Our lifestyle choices and the foods that we choose to put on our plates can have a crucial impact on our overall health, including the health of our eyes. While a diet high in saturated fat and sugar may increase the risk to many eye disease; including healthy foods such as whole grains, dark greens and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables help in promoting good eyesight and preventing age related eye damage.
Top 5 foods
1) Dark green leafy vegetables- Lutein, found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, is one of the best known eye-protecting antioxidants.
2) Carrots, pumpkins and berries- The brightly coloured, especially red and yellow fruits and vegetable are rich in beta carotenoids (vitamin A), antioxidants and Vitamin C, which are essential for good eye health. It is recommended that people choose a variety of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet to take advantage of the myriad nutrients that each has to offer. The best vegetables for eyes would be carrots, methi (fenugreek leaves), spinach, sweet potatoes, lettuce leaves and fruits like mangoes, papaya, cherries, peach, watermelon.
3) Fish- The omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish and other sea food may improve vision by neutralizing free radicals, preventing the formation of new blood vessels and reducing eye inflammation. Studies have shown that people who consumed not only more omega-3 fatty acids, but also fewer omega-6 fatty acids, (found in vegetable oils and processed foods), enjoyed the most benefits. Amongst meats, avoiding red meats would be a good idea as the presence of high saturated fat content may increase the risk to macular degeneration.
4) Nuts and flax seeds- Consuming moderate amounts of nuts ( almonds, walnuts) and seeds( pumpkin seeds, alsi or flax seeds) is beneficial.
5) Low fat milk- Taking liberal quantities of natural foods rich in Vitamin A and B2, such as whole milk, curds, and beans is suggested.
Besides adopting a healthy diet, we can improve our vision by avoiding intense ultraviolet (UV) light, quitting smoking, and getting regular checkups (that may help in early detection of chronic diseases contributing to eye problems).
Exposure to early morning sunlight and regular splashing of eyes with cold water aids in relaxing strained muscles of the eyes. Supplements containing essential fatty acids, vitamin A and E can also help to maintain good vision.
Written by Panchali Moitra