You undoubtedly hear it several times a day, every day; eating a balanced diet is good for you. It helps to keep your body fit and your mind sharp, but did you know a balanced diet also has an excellent effect on your eyes?
No, those salads and smoothies aren’t only good for your waistline; they can also make a positive contribution to your eye health, helping to prevent vision loss and eye conditions like macular degeneration.
At Eye Emporium our teams all try to eat a colourful and varied diet to keep our eyes in optimum condition. We have lots of hints and tips on the best foods to include in your diet and why they’re so great…
Leafy green veg like spinach and kale are known to be superfoods for a reason. They contain antioxidants that help to protect your eyes from sun damage and pollution. In fact, spinach and kale are packed full of two of the best antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, which actually work to absorb the visible light entering your eyes, protecting them from damage. Broccoli, kiwi fruits, grapes and other brightly coloured fruits also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, so make sure you stock up on these.
Vitamins A, C and E are also extremely important for your good eye health. Vitamin A is found in orange and yellow fruit and veg, like carrots, red and yellow peppers, and pumpkin. You’ve probably heard that carrots help you see in the dark? Well, there’s actually some truth in this, as fruit and veg rich in vitamin A helps to prevent night blindness.
You already know that vitamin C is good for your health, after all, it’s the thing people tell you to load up on to ward off a cold, isn’t it? Fruits and vegetables like green peppers, oranges, strawberries and Brussels sprouts are all high in vitamin C and help to ward off cataracts, as well as macular degeneration.
Seeds, nuts and vegetable oils all contain vitamin E, which works alongside vitamin C to keep tissue strong – this is important for your eyes, so make sure you regularly include sunflower seeds, almonds and pecans in your diet each week.
Omega 3 fatty acids are another key ingredient for good eye health. Oily fish like salmon, tuna and sardines should be included in your diet a couple of times a week so that you get the correct intake; vegetarians can increase their intake of flaxseed or rapeseed oil to make sure they also get enough Omega 3.
Finally, we can’t leave out zinc that’s found in eggs, turkey and whole grains. Zinc keeps your retinas working properly, meaning that your ability to focus on objects at different distances stays strong.
Essentially, if you eat a good, varied diet you should be giving your eyes the best chance of working well and staying healthy into old age. You don’t have to eat all of these things each day, just aim to include them a few times each week so that you reap the benefits. If you’re worried about getting enough of the right vitamins each day you could try blending up a smoothie full of fruit – and even throw in some veg – to give your system a boost.
For more information on your eye health, or if you’re due an eye examination, just give our team of friendly experts at Eye Emporium a call on 0800 020 9202.