What you need to know about preparation, surgery and recovery
Eat Right For Your Sight
One of the best things you can do for your eyes is to eat a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, but low in saturated fats and sugar. While eating a balanced diet from all food groups is important for general health, some foods stand out as particularly beneficial for eye health. Here are five foods you should make sure are part of your diet for healthy vision:
1. Orange coloured vegetables and fruit:
Carrots and other orange-coloured fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, apricots and cantaloupe are high in beta-carotene, a nutrient that is converted into vitamin A in the body. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision. Therefore, incorporating these orange-coloured fruit and vegetables into your daily diet can help to promote vision health and cell growth.
2. Citrus fruits
Oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant critical to eye health. Vitamin C helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea of the eye.
Research shows that your eyes need relatively high levels of vitamin C to function properly, which can also help prevent or at least delay cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Lots of other foods offer vitamin C, including peaches, red peppers, tomatoes and strawberries.
Kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are good sources of bioflavonoids and zinc, which helps to protect the retina. Zinc is essential to many processes in our bodies, including helping the body to absorb vitamin A as well as helping to reduce the number of free radicals in the body thanks to it’s antioxidant properties.
Additionally, in direct relation to eye health, zinc and bioflavoniods can help lower the risk of developing cataracts and protect against macular degeneration and night blindness.
Cold water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to protect from age-related macular degeneration by contributing to the visual development and the health of the retina. Also, essential fatty acids from fleshy fish assist in the proper flow of intraocular fluid in the eyes and can help protect against dry eye syndrome.
5. Leafy green vegetables:
While it is commonly known that leafy dark green vegetables are loaded with insoluble fibre for bowel health and antioxidants that fight cancer, there’s more to them than meets the eye! Leafy green vegetables including spinach and kale are not only rich in eye-friendly vitamin C but are also a good source of both lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that act as a “natural sunscreen”. By filtering harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light to protect the eye’s retina from the sun’s harmful UV, lutein and zeaxanthin help to maintain healthy cells in the eyes.
Another reason why you should load-up your plate with leafy greens is because in one study, researchers found that a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin was associated with a 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration.
Book Your Eye Check-Up
Although your eyes are sure to benefit when you add more of these nutritious foods to your diet, even the healthiest food isn’t a substitute for regular eye exams! Poor nutrition isn’t the only thing that can cause eye problems, which is why it’s crucial to schedule comprehensive eye check-ups at least once every year, especially if you’ve noticed any changes in your vision.
To book an appointment at Auckland Eye, call 0800 25 53 93.