What Food Can I Eat To Protect My Eyes?
Just like for the rest of our body, having healthy eyes depends partly on our diet. Though is it probably not necessary to have a specially tailored "vision supplement," there are some ingredients that will help, so read on to discover the healthiest superfoods for our eyes!
The old saying that carrots help you see in the dark may not be as inaccurate as you think it is! Vitamin A, which carrots are rich in, is vital to our eye health and reduces the risk of night blindness. A diet lacking vitamin A may lead to the worsening of your vision, which is why it's wise to add pumpkin, sweet potato, kale, and cod liver oil, all rich in vitamin A!, to your diet.
Vitamin C and Bioflavinoids
Vitamin C has a range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of cataracts and helping to maintain the capillaries in your retina and collagen in your cornea. While taking vitamin C supplements also has its benefits, you may get even more from adding foods high in vitamin C to your diet. This is because it's very complimentary to bioflavinoids, which occurs naturally in many of the foods as vitamin C. Some of these foods include red or green sweet peppers, broccoli, oranges, kiwis, and most berries.
Vitamin E and Selenium
Vitamen E and selenium are another pair that work great together. Vitamin E helps reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, while selenium works to help your body absorb it. However, it should be noted that vitamin E should not be taken in large doses, because too much can thin your blood and prevent clotting. Nuts, especially Brazil nuts, are great sources of vitamin E and selenium, but seafood, whole grain cereals, sunflower seeds, and spinach are also good.
LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN
Though the names may be unfamiliar, lutein and zeaxanthin are actually found in high concentrations in the macula of the human eye. Because damage to the macula causes loss in central vision, not peripheral, it is important to keep this in pristine condition. Green vegetables like spinach, kale, collard and turnip greens, are good sources for lutein and zeaxanthin.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 are important to a myriad of aspects of our health, and our eyes are no exception. Eating a diet rich in fatty acids is even more crucial because our body does not produce them itself.
Omega-3 is considered to be particularly important to infant's vision development, but throughout our life it also helps drain intraocular fluid, which lowers the risk of high eye pressure and glaucoma, and reduces dry eye syndrome. Fish, like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, is widely known to be the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids, but for those who don't eat seafood, chia and flax seeds are also a great source.
Zinc is an extremely important element in our bodies. Not only is it the second most plentiful metal in our body (second to iron), but it mingles with enzymes to lower the amount of free radicals and helps us absorb vitamin A. Zinc is found is many foods, like seafood, beef, eggs, tofu, beans, nuts, and whole grain cereal, so it is relatively easy to get a proper amount. However, an overly large amount of zinc can cause problems in our body, so a supplement is not generally suggested.
As you can see, there are a number of elements, minerals, and vitamins that can keep our eyes performing at their best. Some of the healthiest foods for us are quite common- and you may already be eating them!