Let’s admit it, we are not getting any younger. As the earth completes a rotation around the sun, so do we inch closer to growing old. Naturally, aging is followed by a lot of health-related issues. One of them that is rampant among 40-year-old individuals is poor eyesight. How do you combat this? Regular exercises and a well-balanced diet will help you maintain healthy eyes and good health.
Read on to know all about eye nutrition.
How Can Diet And Nutrition Help With Better Eyesight?
Did you know, your eyes rely on the smaller arteries for oxygen and nutrients, very similar to how your heart relies on the larger arteries. Keeping these arteries healthy will help your eyes in a big way. How can you contribute? Indulge in a diet that is low in fat and high in protein to start with. Lack of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in one’s diet has been linked to deficiencies of certain micronutrients. This leads to cataracts, night blindness, conjunctival corneal xerosis, and Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Five Important Food Components To Include In Your Diet
Understand the adversities of free radicals in your body and know that antioxidants are specific micronutrients that help fight free radicals and also ward off signs of aging. Herbs like garlic and parsley, and vegetables such as onions, carrots, and eggplants are rich in antioxidants.
Vitamins A, C, D, and E are essential nutrients for healthy eyes. Where can you find them? In fruits and veggies. Make friends with oranges, lemons, and pomegranates starting today. Remember Popeye? He loved spinach for a reason. It packs high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium. Consider adding nuts, seeds, and lean meat too in your diet for excellent eye health.
3. Lutein And Zeaxanthin
Wondered why yellow and orange bell peppers, broccoli, saffron, kale, and sweet corn are always found in salads? They are extremely beneficial for your macula and overall health. Get hold of them!
4. Essential Fatty Acids
There are two types of essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and Omega 6. These fatty acids are known to improve nerve conduction in the retina and prevent the deterioration of cell membranes. This helps to reduce the risk of vision loss due to macular degeneration and glaucoma. Salmon, halibut, walnuts, flaxseed, soybean, and dark leafy vegetables are excellent sources of good fats. Make sure to include these foods in your diet plan.
Zinc, Chromium, Copper, and Selenium are essential minerals that are vital for eye health. They help in rejuvenating the eye and improving vision. Nuts and seeds are packed with an array of minerals but particularly rich in magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, and phosphorus.
Which Diet Can Help?
In most cases where individuals are prone to poor eyesight in the long run, owing to medical or hereditary reasons, doctors suggest two types of diet.
1. The Mediterranean Diet
This diet is primarily focused on plants and seafood that help reduce your risk of heart disease and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The Mediterranean diet includes:
- Green leafy vegetables and colorful fruits
- Nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts
- Seafood as your primary protein source
- Healthy fats like olive oil
- Whole grain bread, cereal, and pasta
- Lots of herbs and spices added to your food to lower your salt intake
- A moderate amount of dairy (yogurt and cheese) and eggs
2. Low-Glycemic Index Diet
People at the risk of diabetes, or age-related macular degeneration can benefit by following a low-glycemic index (low-GI) diet. Avoiding foods that shoot up your blood sugar level is the first step. A few swaps are as follows:
- Oatmeal or muesli over sugary cereal
- Brown rice over white rice
- Whole-grain bread over white bread
- Durum wheat pasta or sweet potato over potatoes
- Nuts over salted, fried chips
Supplements — Yes Or No?
Eating the right food is the best way to benefit from eye-healthy nutrients. It is enough to sustain and maintain healthy eyes, but it is different for people who have age-related eye diseases. However, ophthalmologists usually prescribe supplements. This is because there has been no study showing signs of prevention or slowing down of cataract progression by these natural food components.
To conclude, we recommend getting in touch with your eye doctor and consulting a certified nutritionist to get your concerns in check.