For many, the start of a new year is a chance to put your health first and take better care of yourself. Whether your resolution is to start and exercise routine or being more mindful of what you eat, being aware of how food affects and benefits your vision is a great start.
Research shows that certain nutrients and vitamins can help prevent eye-related diseases. Here’s some foods you should incorporate into your diet and start working towards improving your vision as well as your overall health:
Seafood is packed with health benefits. With high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, cold-water fish help reduce inflammation and help prevent dry eyes, cataracts and macular degeneration. You can source omega-3s in fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, or freshly ground flaxseeds and walnuts if you aren’t a fan of seafood.
Although it may seem hard to believe that fats are essential for our health, our bodies can’t properly function without it. Fatty acids are the critical in the normal production and functioning of our cells, muscles, nerves and major organs.
Leafy green vegetables are known for being a superfood because they contain two antioxidants, Zeaxanthin and Lutein. Both nutrients are stored in the macula, which is part of your retina that naturally acts as sunblock and protects your eyes from harsh and damaging lights. They can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration and can be found in foods like spinach, kale, collard greens and swiss chard. Cookinglight suggests that you should try eating your greens with a bit of olive oil to ensure you absorb more nutrients as they are fat soluble.
Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and butternut squash are all full of Beta-carotene and Vitamin A, which are crucial in helping reduce the progression of macular degeneration. Registered dieticians note that Beta-carotene help the eyes adjust to low levels at night time. Vitamin A helps the surface of our eyes and mucous membranes and reduce the risk of eye infections, but one of the first signs of a deficiency is vision problems at night!
Whole grains contain Vitamin E, and zinc, which all help reduce your risk of developing cataracts or another age-related degenerating condition. They also reduce the likelihood of your blood sugar levels rising which can damage your retina. Vitamin E is found in food such as almonds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts, while foods like oysters, beef, crab and turkey contain high levels of Zinc.
All About Vision states eating whole grains that have a very low glycemic index may reduce the risk for macular degeneration. You can easily start incorporating whole grains into your diet by swapping out pasta for quinoa or white rice for brown rice.
Beyond eating healthy, discussing any vision problems or concerns with your optometrist or our vision care team can be the start of a life without boundaries. Book a complimentary assessment with and find out whether laser eye surgery is right for you.
Even with eating right, annual or semi-annual visits to your optometrist should be part of your regular health routine. They are often covered by extended health benefits plans – even if you don’t have coverage for glasses or other vision correction.
If you’ve had laser vision correction, it’s still important to visit your optometrist regularly as they test and check for many different eye health issues.