Last week we reviewed the rainbow of fruits and vegetables you can eat to help with eye health.  But you don’t need to limit yourself – enjoy a rainbow of nuts, whole grains and beans as well.

Photo by zcool.com.cn - whole grains
Photo by zcool.com.cn

A reason some people avoid nuts is the number of calories found in nuts. However, a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults who incorporate nuts into their diets don’t have to limit their consumption. A review of 31 studies about eating nuts found that people who added nuts to their diets and who replaced other foods with nuts lost more weight, an average of almost one and half pounds.  Nuts have also been shown to be beneficial for stress reduction, heart health, various cancers, cholesterol, brain health and eye health.

Eating more whole grains makes your diet healthier because they are filled with nutrients including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.

Beans, lentils and other nutritious legumes are the best sources of lean vegetarian protein. They made up of high-quality carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, zinc, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, iron, and potassium. These protein-packed, low-fat nutrients can help with osteoporosis; improve heart-health, colon and bowel health; reduce the risks of cancer and age-related macular degeneration; control blood sugars, fight free radicals and even help with weight loss.



  • Red adzuki bean
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pecans
  • Buckwheat
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Barley


  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Millet
  • Chickpeas
  • Butter beans


  • Lentils
  • Mung beans
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Lima beans
  • Edamame
  • Sunflower seeds


  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Chestnuts
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa
    • Black and wild rice
    • Rye


    • Soy beans
    • Garbanzo beans
    • Rice
    • Barley
    • Sesame seeds
    • Navy beans
    • Oats
    • Quinoa

    To learn more about the benefits of specific nuts, whole grains and beans, go to The World’s Healthiest Foods.  The site is filled with nutritional information, history and recipes for a wide variety of foods from around the world.

    Susan DeRemerSusan DeRemer, CFRE
    Vice President of Development
    Discovery Eye Foundation

    Following the Rainbow
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