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, antioxidant, 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 powerfood for the eyes and contain beta –carotene. Beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A is the essential vitamin for eyes. Vitamin A deficiency leads to a number of eye problems which 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, fibre and potassium. The content of antioxidant, vitamin C and E supports to maintain eye health and prevents from 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. Luteins shield 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.
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 in 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 boost the production of tears. Caffeinated tea contains tannins which is 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 it 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 night time 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)
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.