Super Copy Editors. I have more than two decades of professional proofreading and copy editing experience, including work for The Nation magazine, The New York Times, and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, where I shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes after Hurricane Katrina. Today, I have put together a hand-picked team of copy editors, and we especially love working with ad agencies, marketing departments, and education companies to make their text as polished as possible. Learn more here.

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