The belief that failing eyesight is an unavoidable result of eye strain or aging is not always true. A healthy, balanced lifestyle can do wonders for the eyes and can notably reduce the risk of eye-related ailments.
AREDS, age-related eye disease study, published in 2001, showed that certain nutrients like zinc, copper, vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta carotene can reduce the risk of age-related decrease in eye health by 25%. This particular study was upgraded in 2013 to test different versions of the same, original formula. These variations included lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, and beta-carotene. The study found that certain combinations could work better than others.
Other studies have also proved that Omega-3 fatty acids (along with DHA), zeaxanthin, lutein, and copper are important for eye health.
Eye ailments that might be prevented through a healthy diet are:
- Cataract (which causes cloudy vision)
- Dry eyes
- Age-related macular degeneration, which limits eyesight
- Poor night vision
- Eyes depend on tiny arteries for nutrition and oxygen, just like the heart relies on larger arteries. These arteries can keep eyes healthy and functioning. Having a diet low in fat and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables could be excellent for eye health.
Here are the best foods for eyes:
- Fish – Fish, especially salmon, is a great food for eye health. Fishes, in general, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are the healthy ones and aid in visual development and retina’s health, in the back of the eye. Omega-3 also prevents dry eyes. Including fish in the diet regularly can give best results. Salmon is always the most preferable fish along with tuna and trout if you are looking for omega-3 rich diet.
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- Eggs – Eggs make excellent food for eyes. The yolk in the egg contains zinc, zeaxanthin, lutein, and vitamin A which are important for eye health. Zinc improves the health of retina. Zeaxanthin and lutein lower the chances of grave eye ailments like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A protects the cornea, which is the surface of the eye. Eggs can be included in breakfast, lunch, and dinner and can be included in everything.
- Almonds – Almonds like other seeds and nuts are a wonder for eye health as they are loaded with vitamin E. Vitamin E safeguards against the molecules that prey on healthy tissue. Consuming vitamin E in regular amounts of time can prevent cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Taking 15mg of Vitamin E a day can do wonders for the eyes. Other sources of vitamin E are peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, etc. You can include almonds in breakfast or even as a snack.
- Dairy Products – Milk and yoghurt are healthy foods, more so for your eyes. They consist of minerals zinc as well as vitamin A. Vitamin A protects the cornea while mineral zinc aids in carrying that vitamin from liver to the eyes. Zinc is present in every part of the eye. This vital mineral aids in the prevention of cataract and helps with night vision as well. Dairy products from grass-fed cows are the most beneficial. Dairy products can be consumed as tea, coffee, milk, curd, cheese or even yogurt.
- Carrots – Similar to egg yolk, carrots contain beta carotene and vitamin A. Beta carotene and vitamin A protect the surface of the eye and can fend off eye infections and some serious eye related ailments. Carrots can be consumed as a snack or salad.
- Oranges – Any citrus fruit or vegetable is loaded with nutrients beneficial for eyes. Vitamin C is a key ingredient for the healthy functioning of the eyes. This vitamin, mainly found in fresh vegetables and fruits aids in healthy blood vessels in eyes. It can easily fight against the development of cataracts. Oranges can be consumed anyway, either juice or a fruit salad.
- Kale – Kale has a reputation for being a “superfood”, as it is a storehouse for many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It is quite beneficial for eye health, and it contains antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein. Zeaxanthin and lutein are not produced in the body. Hence, it is important to include them in your diet. They can help prevent cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Kale can be prepared as chips or served as a salad.
Eye health can definitely improve through a healthy diet. Whether it is prevention or cure, these foods will work wonders for the eyes and improve their health and functioning. It is always advisable to stay away from processed food and consume whole and organic foods.