Ever thought about eating right for healthy eyes? Yes, our eyes may be the most neglected and strained organ of our body. Hectic work schedules, long hours before lit screens, harsh sun rays – are all adding to the stress of our eyes. But we don’t realize this until major damage is done.
We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that eating carrots can help us see in the dark, but nutrition research has proved that vitamins in the vegetable really do improve night vision.
But eating your way to better eyesight isn’t only about munching more root veg. A raft of recent research has found several other key vitamins and minerals are just as essential.
The antioxidants and nutrients that are linked to a lower risk of these eye ailments include lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E.
Here are 8 superfoods to protect your eyesight:
To improve your eyesight, you must regularly eat spinach along with other green vegetables, such as kale, Swiss chard, turnips, mustard leaves and collard greens.
Spinach contains a lot of nutrients including vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin that are good for the eyes. Vitamin A helps protect the cornea, lutein protects the eyes from ultraviolet light and zeaxanthin contributes to visual development.
Carrots contain a lot of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A prevents night blindness, helps maintain a healthy and clear cornea, and protects the cells in your eyes and throughout your body.
Carrots also contain lutein, which helps increase pigment density in the macula, the oval-shaped yellow spot near the center of the retina. This, in turn, protects the retina and lowers the risk of macular degeneration. Carrots are also rich in fiber and potassium.
Include these sweet, sour and tangy superfoods in your diet and see a marked difference in your vision. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which will relax and soothe the swelling of eyes. Other antioxidants present in strawberries help prevent dryness, vision defects, and macular degeneration.
Blueberries with their anti-inflammatory, vasoprotective, collagen stabilizing and rhodopsin-regenerating properties, benefit the functioning of your eyes. They strengthen the posterior blood vessels of eyes. The anthocyanins present in blueberries not only prevent blockages in retinal arteries but also lower high blood pressure. Other berries such as cranberries, blackberries, mulberries etc., also benefit your eyes.
4. Oily Fish
Fresh tuna, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, and trout are extremely rich in docosahexaenoic acid – a fatty acid found in your retina. Low levels of the acid have been linked to dry-eye conditions. A study found that omega-3 fatty acids helped to protect adults from both age-related macular degeneration and dry-eye syndrome. This is because Omega-3 helps to reduce the inflammation that can lead to dry eyes.
Walnuts are the best nut source of omega-3s. Pistachios are a close second. In small amounts, they can be converted to EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), another omega-3 fatty acid used by the eye, along with DHA. They are full of antioxidants and vitamin E, which work to combat inflammation and preserve cardiovascular health.
Walnuts help to lower C-reactive protein, a marker that signals there is inflammation in the body. Having a handful of walnuts a day can cut your risk of a cardiac event by as much as 50 percent, according to several large research projects.
6. Citrus Fruits
Citrus is chock full of free-radical fighters such as vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and so much more. Oranges, lemons, tangerines, berries, and grapefruits are well-known sources but consider searching out camu camu fruit for a far more powerful nutrient punch. Vitamin C is essential for eye health and researchers recommend you get quite a lot of it through your diet.
These are one of the richest sources of vitamin A and C. Both these vitamins help maintain healthy eyesight by preventing night blindness, reverse near and farsightedness and prevent the formation of cataracts. The peppers also contain ample amount of vitamin B6, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and lycopene. All of these are important for healthy vision.
Kale is rich in vital nutrients and vitamins. The nutrients are crucial for a clear and perfect vision. Moreover, the lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin A, B6, and K help protect the eyes from harmful light rays, contribute to visual development, protect the cornea and strengthen the optical nerve. Kale also provides ample amount of vitamin C. So do not shy away from the greens on the menu. Kale, spinach, mustard leaves, swiss chard, turnips – all of these are must-haves in your diet.
Superfoods for eye health make sense like they do for total body health. Start eating these delicious options today for better vision years into your future. In this post, I shared with you 8 superfoods to protect your eyesight.
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