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Eat the Rainbow: Orange food improve eye health

Three orange carrots sit on a wooden countertop

At some point in your life, you’ve likely heard or been told to “eat carrots to improve your vision.” What is it about carrots, and other orange and yellow foods that help improve your eye health?

Orange and yellow foods are good for your eyes

Their phytonutrients are typically carotenoids, which can be divided into two classes: xanthophylls and carotenes.

According to, beta-carotene and the xanthophylls lutein and zeaxanthin “do not get converted to vitamin A, once ingested. They are taken up into cell membranes and other lipoproteins. They are thought to work better together. They are both critical for eye health and are found in high levels in the retina. More zeaxanthin is found in the center of the retina, and more lutein is found in the outer edges of the retina and rods of the eye.”

And, given how much you probably stare at screens all day (because, hey, it’s 2022), they also can absorb and filter blue light, which significantly reduces stress on the retina.

Orange and yellow foods:

  • Carrots

  • Sweet potatoes

  • orange peppers

  • Pumpkin

  • Butternut squash

  • Acorn squash

  • Cantaloupe

  • Tangerines

  • Oranges

  • Peaches

  • Corn

  • Yellow peppers

  • Yellow squash

  • Pineapple

  • Bananas

Why should you eat the rainbow?

You’ve likely heard the advice to “eat the rainbow.” But what does that actually mean?

It means that your diet should be filled with a wide range of vibrant fresh edible plants.

There are so many benefits to a plant-based diet. The challenge is, while we know fruits and vegetables are linked to countless health benefits, hardly any of us are getting the recommended daily amount.

Each color is associated with a different health benefit. Why? There are naturally occurring phytonutrients in the plants that give them their colors. These nutrients have a variety of benefits to our bodies.

Orange and yellow have a number of benefits, including eye health.

Purple and blue foods are great for your brain health.

So not only does eating the rainbow look beautiful on your table, it will give your body the phytonutrients it needs to thrive.

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