We all want to protect our vision the best way we can, and food actually plays a big part in looking after our eyes! Keep reading to find out the 6 best foods to protect your vision and keep your eyes healthy.
1. Leafy Greens
We all know that leafy greens are great for general health, but did you know that they are crucial to eye health? Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and brussels sprouts contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin that help to protect the eyes against diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. They are also rich in vitamins A and C, which are both highly beneficial to eye health as they help with free radicals and protect the healthy tissue from being broken down.
2. Sunflower seeds and nuts
Sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, and hazelnuts contain high amounts of vitamin E, which has been proven to slow age-related macular degeneration, and could also reduce the risk of cataracts.
The retina needs two types of omega-3 fatty acids to work properly (DHA and EPA), both of which can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, or trout. Not only does the retina benefit from omega-3, the surface of the eye benefits too. If you struggle with dry eyes, you may be lacking omega fatty acids, as these help to keep the tear film working how it should be (as well as keeping your nails and hair happy).
4. Lean meat and poultry
Chicken, beef, and pork have plenty of zinc, which is necessary for our retinas. Zinc is responsible for bringing vitamin A to the retinas from the liver, where it is used to create melanin. This protects our eyes! Oysters have more zinc per serving than any other food, but you can also get it from lean meats and poultry. For a vegetarian option, chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils are all high in zinc too.
New data suggests that grapes can protect the eyes from cataracts. They contain an antioxidant that prevents the ‘clumping’ of protein in the lens, which starts the process of a cataract forming. This was discovered by comparing the diets in Mediterranean countries and the US, and comparing the eye health of both populations.
If you don’t fancy eating your greens, or just struggle to get a varied diet, we sell supplements specifically for the eyes! MacuShield is a supplement that is best for protecting the macula, and we will always recommend this if macular degeneration runs in your family or if you are at risk. This supplement also comes in vegetarian form too. We also sell Omega Eye, which is an excellent supplement for those struggling with dry eyes. Our customers always tell us how much it helped their hair and nails too!
Your eye health is very important and needs to be protected. Cataracts are very common, with over 30% of adults over 65 in the UK having a visually impairing cataract in one or both eyes. 39,800 people develop age related macular degeneration each year. For more information or if you are worried about the health of your eyes, book an appointment to see one of our knowledgeable optometrists.