Christmas is over, New Year celebrations are out of the way and we have already made our resolutions. Whether you’ve promised yourself that 2016 will be the year you lose weight, give up smoking, try a new hobby or be more organised, have you considered the importance of keeping your eyes healthy too.You are probably aware of the well-known story, often told to children, that eating carrots will help you to see in the dark. Whilst this isn’t strictly the case, it is true that carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene; this is converted to vitamin A in the body and is an essential nutrient for eye health.
In addition, beta-carotene can help to reduce the progression of macular degeneration, and is also found in sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and butternut squash.
However, there are several more foods that can boost your eye health too, all providing a variety of nutrients, including:
Bioflavonoids: thought to help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. The best sources
are tea, red wine, citrus fruits, berries and soy products.
Omega-3 fatty acids: can help to reduce macular degeneration and incidences of dry eye. They’re found in abundance in oily fish, flaxseeds and walnuts.
Zinc: reduces the risk of night blindness when combined with Vitamin A, and may also protect against the progression of macular degeneration. Oysters, beef, and dark turkey meat are all great sources of zinc.
Vitamin A: key to protecting against night blindness and dry eyes. There are high levels in eggs, butter, milk, and beef or chicken liver.
Vitamin C: can help to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. It is found in a wide variety of foods including sweet peppers, kale, strawberries, broccoli, oranges and cantaloupe melons.
Vitamin D: found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, milk, and fortified orange juice. It provides health benefits that reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Vitamin E: when combined with Vitamin C, it may reduce the risk of developing advanced macular degeneration. The richest sources of Vitamin E are nuts, seeds, cereal grains and olive oil.
As well as eating a healthy diet, remember that it’s also important to maintain an appropriate weight as overweight individuals are at an increased risk of suffering poor eye health. Excess weight is linked with heightened incidences of strokes, heart disease and high blood pressure. All of these affect the blood vessels in the body and can consequently reduce blood flow to the eyes.
So when you’re promising yourself that you’ll make healthy choices this year, don’t forget to take care of your eyes as well as the rest of your body.
For more information about how you can look after your eye health, or to book an eye appointment with us at Eye Emporium, please give us a call on 0800 020 9209.