Eye health is something most of us take for granted, and it isn’t until we develop an infection or get told by our optician we need a stronger prescription for our glasses that we realise how vulnerable our eyes really are. Read on to find out more about eye nutrition and what you can do to look after your peepers.
Why is eye nutrition important?
When we eat badly, this doesn’t just affect our insides and cause us to put on weight, it damages things like our skin, hair and eyes as well. Diet is crucial to maintaining overall good health, and good nutrition allows our body to grow and repair itself.
People who fail to look after themselves run a higher risk of falling ill to a range of conditions that could eventually lead to sight loss. For example, drinking a lot of alcohol, eating unhealthily and smoking can raise your chances of developing diseases like macular degeneration, which distorts your central vision.
If your diet contains certain nutrients, this could positively impact your eye health. For example, xerophthalmia – which is caused by a lack of vitamin A – can be prevented by eating fresh vegetables, proteins, cheese, and animal and plant fats.
Natural sources of nutrition
Research has shown that vitamins and minerals which naturally occur in some food products are linked to improved eye health, with the best sources of nutrition coming from antioxidant vitamins A, C and E.
If you want to boost your intake of these elements, then look to include the following fruits and vegetables in your diet: grapefruits, kiwis, oranges, tomatoes, raw carrots, peppers, green beans, peas and brussel sprouts. The last one might not appeal to everyone, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Scientists have also suggested that two carotenoids called Lutein and Zeaxanthin could also contribute towards better eye health, and these can be found in leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and fruits including oranges and mangos.
Dairy products, eggs, seeds and nuts also contain key vitamins. Basically, as long as you eat balanced meals and take care to avoid foods with high amounts of sugar and saturated fat, then you are heading in the right direction.
According to a major study into age-related eye diseases, high quantities of beta-carotene and the minerals copper as cupric oxide and zinc as zinc oxide can also slow down the development of conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
These can be found in vitamin supplements like MacuShield Gold, which is sold by Conlons and contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin, as well as omega-3, zinc and other vitamins. The product is great for combatting early symptoms of AMD and improving overall eye health, also protecting the retinal cells from antioxidant damage, high eye pressure and glaucoma.
It can often be difficult devising meal plans that feature high quantities of all the main vitamins and minerals that are recommended by experts, making supplements a great way of boosting your nutrition levels without doubling the size of your shopping list.