Protect Your Eyesight by Eating Right
Well-being and a healthy diet are buzzwords these days. Everywhere you see there’s information on which foods you must be eating and how much water you should be drinking. However, when you consider your overall well-being, your eyesight more often than not, gets ignored. Eye problems include everything from blurred vision and cataracts to the recently manifested computer vision syndrome. Age-related eye problems range from cataracts to macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness.
Just like your body, your eyesight needs care, and believe it or not, the right diet. By adding certain foods to your diet you can protect your eyesight; here are seven nutrients that you must consume to protect your eyesight:
- Vitamin A – deficiency of this vitamin can lead to night blindness, and can also increase your risk of getting cataracts. Drink milk and have an egg for breakfast. Other dietary sources include chicken or beef liver. You can also add cod liver oil to your diet.
- Carotenoids – Both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene in your diet dramatically improve your vision. The body transforms them to vitamin A. Apart from carrots, you can get your carotenoids from leafy greens such as kale, spinach and lettuce, as well as from colourful veggies such as red and yellow bell peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.
- Vitamin E – this helps the body produce more red blood cells and also acts as an antioxidant, both of which are beneficial for your eyesight. Get your dose of vitamin E from nuts such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, as well as from oil-rich foods like avocados. Whole grains, spinach and olive oil are also great sources of vitamin E
- Vitamin C – this has immunity boosting properties. Apart from citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, etc.), include fruits such as strawberries and guava.
- Lycopene – reduces the risk of macular degeneration. Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomato its characteristic red colour. Add plenty of tomatoes and tomato juice to your diet.
- Anti-oxidants – such as lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce your risk of many eye problems, including macular degeneration. You can get these anti-oxidants from kiwi fruit and beetroot.
- Bioflavonoids – these reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of bioflavonoids. Eat what’s in season, and preferably what is grown locally and organically (excessive use of pesticides negates the good effects of bioflavonoids).
Regular Check Up
Apart from eating right, it’s important to get your eyes tested regularly. Just as you go for annual health check-ups, get an eye test done at least once a year. Eye problems manifest gradually and sometimes you may not even know that you need any vision correction. An eye test can spot vision problems early and your optician can accordingly recommend further preventive and corrective actions. Eye tests can also detect many underlying health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, tumours and many neurological disorders. So don’t delay getting your eyes tested, drop by at your local Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care branch today or book your eye test appointment online. Your eyesight is precious – take care of it!
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