Food is an extremely important part of your lifestyle. The diet you consume and the dietary supplements you take affect the overall health of your body. All healthy diets should include large amounts of fruits and vegetables. Foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar may increase your risk of eye disease .Choose green vegetables or vitamin C enriched foods to protect your eyes by the damage relating to oxidizing agents that cause age related eye diseases.
What Eyes Need - The eyes need adequate nutrition to keep functioning properly, just like the rest of our bodies. While we need the whole spectrum of vitamins and minerals for physical and ocular health, certain vitamins stand out from the rest when it comes to healthy eyes.
Nutrition for Eyesight - "Eat your carrots" is good advice for your eyes. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A and forms a purple pigment in the retina of the eye called rhodopsin, which is needed by the eye in order to see in dim light. If you don't get enough vitamin A or beta-carotene, your body cannot produce an adequate amount of rhodopsin. For this reason, many people end up with night blindness. The lack of beta-carotene is also attributed to macular degeneration.Plants and vegetables that are bright and colorful are often loaded with beta-carotene. Carrots, pumpkin, dark leafy green and sweet potatoes are all excellent sources.Lutein, a compound found in eye tissue, also aids in preventing macular degeneration. Sources of lutein include spinach, corn and leafy green vegetables. It is also available in over-the-counter supplements.Since free radicals can cause eye damage, eating foods that are rich in antioxidants only stands to reason. Eggs, onions, avocados and asparagus all contain an antioxidant called glutathione, which attacks free radicals and aids in cataract prevention.Other antioxidants that protect against free radicals are vitamin C and vitamin E. Found in fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamin C also protects against cataracts and clouding of the eyes. Foods with the highest vitamin C concentrations per serving are spinach, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts and citrus fruits. Vitamin E is difficult to obtain through diet only, but it is available in wheat germ, kale, sweet potatoes, avocados, almonds and blueberries. Vitamins C and E are readily available as dietary supplements, but obtaining them through diet is the preferred method for your body to utilize them.Healthy fats that contain omega-3 fatty acids benefit the eyes as well. They keep the blood vessels and nerves that go to the eyes healthy and young. Excellent food sources of omega-3s are sardines and salmon. Eating two to three portions a week is recommended, and daily dietary supplements also help.
What Not To Eat - Eating the best foods for your eyes can be sabotaged if you continue to include items in your diet that counteract their effects. Caffeine can deplete vitamins and minerals from your body, including the ones necessary for eye health.Foods that are high in preservatives or highly processed also deplete vitamin stores, and are also known to cause inflammation. Inflammation increases pressure around the nerves and blood vessels that go to the eyes, causing poor vision and not allowing proper blood flow to deliver necessary vitamins and minerals to the tissues.Free radicals in our bodies are increased by poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking and stress, and other factors such as pollution. Try as much as you can to limit your exposure to these things as you add the above healthy foods to your diet.