Diet and Nutrition for Healthier Eyes
Want to know the easiest way to improve your overall eye health? The answer is in your diet!
Many people consider vision their most valuable sense and want to do everything possible to retain the best vision possible throughout their life. Recent and emerging research is making a clear connection between eye health and nutritional choices. Whether it be through diet alone or by nutritional supplements, the following nutrients can play a vital role in maintaining and retaining your vision:
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These are two nutrients that are found primarily in leafy, green vegetables such as kale and spinach. They are also found in other common foods such as eggs. Emerging research is pointing to lutein and zeaxanthin as being essential for reducing the risk of eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. This antioxidant is found in fruits and vegetables, the most famous of which is the orange. Research shows that vitamin C can lower the risk of development of cataracts when taken with other essential nutrients. Vitamin C has also been shown to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and normal visual acuity loss with age.
Vitamin E is found in nuts, sweet potatoes and fortified cereals. It is an antioxidant that is believed to protect the eye from free radicals which can break down healthy eye tissue.
Essential fatty acids help to maintain the integrity of the nervous system, fuels cells and boosts the immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to be essential for proper visual development and retinal function.
Nutrition and Inflammation
How can you reduce inflammation through your lifestyle and nutrition?
Exercise for 30 minutes at least three days a week: Exercise can be anything from fast walking to jogging to taking an aerobics class at the gym.
Avoid bad foods
Avoid white/starchy refined foods. Examples are things made with white flour, white rice and white breads
Avoid soda, including diet sodas!
Avoid fast food, candy, chips and fried foods
Avoid foods containing high fructose corn syrup
Avoid things that contain trans fat
Avoid processed foods
Eat good foods
Eat natural foods that have natural colors! Examples are berries, vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes and dried fruits
Eat single ingredient foods
Eat fish containing Omega-3 fatty acids
Enjoy spices such as cinnamon, ginger, garlic and turmeric
Drink teas and coffee in moderation
Eat nuts, especially walnuts
Eat slowly, chew thoroughly and avoid liquids during meals
Consider nutritional supplements