Healthy eating is fundamental to good eye health. Avoiding highly processed foods that are high in fat and sugar and enjoying a diet that includes antioxidants, lutein, vitamin A and omega-3 (found in fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as eggs and oily fish) will benefit not only the health of your eyes but your overall well-being.
Everyday living exposes us to free radicals that can cause damage to the cells in our eyes. Free radicals are the by-products created by sun exposure, a poor diet and environmental pollutants and their build-up may contribute to the development of various health conditions. Along with regular eye exams, a nutritious and balanced diet rich in certain vitamins and antioxidants may assist in maintaining the health of our eyes. So what foods are good for your eyes?
Antioxidants play a key role in defending the health of our vision. They not only assist in the prevention of disease in the eye, but also in the rest of your body, promoting general health and well-being. Antioxidants are found in fresh fruits and vegetables and can help to counteract the effects of free radicals. Choosing vegetables with brighter colours and eating them raw is the best way to obtain their nutrients. Berries, such as raspberries, blueberries and bilberries, are also rich in antioxidants.
Dark, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale contain a powerful antioxidant called lutein that is essential to human vision. Lutein is a natural pigment that reduces the harmful effects of free radicals by protecting the retina.
It’s true that carrots can help your eyes! Loaded with beta-carotenes, carrots, along with sweet potato, squash and cantaloupe, can all benefit vision. The liver transforms beta-carotenes into vitamin A, which then travels to the retina where it is converted into rhodopsin, the chemical responsible for night vision.
Found in eggs and oily fish like salmon, omega-3 fatty acids are vital for optimal eye development. Omega-3 provides nutrients that allow your eyes to function at their best and in some cases can prevent or lessen the effects of dry eye.
Eating healthy is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to looking after our eyes. Having an eye examination every 2 years is essential for maintaining healthy sight, because it allows your optometrist to monitor any changes that may occur in your vision.
This was originally a Provision article www.provision.com.au.