National Eye Exam Month: Best Fruits and Veggies for Your Eyes

Gimme 5 Carrot SmoothieWhen was the last time you had your vision checked?  August is National Eye Exam Month, which makes this a great time to get your vision screenings up to date. Healthy adults with no vision problems should get their eyes checked at least once in their twenties, twice in their thirties, and every two or three years between the ages of 40 and 65.  If you wear glasses or contacts, have a family history of eye disease, or have health problems that may impact your vision, you may need more frequent eye exams.

While you’re thinking about getting your vision checked, it’s also a good time to start thinking about eating for your eye health.  New research suggests that some nutrients found in fruit and veggies can improve your eye health and possibly prevent eye diseases such as cataracts or macular degeneration.  Here’s a guide to some of the most important nutrients:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps protect your eyes against damage caused by ultraviolet light.  Some experts think that vitamin C may help prevent or delay the development of cataracts.  Vitamin C rich foods include citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, raspberries, mango and pineapple.  Our Sunrise Sunset Smoothie is rich in vitamin C, and our Vitamin-C Immune Complex can be added to any of our smoothies for an extra nutrient boost.

Beta-Carotene

Mom was right when she told you that carrots would help your eyes.  Beta-carotene is a cartenoid and antioxidant that helps your body maintain good vision and also improves night vision.  Beta-carotene is best obtained through a healthy diet and is found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, cantaloupe, and dark green leafy vegetables.  Our Gimme 5 Carrot Smoothie is a tasty way to boost your beta-carotene intake.  You won’t find it on our menu board, but just ask for a Gimme 5 and we’ll whip one up for you (you’ll be glad you did).

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two little-known nutrients that have attracted a lot of recent attention.  They are compounds found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.  They are also found in the macular region of the eye.  These important compounds help neutralize free radicals and keep your arteries from getting hard.  Lutein and zeaxanthin also prevent the type of light damage that can lead to macular degeneration.  Many experts believe that these compounds can prevent macular degeneration and slow progression of the disease.  Kale, spinach, corn, carrots, and eggs are all rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.  Our breakfast wraps are an eye-healthy way to start your morning.  Try the Early Bird, All-American, or Salsa Sunrise wraps to start your day off with a tropical twist.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you protect your vision and improve your health.Tropical Smoothie Café has an abundance of delicious and nutrient rich menu options that are healthy and will delight your taste buds.  Help us celebrate National Eye Exam Month by getting your vision checked and choosing foods rich in eye-friendly nutrients. Tropical Smoothie Cafe can help you eat better, feel better–and see better, too.

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Posted on August 24, 2012, in Nutrition and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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