We’re all crunched for time during the day, and trying to eat right on the go isn’t easy. To help you fit all the essential vitamins into your action-packed days, here are some healthy snack ideas you can tote along wherever summer takes you.
Vitamin A and eye health are like two peas in a pod, and it’s no surprise that carrots made the list of portable, eye-healthy snacks. Among other benefits, “vitamin A plays a role in keeping our retinas working properly and helps our eyes adapt to changing light,” says Walter F. Morton, O.D. from BuckEye Vision Care in Centennial, CO.
You can find vitamin A in carrots, red peppers, dried apricots, and sweet potatoes (think: home-made fries!).
Vitamin B is actually a group of vitamins that helps your body with energy production by regulating metabolism, nutrient conversion, and cell production. One powerhouse, eye-loving B vitamin is pyridoxine, a.k.a., vitamin B6. “Pyridoxine can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as well as treat conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol, both of which can affect your eyes,” says Dr. Morton.
Some common sources of vitamin B6 are bananas, avocados (think: guacamole!), sunflower seeds, and pistachios.
This antioxidant nutrient does it all! Not only does it benefit us by strengthening our bones and muscles and keeping our immune systems in shape, but it also helps our eyes. “Vitamin C can help lower your risk of developing cataracts as well as delay the effects of AMD,” says Dr. Morton.
You can find vitamin C in a lot of summertime favorites, such as apples, peaches, strawberries, guavas, papayas, mangos, pineapples, and avocados. Fruit salad, anyone?
We know vitamin D is good for our bones, but some of its other functions include guarding against autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. “By keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range, you reduce the chance of developing hypertension in your eyes, which can lead to vision problems,” comments Dr. Morton.
You can get vitamin D from eggs (think: hard-boiled when you’re on the go), milk, and fish, but roughly 80-90% of your body’s supply of vitamin D comes from the sun. So go outside and
soak up some summer rays!
Vitamin E has earned its bragging rights by reducing the risk and effects of big-time conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, coronary heart disease, and certain types of cancers. Although not as life-threatening, cataracts are another ailment that vitamin E resists. Dr. Morton comments, “Studies show that vitamin E can slow the progression of and help prevent cataracts.”
Some sources of vitamin E are almonds, whole grains (think: oatmeal), hazelnuts, avocados, and spinach.
Vitamin K encourages healthy blood circulation and helps reduce inflammation. Some say applying it to your skin can help with spider veins, scars, stretch marks, burns, acne, and related issues—including under-eye circles. “Under-eye circles can be caused by poor circulation, but a proper amount of vitamin K, coupled with vitamins A and C, can help flush out the bags under your eyes,” says Dr. Morton.
You can find vitamin K in foods such as broccoli, prunes, celery, and pickles.
The next time you’re at the grocery store gearing up for a busy week, consider grabbing some of these nutritious snack items to keep your body fueled on the go.
The content of this article is for general informational awareness purposes only. Please consult your eye care doctor or physician for actual advice.