Featured Fitness Food Fun Feelings For Parents Para Padres

The Eyes Have It!

If you need glasses, what you eat can't help you see better—but it sure can help keep your eyes healthy.

Take carrots, for instance. We bet your parents tell you to eat them because they're good for your eyes. Well, they're right because carrots contain beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. You need enough vitamin A so you can see in the dark. Sweet potatoes, spinach, cantaloupe and apricots also are packed with beta-carotene.

Here's a mouthful: Lutein (LOO-TEEN) and zeaxanthin (ZEE-UH-ZAN-THIN) are relatives of beta-carotene that are also good for your eyes. In fact, there's some right inside your eyes! They seem to work like sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. (You still need to wear sunglasses, though. Otherwise, the lutein and zeaxanthin get used up and your eyes could get hurt.) You can get these eye-protectors by eating spinach, broccoli, red peppers, corn, peas and egg yolks (the yellow part).

Also good for your eyes: Vitamin C (found in red and green peppers, broccoli, oranges, strawberries and kiwi) and the mineral zinc (think turkey, pork, oysters and brown rice).

See a pattern here? Most eye-healthy foods are bright-colored fruits and veggies. So do your eyes a favor and eat a rainbow each day.

Peek at these eye-appealing recipes:
Devilish Eyeball Delicacy
Popeye's Pizza Bagel
Secret Ingredient Carrot Whip

Reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Panel, 2006