If 2020 taught us anything, it was that when all else failed, technology kept us connected. The old adage that all one needed was food, friends and a home was modified to add digital devices in all shapes and forms as we learnt to stay connected while living apart. Thanks to the pandemic, schools, tuitions, office and even socializing has moved online with digital time soaring for the young and old alike.
What many of us tend to forget as we gorge on online classes, Zoom calls and virtual get-togethers is that all these screens emit blue light that has long term impact on our eyes. Besides wearing Blue-light blocking glasses, it is equally important to take care of your eye health naturally by improving your food habits. Yes! Including green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits that are a good source of vitamin C and beta carotene, and Omega-3 rich foods like nuts and eggs can hugely improve your vision.
The Top Six Foods That Are Good For Your Eyes
1. Dark Leafy Greens
Power-packed with antioxidants like Lutein and Zeaxanthin, leafy green vegetables, and other brightly colored fruits are key to protecting the macula, the area of the eye that gives us our central, most detailed vision. The macula is a part of the retina that acts as a natural sunblock, shielding eyes from damaging light. Kale and spinach are the best sources of these nutrients. Other foods with useful amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin include romaine lettuce, collards, turnip greens, broccoli, and peas. Adding olive oil to your greens ensures the absorption of these nutrients.
2. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit and tomatoes are packed with Carotenoids, including lycopene, that give them their vibrant colour. Lycopene present in ocular tissues helps prevent light-induced damage to the retina and other areas of the eye. Being an excellent source of vitamin C, these foods are considered to be vision protectors. Eating fruits rich in antioxidants is always better than popping a pill.
Egg yolks are a great source of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Omega 3, Vitamins A and D, and Zinc, important nutrients for eye health. The vitamins and minerals present in the yolk safeguards the cornea and prevents severe conditions like cataracts, blur vision, macular degeneration, and also improves night vision. A great source of protein as well, eggs are literally a meal in a shell. Whip into an omelette or add to salads and sandwiches for power packed breakfast or dinner.
4. Olive Oil
Foods low in trans and saturated fats may help prevent retina disease. Olive oil is one such miracle elixir; not only is it free from these harmful fats but is also rich in Omega 3. It is a great source of vegetarian replacement of Omega 3 derived from fish oil. Olive oil is also recommended for the treatment of dry eyes. Including extra virgin olive oil in your diet reduces inflammation in the tear-producing glands of the eyes. This superfood can also be used in juices, smoothies, and even salad dressings to help you get your daily servings.
Omega-3 is the best source of nutrients for eye health. Most fatty fish is surfeit in healthy fats and Omega Fatty Acids that reduce the risk of eye diseases. A natural source of vitamin D, adding fish to your diet can improve vision, treat dry eyes, and improve the health of the retina at the back of the eye.
Like all nuts and seeds, Almonds are excellent for your eye health. Packed with Vitamin E that guards against unstable molecules that target healthy eye tissue, Almonds can actually ward off age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Aim to eat a small handful daily, that’s about 25 Almonds daily that will provide about 15 mg of vitamin E. Other nuts and seeds that contain Vitamin E include sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and peanuts. Try and eat unsalted almonds for maximum benefits. Easy to carry in a pouch to eat on the go, toss into a salad or your morning bowl of cereal.
Besides including these healthy, eye friendly foods in your diet, it’s also a good idea to wear blue light blocking glasses while working on a digital device. Blue light affects the nervous system, causing blurry vision, headaches, decreased attention spans, irritability and even sleep disorders. Check out the blue light blocking range of computer glasses on Lenskart that have been designed specifically for this purpose. So whether you wear prescription eyeglasses or not, you can get blue light blockers added to any pair of glasses, including those for kids. Check them out here.
7. Other Home Remedies
There are other things you can do to keep your eyes cool and healthy. Try DIYs like cold cucumber slices on your lids or wearing an eye cooling gel mask before going to bed. Splashing your eyes with cool water when they feel itchy or strained is also very relaxing. Like other organs in the body, our eyes also need good blood circulation and oxygen. Regular exercise can help manage chronic illnesses, so try and fit in a brisk walk five times a week. And of course don’t forget to wear your computer glasses next time you’re surfing the net!