Fresh, farmers market produce is all the rage during the summer as it is cheap, high quality, and tastes amazing. What some may not know is that some of the fruits and vegetables on sale at these stands are incredibly good for your eyesight. To save you the trouble of research, we have compiled a neat list of a few of the more popular farmers’ market choices to help your eyes out in the long run.
Rich in beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A, carrots are and always have been the go-to food to keep your vision going strong. Vitamin A helps the retina stay healthy and strong, while also keeping the rest of the eye working smoothly as well. Carrots also contain lutein, which strengthens the retina and lowers the risk for macular degenerative diseases. Although not guaranteed to protect your vision, it will certainly give you a big head start the more you eat.
2. Leafy Greens
That’s correct, the main ingredient for a good salad is another great way to protect your vision. Spinach, lettuce, and kale are all solid sources of both lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts later in life. You could even get a little daring and add some carrots to that salad just for good measure!
3. Berries and Citrus
This is shaping up to be a list of great salad ingredients but this is all fact. Berries like raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, and citrus-like oranges and lemons contain a large amount of vitamin C, which is one of the best ways to stave off macular degeneration and cataracts. Just make sure you eat them in moderation, as with any food on the list.
A great addition to any salad or breakfast, eggs have everything that leafy greens do, with the added exception of zinc, which is a great way to lower macular degeneration. Also, cooking the eggs damages the lutein and zeaxanthin, so try to cook them as little as possible, such as soft-boil, poached, or if you feel daring, raw. On the salad topic, studies show that adding eggs to a salad increases the carotenoid absorption by up to nine times; so needless to say, it’s very good for your eyesight if you add it in.
5. Orange Pepper
This is not a vegetable that everyone looks for at a farmers market, but if you are keeping your eyesight in consideration, and maybe your salad as well, it is one of the best options available to you. With the highest concentration of zeaxanthin out of all fruits and vegetables, this is a must eat to ensure you have good vision in the future. Also, zeaxanthin is not something our bodies can produce naturally, so you have to get it in your system through other means, such as ingesting it.
6. Black Currants
This goes along with the berries and citrus but is a little tougher to find at a farmers market. They are one of the best fruits to eat to improve vision and are in season in July, but they’re usually aren’t many local farmers that harvest them for a market sale. That said, if you do manage to get your hands on them, they are quite the delicious find. Black currants contain one of the highest concentrations of anthocyanins in nature, a component that gives berries their color and their health benefits. Black currants are the best of the berries in enhancing your eyesight, and they are also rich in fatty acids, which work as anti-inflammatories. Some people get the benefits through a black currant seed oil pill, but eating the real thing is much tastier and filling.