Sight is one of your most important senses. 80 percent of the things you perceive are through your sight and this is why it’s even more important to preserve it. There are a few important steps to take which can help to prevent the development and progression of eye diseases including eating well.
Food is loved by all and truly you are what you eat. Natural ingredients for instance are packed with natural antioxidants and vitamins and they’re a great way to stay healthy. Read on to discover natural foods that can benefit your eye health.
This tart berry is often enjoyed in desserts and they’re also available in dried forms, jams, pills and powder. Blackcurrants are packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as A, B, C and E that has been scientifically proven to help with your immune system, skin as well as eye health.
A 2012 research found that blackcurrant supplements can help to combat dry eye issues and another study conducted in the year 2000, also found that individuals who consume blackcurrant supplements with 50 milligrams of anthocyanin experienced a significant reduction in visual fatigue after working on the computer for two hours as compared to those who did not consume it.
Hence, making it not only a great snack but nutritious too especially if you spend long hours in front of the screen.
Bugs Bunny’s favourite snack is well known to be good for your eyes. Beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, is responsible for the natural orange hue in carrots and it is an antioxidant that can help to prevent serious eye conditions and maintain good vision.
Did you know that vitamin A also helps with night vision? It is this vitamin that helps your eyes adjust to darkness. The good news is, carrots can be enjoyed in so many ways, from raw, cooked to even juiced.
Alternatively, if you’re not a big fan of this sweet superfood, sweet potatoes are another option to
enjoy a healthy dose of beta-carotene in your diet.
Wolfberries go by many alternative names. Some of the more common ones in our community are goji berries and its Cantonese name – kei chi. This berry is often found dried and is a popular ingredient in soups due to its natural sweetness.
For centuries, Traditional Chinese Medicine has recognised the medicinal benefits of wolfberries including protecting your eyes due to its high levels of antioxidants. More research is now ongoing in the world of Western medicine too, due to the well-recognised benefits of this nutritious herb in the Asian community. This includes the positive link between wolfberries and preventing UV damage towards your eyes as well as delaying the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats that can help to maintain the health of your eyes. Salmon for instance is known to be rich in omega 3 and to be exact, this fish is packed with DHA and EPA which are two very important fatty acids that work hand in hand to protect your eyes.
A healthy intake of omega 3 in your diet can help to protect your eyes from the development of AMD, glaucoma as well as dry eyes.
If you’re not a big fan of salmon, other fatty fishes such as mackerel, sardines and trout are great alternatives. Though, it’s also important to take note that when buying salmon, wild salmon is the best option as a 2014 study found that salmon raised in farms contain a lesser amount of omega 3 and more saturated fat.
Just like many other nuts and seeds, almonds are rich in vitamin E which can prevent damage to your eye cells. The American Optometric Association states that vitamin E plays a significant role in delaying the onset of cataract as well as Aged-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is an eye condition that generally affects individuals above 50 and it can cause irreversible vision loss.
Hence, this is why a daily intake of vitamin E is essential. The recommended intake is 22 IU of vitamin E daily. An ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts), contains 11 IU. Though, do take note that vitamin E is fat-soluble and hence, an excessive intake of it should be prevented. To find out more, your neighbourhood pharmacist or doctor will be able to guide you.
On a side note, besides almonds, sunflower seeds and nut butters are also rich in vitamin E!
These foods are not only nutritious but delicious too. Hence, there’s no reason to opt them out from your diet because a healthy dose of it can certainly help you to maintain a healthy vision.
Sidebar: Debunking Science
Lutein (pronounced as loo-teen) and Zeaxanthin (pronounced as zee-uh-zan-thin) are two popular carotenoids that naturally help to preserve eye health.
These antioxidants are located in your eyes and helps to prevent or delay chronic eye diseases such as AMD and cataract. However, your eyes are not able to produce Lutein and Zeaxanthin on its own. Hence, it’s important to enjoy them through foods that are rich in it such as green leafy vegetables and eggs.
If you are not getting enough of Lutein and Zeaxanthin through your diet alone, speak to your ophthalmologist or pharmacist to find out about supplement options that could help to maintain your eye health.
Sources: Healthline, PubMed, American Optometric Association and WebMD