Martha Jefferson Monday: What Can I Eat to Keep my Eyes Healthy - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What Can I Eat to Keep my Eyes Healthy?

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Eating a healthy diet is good for many reasons - maintaining a reasonable weight, preventing heart disease, and can even prevent some cancers. However, it's also important for our eye health. Whether you realize it or not, what you eat can make a difference when it comes to protecting your eyes.

“There are several nutrients that seem to offer protection to the eyes,” noted Rita Smith, a registered dietitian at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

First on the list are foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna, salmon and sardines. Additionally, a substance called lutein is also key.

“Lutein is a substance that you find in dark green leafy vegetables, like collard greens, spinach, kale and mustard greens,” commented Smith. “They are loaded in lutein and that seems to protect the eyes from damage or harm as we get older.”

Foods rich in vitamin C, including citrus, bell peppers and potatoes offer protection as well. And finally, zinc, which you can find in red meat, whole grains and nuts.

But, don’t expect to notice any changes yourself. Smith says it all takes place behind the scenes.

“When you eat well, or you eat specifically really well for your eyes, you don’t notice anything different. You’re not going to feel different, your eyes aren’t going to look different, you’re not going to see visually any difference when you are eating well to protect your eyes. It’s just one of those things we know helps kind of from the inside out and so you want to be sure you get them in your diet,” noted Smith.

Additionally, avoiding smoking, and direct sunlight are always ways to protect your eyes and make sure you maintain good health.

For more information on this topic, or for information on nutrition classes taught by Rita Smith, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.

If you have a health question you’d like for us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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