There is always talk of how this food is bad for your heart and how that food does wonders for your skin. The fact we rarely notice is that food has an overall effect on all systems and organs of the body, including your eyes! Eating what’s healthy and right can help you avoid ocular complications such as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), dry eyes and cataracts as well. Mentioned here are some foods which are good for your eyesight, and will help you play an active role in protecting and nourishing your eyes.
Eggs yolks are rich in the anitioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin D. Vitamin D has been found to be effective in preventing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Studies have shown that eating an egg everyday for breakfast or otherwise did not impact the LDL or HDL levels, nor did it increase cholesterol levels.
2. Citrus fruits
The high amount of vitamin C in these fresh fruits is a crucial antioxidant for the eyes. Antioxidants have been found to prevent as well as delay the occurrence of macular degeneration and cataracts, and contribute to maintaining the health of the eyes. Such fruits include oranges, peaches, tomatoes and strawberries.
3. Green veggies
Good news for all those salad lovers out there! Spinach, kale, dark green lettuce and collard greens are all included in this category. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (mentioned in eggs previously as well) act as important antioxidants and nutrients, preventing cell damage caused by free radicals. Lutein and zeaxanthin are natural pigments present in the eye, and their nourishment leads to the overall maintenance of the physiology and functioning of the eye.
Researchers have established a connection between omega-3 fatty acids and healthy eyes. And what better source do we have than cold water and oily fish. Foods which are good for your eyesight include tuna, salmon, halibut and sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risks of developing various eye diseases. An Ophthalmology study revealed that consuming omega-3 fatty acids in the diet reduced the risks of age-related macular degeneration by 38%. Furthermore, salmon is rich in vitamin D as well, which has its own benefits on eye health.
5. Legumes and Beans
These foods contain zinc, which despite being a minor element, is present in high concentrations in the eye. Zinc plays a vital role in protecting the eyes from any damage that may be caused by light. Kidney beans, black-eyed peas, peanuts and lima beans fall into this category.
6. Olive Oil
Healthy and plant-based fats (low in trans- and saturated fat) have been associated with preventing retinal ailments. People who tend to use olive oil in their cooking and frying are 48% less likely to suffer from age-related macular degeneration. Better yet, the ‘extra virgin’ kind contains additional antioxidants, making it an overall healthier option.
7. Seeds and Nuts
The benefits of lutein and vitamin C as potential anti-oxidants have been mentioned, but another crucial member of this group is vitamin E. Eating sunflower seeds, peanuts and whole grains can lower the risks of cataracts by 50%. Vitamin C and E protect the eyes from U.V radiation and blindness as well.
8. Dark berries
Blackberries and bilberries are the best foods to consume for improving night vision. They contain high amounts of anthocyanins, which slow down and prevent the occurrences of cataracts and macular degeneration. Research has also revealed that these compounds help strengthen the vessels that supply blood and nutrients to the eyes.
Always remember; you are what you eat. Eat wisely and in moderation. Consume a diet that fulfills your basic requirements and is healthy enough to keep all your systems working smoothly.