Glaucoma Causes, Treatment And Prevention

Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects around 2.2 million Americans and is the second leading cause of blindness in the world behind cataracts. It is a disease that should not be taken lightly.

In this article, I will be providing you with an overview of glaucoma, discussing how diet can affect this disease, and then focusing on 50 eye boosting foods. I hope after reading this article that you start improving your diet, and minimize the impact glaucoma has on your life.

Glaucoma Overview

Glaucoma is a nasty eye disease that can ultimately lead to blindness. It develops when the optic nerve (the nerve that transmits images to the brain) becomes damaged. This then has an impact on your vision and can lead to minor vision loss or full vision loss depending on the severity of the damage.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

No one knows exactly what causes glaucoma. For a long time, it was believed that raised intraocular pressure (fluid pressure) in the eyes was the culprit. However, research has shown that people with normal intraocular pressure can still contract this disease.

Despite no one knowing the exact cause, there are a number of risk factors for glaucoma which I have listed below:

  • Age: People over 60 are six times more likely to contract this disease.
  • Blood Disorders: People suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure have a greater risk of contracting this disease.

  • Ethnicity: African Americans are five times more likely to develop this disease compared with Caucasians. Asian Americans and Mexican Americans are also slightly more likely to contract glaucoma than Caucasians.
  • Eye Problems: People with a central corneal thickness of less than 0.5mm, eye injuries and myopia all have an increased risk of contracting this disease.
  • Family History: People with a sibling who has glaucoma are five times more likely to develop this disease.
  • Raised Intraocular Pressure: People with raised intraocular pressure in their eyes are much more likely to contract this disease. Over 90% of all glaucoma cases are caused by high intraocular pressure.

Glaucoma Symptoms

In most cases glaucoma is very difficult to detect as in the beginning it only affects your peripheral vision. Changes in peripheral vision are very hard to spot unless you focus on it regularly.

Consistent problems with your eyes can also be a sign of glaucoma. Some examples include clouded vision, dilated eyes, impaired vision caused by light, painful eyes, red eyes, tender eyes, vision loss, visual sensitivity to light and watery eyes.

If you notice any of these signs or any other suspicious problems with your eyes, consult your doctor or eye specialist as soon as possible.

Glaucoma Prevention

Since no one is sure what causes glaucoma, preventing this eye disease is just as difficult as spotting the symptoms. The available evidence suggests that there are three main things that you can do to prevent glaucoma:

  • Get Your Eyes Examined Regularly: By getting your eyes examined regularly you can catch glaucoma early, prevent it from spreading further and get the necessary treatment.
  • Eat A Healthy Diet: By eating certain natural healthy foods and avoiding certain highly processed foods you can reduce your risk of contracting glaucoma.
  • Exercise Regularly: By participating in regular cardiovascular exercise you can lower the intraocular pressure within your eyes by as much as 20% and reduce your glaucoma risk.

Glaucoma Causes, Treatment And Prevention

Glaucoma And Nutrition

As discussed, one of the main things you can do to prevent glaucoma is improving your diet. There is currently no evidence that directly links certain foods and nutrients with glaucoma prevention. However, there are a number of nutrients in food that can protect your eyes and promote healthy vision.

The following nutrients have been put forward by medical professionals as nutrients that could possibly help prevent glaucoma:

  • Lutein.
  • Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).
  • Resveratrol.
  • Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E.
  • Rutin.
  • Zeaxanthin.
  • Zinc.

Now I will be taking a deeper look at each of these nutrients, explaining how they benefit your eyes and listing the top five food sources for each nutrient.

5 Lutein Rich Foods

Lutein is one of the newer discoveries when it comes to optimal health. It was first discovered in the 1930s and then in 1945, it was identified as part of the macula lutea (an oval-shaped spot in the retina).

The research on lutein is still in the very early stages when it comes to eye health. The evidence that is available is very promising and indicates that lutein can protect the eyes from cataracts and photophobia. However, further studies are needed to confirm this. Lutein is also a powerful antioxidant that can keep your eyes safe from free radical damage.

Whilst there is no proven link between lutein, vision and glaucoma prevention, many doctors and health professionals recommend eating it regularly to keep your eyes healthy.

1) Kale

Kale contains an impressive 18.2mg of lutein per 100g and is also a good source of three other eye boosting nutrients – vitamin A, vitamin C, and zeaxanthin. It makes a great addition to any salad but can also be boiled or steamed if you want to eat it with a hot meal.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Kale:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Lutein 18.2mg
Vitamin A 4.1mg
Vitamin C 41mg
Zeaxanthin 6mg (approx.)

2) Paprika

Paprika is a great way to spice up any dish. A 100g of this cooking spice contains a notable 14.3mg of lutein and also good levels of eye strengthening vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Paprika:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Lutein 14.3mg
Vitamin A 15.7mg
Vitamin C 75.7mg
Vitamin E 35.7mg

3) Spinach

Spinach is another fantastic vegetable for your eyes and contains 12.2mg of lutein per 100g plus plenty of additional eyes boosting nutrients. When it comes to serving spinach, you can have it hot and boiled or cold as part of a salad.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Spinach:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Lutein 12.2mg
Vitamin A 3.2mg
Vitamin C 28.1mg
Vitamin E 2.1mg
Zeaxanthin 3.5mg (approx.)
Zinc 1.37mg

4) Turnip Greens

Turnip greens contain a substantial 8.4mg of lutein per 100g along with a wide range of other eye strengthening nutrients. Like the other green vegetables on this list, turnip greens go well with any salad but can also be boiled or steamed if you want them with a hot dish.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Turnip Greens:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Lutein 8.4mg
Vitamin A 2.4mg
Vitamin C 27.4mg
Vitamin E 1.9mg
Zeaxanthin 3.5mg (approx.)

5) Collard Greens

Collard greens contain 7.7mg of lutein per 100g along with plenty of eye boosting vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zeaxanthin. They can be eaten cold as part of a salad or used as a hot vegetable in any meal.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Collard Greens:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount

Lutein

7.7mg
Vitamin A 2.4mg
Vitamin C 18.2mg
Vitamin E 0.9mg
Zeaxanthin 0.15mg (approx.)

5 Omega 3 EFA Rich Foods

Omega 3 EFAs support countless vital organs in the body and the eyes are no exception. Your body uses these healthy fats to build retinal tissue and strengthen your vision. Additionally, failing to get enough omega 3 EFAs can actually be detrimental to your vision.

Although omega 3 EFAs have not been shown to protect against glaucoma, they do have a key role to play when it comes to vision and should definitely be part of your diet if you want to avoid this eye disease.

1) Flaxseed

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Flaxseeds are one of the top sources of omega 3 EFA with 100g giving you a massive 22.8g of these healthy fats. In addition to this, they are a great source of eye boosting zinc. Flaxseeds are probably not the first thing you would think of eating when you are hungry, but you can easily incorporate them into your diet if you get a little creative. Try mixing them in with your protein shake, having them with oats for breakfast or using them to add some crunchy texture to yogurts.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Flaxseed:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Omega 3 EFAs 22.8g
Zinc 4.3mg

2) Walnuts

Walnuts are another brilliant source of omega 3 EFAs with a 100g serving supplying you with 9.1g of these healthy fats. They also contain good levels of eye strengthening zinc. When it comes to eating walnuts they’re a brilliant substitute for crisps. Just grab a handful and enjoy the goodness.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Walnuts:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Omega 3 EFAs 9.1g
Zinc 3.6mg

3) Butternuts

Butternuts are loaded with omega 3 EFAs and also contain eye boosting zinc. A 100g serving gives you 8.7g of these healthy fats. They are quite rare but if you manage to pick some up they are a great healthy alternative to walnuts.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Butternuts:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Omega 3 EFAs 8.7g
Zinc 3.1mg

4) Salmon

Salmon is another very good source of omega 3 EFAs which contains 1g of these healthy fats. It is also a great source of eye strengthening vitamin D. When it comes to eating salmon, you can create a nice healthy hot meal by grilling it with some herbs and then serving it up with a selection of steamed vegetables. Alternatively, you can have it cold by adding smoked salmon to a crunchy salad.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Salmon:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Omega 3 EFAs 1g
Vitamin D 0.01mg

5) Soybeans

Soybeans are something you should definitely be eating if you want healthy eyes. 100g of soybeans gives you 0.6g of omega 3 EFAs and also provides you with plenty of eye boosting vitamin C. To eat soybeans simply boil or steam a portion and add it to your main meal.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Soybeans:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Omega 3 EFAs 0.6g
Vitamin C 17.5mg

5 Resveratrol Rich Foods

Resveratrol has received a lot of attention in recent years and has a long list of potential health benefits. When it comes to resveratrol and glaucoma, provisional studies suggest that it may be able to protect the trabecular meshwork (the tissue responsible for draining eye fluid) in the eye from damage, prevent high intraocular pressure and reduce one of the main risk factors for glaucoma.

However, additional studies are needed before this benefit can be confirmed. Resveratrol is also a powerful antioxidant that keeps your eyes safe from free radical damage.

Whilst the research on resveratrol and glaucoma is still in the very early stages, the potential effect this natural nutrient has on intraocular pressure makes it a food that should definitely be part of your diet.

1) Red Grape Juice

Red grape juice is one of the richest sources of resveratrol and contains 0.38mg of this natural nutrient per 100ml serving. It’s also a very good source of eye boosting vitamin C. The main way to consume red grape juice it is by drinking it straight. However, you can also freeze it and use it as ice cubes, add it to smoothies or use it as the juice in fruit salads.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100ml of Red Grape Juice:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Resveratrol 0.38mg (approx.)
Vitamin C 30.4mg

2) Red Grapes

Red grapes supply you with an impressive 0.31mg of resveratrol per 100g. They also contain a decent amount of eye boosting vitamin C. When it comes to eating red grapes, they are a great snack that can also be added to fruit salads and smoothies.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g of Red Grapes:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Resveratrol 0.31mg (approx.)
Vitamin C 10.8mg

3) Red Wine

Since red grape juice and red wine are both very good sources of resveratrol, it’s no surprise that red wine also makes the list. 100ml of this alcoholic beverage provides you with 0.25mg of resveratrol. Since red wine is alcoholic you need to enjoy it sparingly and moderate your consumption. A few glasses each week may help prevent glaucoma but if you drink too much the damage caused by the alcohol will far outweigh any benefits.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100ml of Red Wine:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Resveratrol 0.25mg (approx.)

4) Rose Wine

Rose wine is another brilliant source of resveratrol and contains 0.15mg of this natural nutrient per 100ml. Like with red wine, you need to moderate your consumption of rose wine to enjoy the benefits whilst avoiding the risks.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100ml of Rose Wine:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Resveratrol 0.15mg (approx.)

5) Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder contains an impressive 0.05mg of resveratrol per 100g and also gives you plenty of eye strengthening zinc. The main way to enjoy cocoa powder is with hot water but it can also be used to add some flavor to oatmeal, a protein shake or even a smoothie.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g of Rose Wine:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Resveratrol 0.05mg (approx.)

5 Rutin Rich Foods

Rutin boosts the eyes in a number of different ways. It is a potent antioxidant which keeps them safe from free radical damage. Additionally, rutin ensures that the eyes and the optic nerve are getting a constant supply of blood. Finally, provisional studies suggest that rutin might be able to directly protect against glaucoma although more evidence is required in this area before this can be confirmed.

Although the research on whether rutin prevents glaucoma is still in the early stages, the effect it has on the eyes is undeniable. If you want strong, healthy vision and maximum protection for your eyes you should definitely be eating this nutrient.

1) Buckwheat

Buckwheat is the richest food source of rutin available. It is a rather unique food and eating it may seem strange at first. However, once you get used to the taste buckwheat can be cooked on its own as an alternative to oatmeal or added to your main meals to create texture and flavor.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Buckwheat:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Rutin N/A

2) Black Tea

Black tea is another very good source of rutin and probably one that you drink every day. If you are more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, try mixing it up and switching a few cups of coffee for tea each day.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Tea:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Rutin N/A

3) Oranges

Oranges are another excellent source of rutin. In addition to this they are rich in the eye boosting vitamins A and C. When it comes to eating oranges, they are an excellent healthy snack and also a great addition to fruit salads or smoothies.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Oranges:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Rutin N/A
Vitamin A 0.06mg
Vitamin C 53.2mg

4) Onions

Onions are a top rutin source and also contain high levels of eye strengthening vitamin C. I find that the best way to eat them is fried with a little olive oil. However, onions can also be eaten raw as part of a salad, steamed, boiled or added to almost any hot dish.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Onions:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Rutin N/A
Vitamin C 11.84mg

5) Plums

Plums are a fantastic rutin source and are also loaded with vitamin C. When it comes to eating plums you simply bite into them and enjoy (just watch out for the stone). Alternatively, you can chop them into chunks and use them as ingredients in a fruit salad or remove the stone and blend them into a smoothie.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Plums:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Rutin N/A
Vitamin A 0.1mg
Vitamin C 9.5mg

5 Vitamin A Rich Foods

Vitamin A’s main role is to support healthy vision and night vision. Failing to get enough of this nutrient means your vision suffers. In addition to this vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that can prevent free radical damage to your eyes.

There have been no studies into the effect of vitamin A on glaucoma. However, given that this nutrient is essential for healthy vision and glaucoma is a vision disorder, consuming it regularly is a smart move.

1) Liver

Liver is not my personal favorite dish. However, it is an amazing source of vitamin A with a 100g serving giving you 22.6mg of this nutrient. It also contains good levels of eye strengthening zinc. When it comes to eating liver, it’s like any other meat. You can fry it, grill it or roast it and then serve with a selection of vegetables.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Liver:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin A 22.6mg
Zinc 11.3mg

2) Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato is an excellent alternative to regular potatoes and contains 5.8mg of vitamin A per 100g. In addition to this it contains plenty of eye boosting vitamin C. You can cook sweet potatoes exactly as you would normal potatoes. Boil them, mash them roast them or steam them and then have them as a side dish to your main meal.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Sweet Potatoes:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin A 5.8mg
Vitamin C 19.6mg

3) Carrots

Carrots contain a notable 5mg of vitamin A per 100g and are also a good source of eye strengthening vitamin C. When it comes to eating carrots, you can have them raw as a snack or cook them up as part of a hot meal.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Carrots:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin A 5mg
Vitamin C 5.9mg

4) Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is another top food source of vitamin A with a 100g serving supplying you with 1mg of this nutrient. They also contain good levels of eye boosting vitamin C. Cantaloupe makes a great healthy dessert on its own and can also be used as an ingredient in fruit salads or blended up as part of a healthy smoothie.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Cantaloupe:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin A 1mg
Vitamin C 36.7mg

5) Apricots

Apricots contain an impressive 0.7mg of vitamin A per 100g plus lots of eye boosting vitamin C. Apricots are a great snack on their own but if you are feeling a little creative they are also very tasty when grilled.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Apricots:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin A 0.6mg
Vitamin C 10.5mg

5 Vitamin C Rich Foods

Vitamin C is most well-known for its immune system boosting properties. However, when it comes to boosting the eyes, this natural nutrient stacks up pretty well. It protects them from various types of damage and as an antioxidant shield from dangerous free radicals.

There is currently no evidence that shows vitamin C can prevent glaucoma. However, it gives your eyes good all-around protection from damage so may be able to prevent the optic nerve damage associated with glaucoma.

1) Chili Peppers

If you can get over the scorching taste, chili peppers are one of the best sources of vitamin C available. A 100g serving provides you with a massive 242.5mg of vitamin C. When it comes to eating chili peppers, they are mainly used to add heat to curries and other meals. However, if you are feeling extra tough you can try eating them on their own as a snack.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Chili Peppers:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin C 242.5mg

2) Guavas

Guavas are right behind chili peppers in terms of vitamin C content and contain 228mg per 100g. They also contain good levels of eye boosting vitamin A. The most common way to eat guavas is raw as a snack. However, they are also a good ingredient in fruit salads or smoothies.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Guavas:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin C 228mg
Vitamin A 0.2mg

3) Parsley

Parsley contains an impressive 133mg of vitamin C per 100g. It is also loaded with plenty of other eye strengthening nutrients. Parsley is a great way to add flavor to foods. Simply sprinkle it on fish, meat or vegetables to add a subtle but satisfying taste.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Parsley:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin C 133mg
Lutein 5.6mg
Vitamin A 2.5mg

4) Kiwi Fruits

Kiwi fruits contain a notable 93mg of vitamin C per 100g. The most popular way to eat these tangy fruits is by chopping the top off and digging in with a spoon. However, you can also peel them fully and use them in a fruit salad or smoothie.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Kiwi Fruits:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin C 93mg

5) Broccoli

Broccoli supplies you with 89mg of vitamin C in a 100g serving. It is also a good source of eye boosting vitamin A and zeaxanthin. When it comes to eating broccoli, it complements most fish and meat and can be served on the side to add color and nutrition to any meal.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Broccoli:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin C 89mg
Vitamin A 0.2mg
Zeaxanthin 1.4mg

5 Vitamin D Rich Foods

Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ and its main function is supporting the bones and teeth. However, according to this article from National Glaucoma Research, it may be able to lower intraocular pressure in the eyes and therefore eliminate one of the main risk factors for glaucoma.

Like many studies on glaucoma and nutrition, there is not yet enough evidence to determine whether vitamin D actually does reduce intraocular pressure. However, this early information is very promising, and it is definitely worthwhile including foods that are rich in this vitamin as part of your diet.

1) Sardines

Like liver, sardines are not what I would call a tasty food. However, they contain impressive levels of vitamin D with a 100g serving supplying you 0.01mg of this nutrient. Additionally, they are a great source of eye strengthening omega 3 EFAs. Sardines can be eaten like any other fish although they have a very strong flavor, so the taste may be overpowering in certain dishes.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Sardines:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin D 0.01mg
Omega 3 EFAs 2.3g

2) Mackerel

Mackerel is another fish that I am not very fond of but in terms of vitamin D content, it is a very good choice. A 100g serving of this fish gives you 0.01mg of vitamin D and also contains good levels of eye boosting vitamin E. When it comes to eating mackerel, the same rules apply as with sardines. It can be eaten like any other fish, but the strong flavor can be too much for certain dishes.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Sardines:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin D 0.01mg
Vitamin E 1.5mg

3) Milk

Milk is another top vitamin D food source and contains 0.001mg of this nutrient per 100ml. To incorporate milk into your diet simply drink a small glass each day or start using it as an ingredient in your smoothies.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100ml Of Milk:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin D 0.001mg

4) Eggs

Eggs supply your body with 0.001mg of vitamin D per 100g. They also provide you with a decent amount of eye strengthening zinc. There are loads of options when it comes to cooking eggs. You can have them boiled, fried, poaches, as part of an omelet and more.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Eggs:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin D 0.001mg
Zinc 1mg

5) Shitake Mushrooms

Shitake mushrooms contain a notable 0.0005mg of vitamin D per 100g plus they are also a good source of eye boosting zinc. When it comes to eating shitake mushrooms you can add them to almost any dish. Curries, casseroles, stews are just some of the many choices.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Shitake Mushrooms:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin D 0.0005mg
Zinc 1mg

5 Vitamin E Rich Foods

Vitamin E is an extremely powerful antioxidant that can prevent free radicals from damaging your eyes. Early research indicates that it may also enhance the absorption rates of glaucoma treating eye drops.

Whilst there are still very few links between glaucoma and vitamin E, the antioxidant protection alone makes it a highly beneficial addition to your diet and can go a long way to keeping your eyes healthy.

1) Sunflower Seed

Sunflower seeds are the best food source of vitamin E around with a 100g serving containing 33.2mg of this natural nutrient. They also supply you with good amounts of eye strengthening zinc. When it comes to eating sunflower seeds, you can have them on their own as a snack, add them to yogurt or even mix them in with your protein shake.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Sunflower Seeds:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin E 33.2mg
Zinc 5mg

2) Almonds

Almonds are a tasty, vitamin E filled snack. A 100g serving provides you with 26.7mg of this vitamin along with a good helping of eye boosting zinc. Almonds can be eaten on their own as a snack or alternatively, you can roast them and serve them with fish.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Almonds:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin E 26.7mg
Zinc 3.6mg

3) Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a fantastic vegetable source of vitamin E. It contains 1.9mg of this vitamin per 100g along with plenty of eye strengthening vitamin A and vitamin C. Swiss chard tastes like a stronger version of spinach so can be eaten in pretty much the same way. You can boil it or steam it and serve it with a hot meal or serve it raw as part of a green crunchy salad.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Swiss Chard:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin E 1.9mg
Vitamin A 1.8mg
Vitamin C 30mg

4) Papaya

Papaya is a refreshing fruit that contains a reasonable 1.2mg of vitamin E per 100g. It also contains impressive amounts of the eye boosting vitamins A and C. When it comes to eating papaya, you can eat it on its own as a refreshing snack or use it as an extra ingredient in fruit salad and smoothies.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Papaya:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin E 1.2mg
Vitamin A 0.3mg
Vitamin C 62.3mg

5) Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are a great way to add some color to your diet and get some vitamin E. A 100g serving contains 1.6mg of this vitamin plus good levels of the eye strengthening vitamins A and C. Bell peppers are extremely versatile and can be used to add crunch to a salad or cooked up as part of the main meal.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Bell Peppers:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Vitamin E 1.6mg
Vitamin A 0.9mg
Vitamin C 127.7mg

5 Zeaxanthin Rich Foods

Zeaxanthin is very similar to lutein. It was initially discovered as part of the macula lutea in 1985 and since then research into the effects of dietary zeaxanthin on the eyes has intensified.

Provisional studies indicate that zeaxanthin has a positive effect on the eyes and that it may prevent age-related eye disorders and cataracts. However, additional research is required before these eye boosting properties can be confirmed. Zeaxanthin is also a potent antioxidant that can protect the eyes from dangerous free radicals.

Like lutein, there is no definitive link between zeaxanthin, vision and glaucoma prevention. However, many doctors and health professionals suggest eating more of this natural nutrient to prevent glaucoma and keep your eyes healthy.

1) Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn is one of the best food sources of zeaxanthin and contains a significant 1.2mg per 100g. It also supplies you with good levels of eye boosting vitamin C. Sweetcorn is very versatile and can be boiled, grilled or steamed. It can be eaten on its own as a healthy snack or added to hot meals, cold meals and salads to boost their nutritional profile.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Sweetcorn:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zeaxanthin 1.2mg
Vitamin C 5.5mg

2) Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are another brilliant source of zeaxanthin and contain 0.9mg of this nutrient per 100g. They are also rich in the eye strengthening vitamins A and C. When it comes to eating Brussels sprouts, they are traditionally boiled or steamed and then eaten with meat or fish. However, they can also be chopped up and eaten raw as part of a salad.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Brussels Sprouts:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zeaxanthin 0.9mg
Vitamin A 0.2mg
Vitamin C 85mg

3) Green Peas

Green peas are nutrient-packed little pods with a 100g serving containing a significant 0.8mg of zeaxanthin. They also contain high levels of the eye boosting nutrients lutein, vitamin A and vitamin C. Green peas are traditionally eaten with other vegetables as part of a hot main meal. However, they can also be eaten cold as part of a salad.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Green Peas:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zeaxanthin 0.8mg
Lutein 2.4mg
Vitamin A 0.2mg
Vitamin C 1.2mg

4) Zucchini

Zucchini (also known as courgette) is a tasty green vegetable that supplies you with a notable 0.4mg of zeaxanthin per 100g. It is also rich in eye strengthening vitamin C. When it comes to eating zucchini, it’s a great way to thicken up almost any hot dish. Simply chop it up and simmer it as part of a curry, casserole or stew to add texture and flavor to the dish.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Zucchini:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zeaxanthin 0.4mg
Vitamin C 17mg

5) Persimmons

Persimmons are probably not your natural first choice when it comes to fruit. However, they are a very good source of zeaxanthin with a 100g serving giving you 0.3mg of this natural nutrient. They also contain lots of eye boosting vitamin C. Eating persimmons is a little trickier than other fruits as you need to remove the core and the leaves using a knife. However, once this is done you can eat the remaining fruit as it is, add it to fruit salads, use it in a smoothie or even cook it for a healthy alternative dessert.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Persimmons:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zeaxanthin 0.3mg
Vitamin C 66mg

5 Zinc Rich Foods

Zinc consumption does not directly affect the eyes or vision. However, not getting enough zinc can lead to a number of eye problems including myopia, macular degeneration, and cataracts. It has been suggested that zinc deficiency may also cause glaucoma and as a result zinc supplements are sometimes given to people suffering from this disease.

Whilst further research is needed to determine exactly how zinc deficiency affects glaucoma, it is clear that not getting enough of this nutrient has a negative effect on your eyes. Therefore, you should definitely be making the effort to eat more zinc rich foods.

1) Oysters

Oysters are well known for their aphrodisiac properties, but they are also an excellent source of zinc and contain an impressive 90.8mg per 100g. In addition to this, they supply you with good levels of eye boosting vitamin D and omega 3 EFAs. Oysters are normally eaten raw out of the shell. However, they can also be cooked and used as an ingredient in hot seafood dishes.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Oysters:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zinc 90.8mg
Vitamin D 0.008mg
Omega 3 EFAs 0.7g

2) Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds don’t look like they provide much in terms of nutritional value. However, the truth is that a 100g serving supplies you with 10mg of zinc. When it comes to eating pumpkin seeds, you have plenty of options. They can be eaten on their own as an alternative to nuts, sprinkled on top of oatmeal, added to a smoothie or sprinkled on top of a hot casserole.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Pumpkin Seeds:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zinc 10mg

3) Beef

Beef is a tasty and nutritious meat that gives you 10mg of zinc per 100g. It can be combined with a few vegetables to create a quick and easy meal or alternatively it can be used as one of the ingredients in curries, casseroles, salads or stews.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Beef:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zinc 10mg

4) Peanuts

Peanuts are a tasty snack with a 100g portion containing 6.6mg of zinc. They are also a very good source of vitamin D. The most popular way to eat peanuts is on their own but they can also be added to salads or used to garnish meats.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Peanuts:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zinc 6.6mg
Vitamin E 8.4mg

5) Lamb

Lamb is a tender alternative to beef and supplies you with 4.1mg of zinc per 100g. It goes great with a few steamed vegetables and a bit of mint sauce. It can also be used to create a nutritious casserole, curry, stew or salad.

Eye Boosting Nutrients In 100g Of Lamb:

Eye Boosting Nutrients Amount
Zinc 4.1mg

5 Eye Boosting Meals And Snacks

Hopefully you have a good idea of the kinds of foods you should be including in your diet if you want to boost your vision, protect your eyes and prevent glaucoma. However, sometimes even when you have all the information you need, applying it to your existing diet is still very difficult. For example, after reading the above paragraphs, you might know that you need to start eating more spinach but be struggling to create meals that include this green leafy vegetable.

Now I intend to help by sharing with you my top 5 eye boosting meals and snacks. Each meal or snack will incorporate multiple foods from the previous paragraphs. If you eat these meals or snacks regularly you will be giving your eyes all the nutrients they need to remain healthy and strong and possibly prevent glaucoma.

1) Hot Buckwheat

Ingredients:

  • 5g of butter.
  • 10g of 1 or more of the following seeds; flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.
  • 50g of 1 or more of the following fruits; apricots, cantaloupe, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, persimmons, plums, red grapes.
  • 150g buckwheat.
  • 150ml of milk.

Instructions:

  • Place the buckwheat, milk, and butter in a saucepan.
  • Put the saucepan on a low heat on the hob.
  • Heat and stir until the mixture becomes thick.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  • Top with your selected fruit and seeds and enjoy.

2) Crunchy Salad

Ingredients:

  • 5g of paprika.
  • 5g of parsley.
  • 10ml of balsamic vinegar.
  • 10ml of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 50g of 4 or more of the following vegetables; bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, collard greens, green peas, kale, onions, shitake mushrooms, soybeans, spinach, sweetcorn, Swiss chard, turnip greens, zucchini.
  • 100g of 1 or more of the following cooked fish or meats; beef, lamb, liver, mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines.

Instructions:

  • Place your selected vegetables into a bowl.
  • Add your selected cooked fish or meats to the bowl.
  • Mix the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, paprika and parsley in a cup to create a garnish.
  • Drizzle this garnish on top of the fish, meats, and vegetables and enjoy.

3) Mixed Nuts And Seeds Snack

Ingredients:

  • 50g of 1 or more of the following nuts; almonds, butternuts, peanuts, walnuts.
  • 50g of 1 or more of the following seeds; flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.

Instructions:

  • Place your selected nuts and seeds into a bowl or cup and enjoy as a tasty snack.

4) Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 50g of crushed ice.
  • 50ml of milk (optional).
  • 50ml of red grape juice (optional).
  • 250g of 4 or more of the following fruits; apricots, cantaloupe, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, persimmons, plums, red grapes.

Instructions:

  • Place your crushed ice, milk, red grape juice, and selected fruits into a blender.
  • Blend until the ingredients become frothy.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy.

5) Hot And Spicy Meat Or Fish

Ingredients:

  • 5g of paprika.
  • 5g of parsley.
  • 10g of finely chopped chili peppers.
  • 10ml of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 25g of 1 or more of the following finely chopped nuts; almonds, butternuts, peanuts, walnuts.
  • 50g of 2 or more of the following vegetables; bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, collard greens, green peas, kale, onions, shitake mushrooms, soybeans, spinach, sweetcorn, Swiss chard, turnip greens, zucchini.
  • 50g of peeled sweet potatoes.
  • 100g of 1 or more of the following fish or meats; beef, lamb, liver, mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines.

Instructions:

  • Place your selected vegetables into a steamer and steam for 20 minutes.
  • Place the chili peppers, chopped nuts, extra virgin olive, oil, paprika, parsley, and fish or meat into a plastic freezer bag.
  • Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and ensure that all the ingredients are sticking to your fish or meat.
  • Empty the contents of the freezer bag into a frying pan.
  • Add the sweet potatoes to the frying pan and fry on a low to medium heat.
  • Fry until the meat or fish is fully cooked and the nuts and sweet potatoes turn golden brown.
  • Place the steamed vegetables on a plate, top with the contents of the frying pan and enjoy.

Glaucoma And Nutrition Overview

As I have mentioned, there is no 100% foolproof way of preventing glaucoma. Studies into the effect diet has on this disease are still in the very early stages. However, a number of leading glaucoma organizations such as the Glaucoma Research Foundation and National Glaucoma Research, recommend the foods and nutrients discussed in this article.

I hope this information has helped you easily identify exactly which foods and nutrients you need to be eating on a regular basis, to keep your eyes healthy, and possibly prevent glaucoma.

If you need more information on glaucoma prevention then check out the Glaucoma Research Foundation and National Glaucoma Research, Both of these websites contain plenty of helpful articles on the topic.

Resources

Glaucoma Research Foundation

National Glaucoma Research

Nutrition Data

WHFoods

Disclaimer

All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. You should seek medical advice before starting this or any other diet, health or fitness regimen. We make no warranty, express or implied, regarding your individual results.

The author disclaims any personal liability, for loss or risk incurred as a result of any information or advice contained herein, either directly or indirectly.

All links are for informational purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy, or other implied or explicit purposes.

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