Have you heard the saying, your eyes is the window to your soul? Indeed they are also the windows into our health status. Good nutrition is important not only for your heart; the same balanced diet is also good for your eyes. Some foods have been shown to help reverse vision defects and slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma.
Below are some of the most effective groups of nutrients and foods required for healthy eye function. Try including them in your every day diet.
A powerful antioxidant, vitamin A gives protection to the outer surface of the eye from free radical damage and also helps strengthen our immune system to better fight eye infections.
Food sources: Sweet potato, carrots, kale, butternut squash, pumpkins, cantaloupe, red bell pepper, apricot, Chinese cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, grapefruits.
Present in retinal pigment cells (docosahexaenoic acid DHA). They prevent build-up of toxins in the eyes and reduce risk of macular degeneration.
Food sources: Wild salmon (fresh or tinned), mackerel, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, chia seeds, flaxseed oil (seeds need to be grounded to obtain benefits), walnut.
A trace mineral that promotes the absorption of Vitamin A, C & E found in the retina of the eyes. It is important for the functioning of enzymes responsible for eye health.
Foods sources: Oyster, lobster, lean beef, skinless chicken, mussels, pumpkin seeds, lentils, soybeans (edamame), wheat germs.
Found abundantly in citrus fruits and vegetables, Vitamin C aids the formation of collagen and may help prevent formation and delay development of cataracts.
Food sources: Bell pepper, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, pineapples, papaya, broccoli.
The only antioxidant carotenoids found in the lens of the eyes- highest concentration is in the tissue of the macula. These carotenoids help to increase pigment density, which has been shown to have beneficial retina protection as it act as sunscreen to absorb the harmful blue light intensity.
Food sources: Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets, persimmons, pumpkins, green peas, green pepper, dark leafy lettuce.
FACT: Carrots do contain vitamin A, which is good for eyes. But eating just carrots won’t give you perfect vision.
A balanced diet that includes dark, green, leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, and healthy oils such as omega-3 along with moderate exercise is a good bet to help maintain a healthy eye vision.
* This article is for the general interest of readers. Please consult your Accredited Practicing Dietician, doctor for advice on your personal dietary requirements.