Everyone knows eating green leafy vegetables is good for your health but many of us overlook other fruits and vegetables that provide significant ocular nutrition. Look to other colors in addition to green to find sources of nutrients and antioxidants needed for the proper function of retinal tissue. For example, two major naturally occurring carotenoids in the retina are lutein and zeaxanthin. Both are common supplements in over the counter vitamins. One food source with the highest amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin is corn. Kiwi, red seedless grapes, zucchini squash, and pumpkin are other top contributors for lutein. Orange peppers and oranges are sources of zeaxanthin. Perhaps somewhat surprising, carrots are not as good a source of lutein or zeaxanthin when compared to the above sources. So keep eating away at the kale, spinach, and collard greens, but don’t forget to add the colors.
Vit Patel, MD