Clear vision is important for our daily activities and in spite of knowing the importance of clear vision, many tend to ignore its nutrition requirements and as a result, suffer from poor eyesight and early macular degeneration. Eating the right nutrients helps prevent eye problems and keep our eyes functioning at its best for a longer period.
Vitamin A, C, minerals, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, carotene, and Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to keep our eyes healthy.
Let us see the superfoods that help to maintain our eyes healthy.
Carrots are a power food for the eyes and contain beta –carotene. Beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A is an essential vitamin for the eyes. Vitamin A deficiency leads to a number of eye problems that can be effectively waded away with the help of carrots. Especially, beta-carotene protects our eyes from senile cataracts and macular degeneration.
“Researchers at the Jules Stein Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles determined that women who consume carrots at least twice per week – in comparison to women who consume carrots less than once per week – have significantly lower rates of glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve often associated with excessive pressure inside the eye)”.
Sweet potatoes are nutrient-rich food. It contains vitamins A, C, E, anti-oxidant, fiber, and potassium. The content of antioxidants, vitamin C, and E supports maintaining eye health and prevents degenerative damage. Vitamin A resolves eye dryness and protects from viral and bacterial infections.
Raw spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, K, and B complex, carotene, iron, amino acids, potassium, and magnesium. It also contains two essential anti-oxidants namely lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein shields our eyes from ultraviolet light and zeaxanthin helps in visual development. These two powerful anti-oxidants lower the risk of macular degeneration.
The best way to consume spinach is in the form of raw spinach juice in the morning (not necessarily on an empty stomach). Cooking results in loss of nutrition and that is not something we would want. You can safely add spinach to your morning smoothie as well. Green leafy veggies are superheroes to the eyes, thus prevents eye diseases and ensure the eyes get all the nutrients it needs.
Butternut squash is from the Cucurbitaceae family and is similar to pumpkin. It has a sweet, nutty taste. Butternut squash is one of the nutritious and healthiest vegetables. They are excellent sources of vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin. As already discussed, these two anti-oxidants, focus on the macular region and protects our eyes from macular degeneration. Adding butternut squash to your diet reduces the risk of developing cataracts. Bear in mind that the poor intake of lutein and zeaxanthin leads to dry eyes, eye irritation, eye strain, and weak vision.
Many of us drink coffee and tea in the morning and many drink these beverages several times a day without knowing its benefits. But looks like these do have some interesting benefits. Drinking coffee and tea helps in reducing eye dryness and also boosts the production of tears. Caffeinated tea contains tannins that are helpful for blood circulation. Moderate consumption of coffee and tea is advisable.
These can also be used to tighten the skin under the eyes.
- Take 2 regular tea bags.
- Place it in a cup of hot water.
- Remove the tea bags and allow them to cool.
- Place it on your eyes for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Repeat the process twice a week.
Blueberries are also called as the vision fruit. It provides more anti-oxidants to the body than any other fruit or vegetable.
Blueberries are full of nutrients which helps in:
- Better nighttime acuity.
- Delay and prevention of macular degeneration.
- Faster adjustment against glare.
And even removes skin wrinkles.
“According to Dr. Prior, the antioxidant characteristics in blueberries are likely due to anthocyanins. The berries’ blue color is the result of their ample concentrations of anthocyanins — so, the bluer the berry, the better for you!”
Anthocyanins pigment is so high in blueberries that it can sometimes even reverse vision loss (citation/proof needed) and
All citrus fruits contain vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are water-soluble, and even if we consume a lot of this, they do not cause any harm. Vitamin C and flavonoids work well together to improve our eye health.
Researches also show that the synergy created by combining bioflavonoid and vitamin C makes it more effective in treating eye problems.
Some of the citrus fruits such as lemon, grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, pomelo, citron, and limes are good for eye health.
Some of the other foods which help in eye health:
- Soy products
- Red wine
Increase your intake of vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acid foods for healthy eyes.
- Coles-Brennan, C., Sulley, A. & Young, G., 2018. Management of digital eye strain. s.l.:Wiley Online Library.
- de Jong, P. T., 2006. Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The New England Journal of Medicine, pp. 1474-1485.
- Desobry, S. A., Netto, F. M. & Labuza, T. P., 2010. Preservation of β-Carotene from Carrots. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 38(5), pp. 381-396.
- Mahajan, V. M., n.d. Acute bacterial infections of the eye: their aetiology and treatment. BMJ Journals, 67(3).
- Sujak, A., Gabrielska, J. & Grudzinski, W., 1999. Lutein and Zeaxanthin as Protectors of Lipid Membranes against Oxidative Damage: The Structural Aspects. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 371(2), pp. 301-307.