3 Super Foods for Improving Vision and Sports Performance

February 9, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

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Head into spring training strong by ensuring that you're not only in top shape but that your vision is equally sharp. Good eyesight is essential for baseball and softball athletes. Through glaring sunlight or blinding stadium lights, you can't afford to miss a catch or your catcher's signs from compromised eyesight. (See 3 Steps to Building Healthier Eyes and our Sports Vision Training Guide.)

Don't Let Your Eyesight Cost You a Game. Heed These Tips.

Get Your Eyes Checked

You need to be mentally and physically focused on the field, the court or the ice, and if your eyes don't focus on the ball or puck, errors, dropped passes and lost games will result!  Have an optometrist check your eyes each year for disease prevention and necessary vision improvements.

Set Your Sights on Nutrition

Certain foods play a key role in eye health for athletes, preventing eye disease such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Be sure to regularly consume these three foods, which not only benefit eye health, but also help build muscle and boost recovery from exercise and sports. (Check out these Healthy Recipes to Help.)

Eggs

One egg contains six grams of muscle-building protein and the nine essential amino acids for muscle repair, as well as vitamin D for healthy bones. There are also two eye-protective substances in eggs, lutein and zeaxanthn, which may prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

Carrots

Carrots are rich in the eye-protective antioxidants vitamins A, C and E. Vitamin A, which aid sports and exercise recovery. Vitamin A is especially important since low levels can hamper night vision—definitely not a good thing for athletes playing night sports. Carrots are also high in fiber and low in calories.

Mixed Greens

Like carrots, green leafy veggies such as romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula and Swiss chard have vision-beneficial vitamins A and C as well as the earlier-mentioned nutrient lutein found in eggs.

"Triple Play" Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 chopped medium-size hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  • Blend and toss all ingredients
  • For more protein and recovery-enhancing antioxidants, add mixed nuts or sunflower seeds and/or red, black or white beans (drained)
  • Olive oil, nuts and seeds also contain the eye-protective antioxidant vitamin E

Nutritional Content

  • Calories: 325
  • Protein: 19 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 13 grams
  • Fat: 19 grams
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
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