7 foods that promote good vision and eye protection


3 minutes

24 April 2024

Often taken for granted until problems arise, eye health is an important part of our overall wellbeing.

Fortunately, maintaining good vision doesn't solely rely on luck or genetics, with our dietary choices playing an integral part.

Our eyes, like any other part of our body, require a variety of nutrients to function optimally, meaning proactively incorporating nutrient-rich foods into our diets and adopting healthy lifestyle habits is essential.

In this blog, we explore the foods that can assist in promoting good vision and eye protection, helping you to see clearly for years to come.

Top foods for healthy vision

1. Leafy greens

We know, we know – dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and savoy cabbage may not be the most exciting of ingredients, but they are absolute powerhouse foods for eye health. Rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that accumulate in the retina, eating leafy greens can have a beneficial effect in delaying the progression of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also found in broccoli, peas, parsley, corn, and egg yolks2.

2. Carrots

The age-old adage that carrots are good for your eyes isn't just an old wives’ tale. Carrots have one of the highest beta-carotene levels found in vegetables3, which, when converted into vitamin A by our bodies4, is essential for maintaining good vision, reducing the risk of developing certain eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration5 and night blindness associated with chronic eye dryness6.

3. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are packed with vitamin C7, which has been linked to the prevention of the development of cataracts in numerous studies8,9. Other foods high in vitamin C include kiwi fruit, blackcurrants, strawberries, guava, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cooked kale, Brussels sprouts and Chinese cabbage7. Plus, the native Kakadu plum, which contains 100 times the vitamin C than oranges – the highest known concentration of any food10!

4. Berries

Not only a delicious snack, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries contain the antioxidant group anthocyanins11, which have been shown to improve night vision, reduce eye strain, and improve blood circulation12. Other sources of anthocyanins include grapes, apples, plums, and cabbage11.

5. Fatty fish

Salmon, tuna, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids13, which play a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity of the retina and both the prevention and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)14. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts are additional sources for omega-3 fatty acids15.

6. Nuts and seeds

Almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts are all rich in vitamin E16, which has been shown to contribute to overall eye health and protect against gradual central vision loss observed in age-related macular degeneration (AMD)17. Vitamin E is also found in wheat germ oil, safflower oil, pumpkin, red capsicum, and spinach16.

7. Eggs

Already mentioned as a key source of lutein and zeaxanthin, eggs also contain zinc18, which is essential in maintaining healthy eye function, in addition to reducing the development and progression of chronic eye diseases19. Additional foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, oats and cheese18.

Additional tips for eye protection

In addition to incorporating the above foods into your diet, there are several other lifestyle factors to consider when it comes to protecting your eyes:

  • Wear sunglasses: Exposure to harmful UV rays can accelerate the development of cataracts and other eye conditions20. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to shield your eyes from the sun's damaging effects.
  • Take regular breaks: If you spend long hours staring at screens, make a conscious effort to take regular breaks to rest your eyes. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to reduce eye strain20.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for several eye conditions, including macular degeneration and cataracts. If you smoke, quitting can significantly reduce your risk of developing these problems and improve overall eye health20.


  1. 1Vision 20/20 Australia: Eye health in Australia
  2. 2Nutrients: Lutein and Zeaxanthin and Their Roles in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Neurodegenerative Disease
  3. 3WA Government Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development: Carrots in Western Australia
  4. 4National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A and Carotenoids
  5. 5Journal of Clinical Medicine: Prevention of the Onset of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  6. 6World Health Organisation: Vitamin A deficiency
  7. 7Healthdirect: Vitamin C and your health
  8. 8Acta Ophthalmologica: Association of vitamin C with the risk of age-related cataract: a meta-analysis
  9. 9The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Long-term vitamin C supplement use and prevalence of early age-related lens opacities
  10. 10Healthline: 20 Foods That Are High in Vitamin C
  11. 11Molecules: Anthocyanins: A Comprehensive Review of Their Chemical Properties and Health Effects on Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases
  12. 12Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition: Effects of anthocyanin, astaxanthin, and lutein on eye functions: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
  13. 13Better Health Channel: Fish
  14. 14Klinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde (Clinical monthly newsletters for ophthalmology): Micronutrients and their relevance for the eye--function of lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids
  15. 15National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  16. 16Healthdirect: Foods high in vitamin E
  17. 17Frontiers in Neuroscience: Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Therapeutic Role of Vitamin E in Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  18. 18Healthdirect: Foods high in zinc
  19. 19Journal of the American College of Nutrition: Zinc and the eye
  20. 20Healthdirect: Eye care


This article contains general information only and does not take into account the health, personal situation or needs of any person. In conjunction with your GP or treating health care professional, please consider whether the information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances.