5 Green Smoothies For Vision & Eye Health

Chia Seed Red Grape Smoothie

I am often asked for green smoothie recipes for eye health. Some people even ask about green smoothies that improve eyesight.

In this post, I’ll outline some of the current research on the topic of food and eye health.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any scientific evidence that certain foods or diets can improve eyesight, or reverse refractive errors in the eyes.

There are no known legitimate “food cures” for things like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

Anecdotally, however, I have read quite a few accounts from people who claim that their eyesight has improved from drinking green smoothies.




Dehydration and eyestrain can all cause vision problems that are quickly and easily reversed by resting, getting adequate sleep, and re-hydrating the body (green smoothies, as well as fruits and vegetables are naturally hydrating).

There are lots of studies that show that consuming more fruits and vegetables may help protect against age-related eye problems (like macular degeneration and cataracts).

Vitamin A & Beta-Carotene

Vitamin A (retinol) is essential for eye health. Beta-carotene from fruits and vegetables is converted in the body to vitamin A.

Foods that are rich in beta-carotene include carrots, spinach, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, dandelion greens, mangoes, apricots, pumpkins and just about all orange and yellow fruits and vegetables as well as dark, leafy greens.

Interestingly, a November 1998 article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that orange fruit (such as mangoes and apricots) is more effective at raising serum vitamin A and beta-carotene levels than dark green, leafy vegetables. 1

Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Two other carotenoid compounds, lutein and zeaxanthin, are also found in foods rich in beta-carotene and are known to support eye health. In fact, both lutein and zeaxanthin are actually concentrated in the retina and lens of the eye, indicating a possible biological, protective function. 2,3

Some studies have found that lutein and zeaxanthin are more bio-available when they are processed or cooked, so eating some steamed carotenoid-rich veggies in conjunction with green smoothies may help promote optimal dietary intake of these phytonutrients. 4

A study published in the October 1999 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who had the highest amount of dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin reduced their risk of cataracts by up to 19%. The foods that were identified as providing the strongest protection were broccoli and spinach. 5

Resveratrol

Carotenoids are not the only plant compound show to provide health benefits for the eyes. Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red grapes, shows potential to protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration. 6

Green Smoothie Foods For Eye Health

To support the health of your eyes, blend up orange and yellow fruits with dark, leafy greens. My favorite vision-supporting fruits include mangoes, apricots, peaches and nectarines.

Red grapes and citrus fruits are also hydrating, and may improve acute vision problems caused by dehydration and stress.

5 Green Smoothie Recipes For Eye Health

To make the recipes on this page, add the ingredients to the blender in the order listed. Then blend on high for 30-60 seconds until smooth.

1) Sweet Potato with Carrot Smoothie (Meal Replacement)

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup (255 grams) mashed sweet potato, cooked and cooled
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup (165 grams) pineapple, cubed

Calories: 377 | Protein: 7.9g | Carbs: 69g | Fat: 3.8g | Calcium: 34% | Iron: 2.8mg | Vitamin A: 1993% | Vitamin C: 147% | Vitamin E: 83%


2) Red Grape And Apple Smoothie

  • 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water
  • 1 cup (151 grams) red grapes
  • 1 medium apple or pear, cored
  • 2 cups (2 handfuls) fresh baby spinach

Calories: 212 | Protein: 3.3g | Carbs: 48g | Fat: 1g | Calcium: 9% | Iron: 2.4mg | Vitamin A: 194% | Vitamin C: 33%


3) Creamy Raspberry Mango Smoothie (High-Energy Meal Replacement)

  • 6 ounces of filtered water
  • 1 mango (flesh minus peel and pit from a 350 gram fruit)
  • 1 cup (123 grams) raspberries
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 cups (2 handfuls) fresh baby spinach

Calories: 426 | Protein: 10.7g | Carbs: 58g | Fat: 10.4g | Calcium: 31% | Iron: 5.2mg | Vitamin A: 589% | Vitamin C: 194%


4) Coconut-Kale Smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut milk (boxed beverage, not canned)
  • 1 cup (148 grams) blueberries
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 2 cups (2 handfuls) kale, chopped or torn into pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped

Calories: 300 | Protein: 4.8g | Carbs: 55.3g | Fat: 5.8g | Calcium: 18% | Iron: 2.1mg | Vitamin A: 468% | Vitamin C: 74%


5) Pineapple-Carrot Smoothie

  • 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water (or coconut water)
  • 1 cup (165 grams) pineapple, cubed
  • 1 orange, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 cups fresh baby spinach

Calories: 180 | Protein: 4g | Carbs: 36.3g | Fat: 1g | Calcium: 14% | Iron: 1.81mg | Vitamin A: 438% | Vitamin C: 199%


Sources:

1 – Pee, S., West, C., Permaesih, D., Martuti, S., & Hautvast, J. (1998, November). Orange fruit is more effective than are dark-green, leafy vegetables in increasing serum concentrations of retinol and beta-carotene in schoolchildren in Indonesia. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 68(5), 1058-1067.

2 – Ma, L., & Lin, X. (2010, January). Effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on aspects of eye health. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90(1), 2-12. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.3785.

3 – Loane E, Nolan JM, O’Donovan O, Bhosale P, Bernstein PS, Beatty S.Surv. Transport and retinal capture of lutein and zeaxanthin with reference to age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmol. 2008 Jan-Feb;53(1):68-81. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2007.10.008.

4 – Alexander, D. (2011). Why the Lutein Source in Eye Vitamins Matters. US Ophthalmic Review, 4(1), 86-89.

5 – Brown, L., Rimm, E., Seddon, J., Giovannucci, E., Chasan-Taber, L., Spiegelman, D., & et al. (1999, Oct.) A prospective study of carotenoid intake and risk of cataract extraction in US men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(4), 517-524.

6 – Shwu-Jiuan Sheu, Ni-Chun Liu and ,Jiunn-Liang Chen. (2010, June). Resveratrol Protects Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells from Acrolein-Induced Damage. Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 26(3): 231-236. doi:10.1089/jop.2009.0137.

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2 thoughts on “5 Green Smoothies For Vision & Eye Health”

  1. Ogechi Nwokedi

    Hello Tracy , I am an optometrist and publishing our first ever magazine ( by women optometrists in Nigeria )
    Came across your article and will like to include it in our magazine . Please let me know if it is ok . Thanks

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