What foods are healthy for your eyes?
Meanwhile, people are busy with their daily activities, they forget to have proper dietary supplements. Proper food, balanced diet and healthy eyes are very much co-relating to each other. While the world is fighting for the cause of blindness, ignorance of people to eat healthy food remains the leading creator of the diseases like Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Xerophthalmia, and Dry Eye Syndrome.
Eating the foods that are rich in vitamins, Nutrients, and Minerals helps to maintain better eyesight.
7 Best foods for Eye Health
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, and retina. It can be obtained directly from maternal milk (breast milk) or fish oil. Most of the DHA in fish originates from the food like microalgae in the cold oceanic water. Fish, particularly salmon, can be great food for better eyesight. This healthy fatty acid also helps prevent dry eyes with the smooth functioning of Meibomian gland.
A wild-caught version of salmon is always better than farmed raised as they have high saturated fatty acid and less omega 3’s.
Note: Vegetarian diets typically contain limited amounts of DHA, and vegan diets typically contain no DHA. DHA manufactured using microalgae is vegetarian. Flaxseed (Aalash in Nepali), Kale, walnut, vegetable oil contain DHA but our body needs to do more work to extract them.
2. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are rich in nutrients called lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are the best antioxidants to prevent eye diseases. Lutein and zeaxanthin aren’t made in the body, so you have to integrate them into your diet.
Two carotenoids, lutein (pronounced loo-teen) and zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uh-zan-thin), are antioxidants that are highly deposited in the macular area of the retina. Lutein and zeaxanthin filters harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light. According to American optometry Association, Higher dietary intake of these compounds has shown to minimize the risk of cataract development in adults. The lutein and zeaxanthin neutralizes the free radical, thus preventing the oxidation of the crystalline lens in our eyes. NEI, U.S.A says Lutein and zeaxanthin have been found to be an excellent compound for increasing visual performance in patients with AMD.
Carrots are rich in carotenoid also known as beta-carotene. The natural state of beta-carotene is orange-yellow, due to which the carrots occur in orange colour. The beta-carotene are converted to vitamin-A (retinol) in our body. Beta-carotene itself is not an essential carotenoid, but vitamin-A helps in the formation of the mucus membrane, Rhodopsin in the retina, W.B.C, epithelial cells in the skin. Vitamin A initiates growth in human beings and It protects the conjunctiva and cornea with the mucus cells produced by the crypts of Henle and the glands of Manz. Retinoic acid is used in the treatment of cancer and acne too. Vitamin-A(retinol) with other anti-oxidants, helps to protect vision in patients with AMD.
Eggs are a great food to eat. The Egg is rich in vitamin-A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc. Zinc is required in the body to absorb vitamin-A. Zinc helps vitamin-A to create a pigment called “Melanin”. Melanin helps in maintaining the color of iris and retinal pigment epithelium. Thus, Zinc helps in night vision as well. But it doesn’t necessarily mean zinc helps rod cells of the retina. “Zinc helps to reduce your macular degeneration risk”, according to Paul Dougherty, MD, medical director of Dougherty Laser Vision in Los Angeles.
Like other nuts, Almond also contains Vitamin E. Vitamin E delays the progression of cataracts and AMD. Vitamin E works with lutein and zeaxanthin. The human body doesn’t produce vitamin E in the amount it needs. This is why daily intake of vitamin E through your diet or nutritional supplements is important for good eye health. other nuts like peanuts, brazil nuts, Hazelnuts, wall-nuts, and oyster and other seafood contain an element called selenium that is also required for the body for the better absorption of Vitamin E in the body.
6. Dairy products
Dairy products like milk and yoghurts are rich in vitamin A and zinc. Both functions by production of Mucin, melanin, rod cells pigment in the retina. The middle vascular layer and conjunctiva, both are benefitted by eating the dairy products. It is better to have dairy from proper grass-fed cows. Dairy helps against cataract and other retinal diseases.
7. Citrus foods
Fruits like oranges, berries, lemon etc. are rich in vitamin C. The vitamin C helps the blood vessels by preventing oxidation of cholesterol. It also combats the cataract and Age-Related macular degeneration. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is also an anti-oxidant. Vitamin C maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea.
Thus, Eating wholesome foods rich in Anti-oxidants helps in better sight. Macular degeneration and cataracts are likely to be helped for slow progression.
Note: Hypermetropia and Myopia are not likely to be reversed with healthy food.