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.)
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.
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.)
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 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.
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.