We’ve been told since we were children that eating carrots will improve eyesight. However, according to a recent article from Essential Baby, it’s a myth. It’s true that carrots contain vitamin A, which is necessary for the eyes to function. But we only need small amounts, and a normal diet contains all the vitamin A that we need.
Instead, what we need for eye health are fats, particularly fatty acids. Omega-3, an essential fatty acid (EFA), has been found to be connected to optimal eye health. EFAs, fatty acids which can only be obtained through diet rather than produced by our bodies, have been shown to be “critical for proper visual development in infants”, while “deficiencies of omega-3 fatty acids in adults can lead to impaired vision”, according to the article.
In 2007, a large study found that people who eat at least two servings of fish weekly are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of irreversible vision loss among people over 65 in the USA.
And just in case you are wondering, the best sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids are cold-water fish – salmon, mackerel, herring, sardine, and tuna – which are high in both EPA and DHA polyunsaturated fats.
For non-fish eaters, natural sources include flaxseeds, walnuts, and dark green leafy vegetables. In addition, Omega-3 is available in the less messy form of fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements.