Nutrition for Your Eyes
Ensure that Your Eyes Get the Nutrients They Need
We often hear about eating for stronger bones, smoother skin, or glossier hair. Did you know that eating right can actually improve your eyesight and keep the “windows to your soul” clear and healthy for years to come?
The eye is a highly complex organ which is mostly made of fatty tissue, known as lipids. As light enters the fatty tissues of the eye, it can break down into free radicals, which are highly reactive oxygen-containing chemicals that can attack and destroy other molecules, causing major damage to lipids. Free radicals cause the degenerative effects of aging, including loss of vision over time.
The two major effects of free radical damage are cataracts and macular degeneration. Not coincidentally, these are also the two most common reasons for blindness in adults.
However, free radicals can be neutralized by chemicals known as antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body to slow and contain the damage done by free radicals, washing them harmlessly out of the body. Antioxidants can even help repair damage that has already been wreaked by free radicals.
So how do you ensure that you have enough antioxidants in your system? Why, by eating your vegetables, just like your mother told you.
Fresh fruits and green, leafy vegetables are a vital source of antioxidants. Healthy eyes need a regular supply of the antioxidants found in Vitamins A, C, and E to stay strong and fight off the negative effects of aging and perhaps reduce the need for contact lenses or glasses. As little as half a carrot a day can give you the Vitamin A that you need to protect your eyes. Vitamin E is commonly found in nuts and sunflower seeds, whereas leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, broccoli, and sweet peppers are good sources of Vitamin C.
To further increase your eye health, add fish to your diet at least twice a week to include essential fatty acids in your diet. You should also keep an eye on your sweets, since refined carbohydrates like white sugars and processed flours can spike your blood glucose levels, which can increase your chances of macular degeneration.
By eating healthily and practicing good nutrition for your eyes, you can keep your vision strong and clear for many years to come.