About 2 million persons are living with severe sight loss in UK, that can significantly impact their life.
Did you know that diet and lifestyle can impact on eye health?
Here are some ways to maintain eye health and prevent eye diseases:
- Be a healthy weight. We all know the dangers of being too heavy on our general health, but it has an impact on eye health too: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other problems with circulation which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma.
- Eat your veggies. You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes due to their B Carotene content (which is converted to vitamin A by our bodies), but eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes healthy too. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two types of carotenoids which are yellow to red pigments found widely in vegetables and some fruits and are thought to benefit eye health. Though lutein is considered a yellow pigment, in high concentrations it appears orange-red (think tomatoes and red-peppers). It is believed that lutein and zeaxanthin concentrate themselves in the macula when eaten and help block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, thereby reducing the risk of light-induced oxidative damage that could lead to macular degeneration (AMD). The best natural food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are green leafy vegetables and other green or yellow vegetables. Among these, cooked kale and cooked spinach top the list. Egg yolks are also a good source
- Go Nuts: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios can be converted into Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and vitamin E, which are powerful antioxidants. Studies show that vitamin E may help reduce the progression of age–related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract development and is thought to protect the eye cells from damage caused by free radicals that disrupt healthy tissue.
- Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, black berries, acai berries, and cherries are great for lowering inflammation and blood pressure, a risk factor for macular degeneration. These fruit powerhouses also contain vitamin C, which has been shown to prolong the development of cataracts. Berries also contain plant compounds called polyphenolics that can help protect the brain and recycle the toxic debris which is linked to age–related macular degeneration (AMD).
- Look for other deep coloured skin fruits and vegetables such as radishes, grapes, plums, bell peppers and beets to also receive these health benefits.
- Something fishy: Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. This is due to their omega 3 content and there is some evidence that dry eye syndrome may be helped by getting plenty of omega 3.
- Not smoking. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.