There are over 1 billion people across the globe who suffer from some sort of vision impairment. With so many of us dealing with eyesight issues, you may be wondering what you can do to take better care of the one set of eyes we have. While carrots might not make your vision clear, diet does play a role in our eye health.
So, what nutrients have a hand in eye health, and how does diet affect it? Keep reading to find out.
1. Reduces Risk of Eye-Related Diseases
Getting the proper nutrients from your diet can help reduce the risk of eye-related diseases. This includes cataracts, macular degeneration, retinopathies, and other chronic eye diseases.
Throughout the article, you’ll find some of the best foods for eye health. Remember if you believe you are suffering from any eye-related diseases it is best to seek eye health services.
2. Reduces Risk of Non-Eye Related Diseases That Impact Eye Health
Beyond the risk of eye-related diseases, many other diseases affect our eye health. One of the major diseases to consider is diabetes. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting the proper exercise is just the beginning when it comes to reducing your risk.
One of the ways that diabetes can harm your eyes is by causing damage to the blood vessels necessary for eye health and vision. It may also lead to diabetic retinopathies. Those who have diabetes might also be more at risk for cataracts. Poor night vision, floaters, spots, and blurred vision are also side effects of diabetes.
High blood pressure can also cause damage to the blood vessels and the retinas.
3. Improved Healing and Communication
In the unfortunate event that you are suffering from any eye-related injury, vitamin D has been known to aid in the healing process. Even disease may cause damage to the eye that vitamin D can help correct.
There are proteins in the eye that exchange sugars, proteins, vitamins, and amino acids. This helps maintain homeostasis. Vitamin D helps to create stronger pathways of cell communication.
You can get vitamin D from:
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods
Keep in mind that we need sunlight to properly synthesize vitamin D. Therefore, you might also add in some time outside each day.
4. Aids Filtering of Harmful Light and Wavelengths
The retina of our eyes contains high concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin. These are a class of phytochemicals or plant chemicals that are called carotenoids. In the retina, they act as antioxidants to filter harmful wavelengths and light.
This helps protect your eyesight from damage and has a positive impact. You can get your phytochemicals from:
- Green beans
- Leafy greens
5. Reduces Damage From Free Radicals
Vitamins C and E are essential to a healthy body and that translates to our eyes as well. Free radicals are atoms that are unstable and cause damage to cells. These atoms can cause damage, illness, and symptoms of aging.
They have been linked to cataracts and vision decline. Interestingly, these free radicals are produced naturally within our own bodies and are linked to the aging that we all face. As you know, some people age differently than others.
Vitamin C and E have been known to protect the eye from free radical damage. One National Eye Institute study claims that increasing these vitamins and iron intake can reduce age-related decline by 25%.
In addition, fried foods have been linked to worsening damage from free radicals among other lifestyle choices like smoking, alcohol, and exposure to chemicals.
Foods high in vitamins C and E:
- Sunflower seeds
6. Increases Melanin Production
Zinc is another highly concentrated substance in our eyes. It also plays an important role in the production of melanin. Melanin can be found throughout the body in our skin, hair, and eyes.
This is what is known to give color to skin, hair, and eyes. Melanin protects our eyes and skin too. This shield protects us from UV rays and declining vision. Zinc deficiency may cause poor nighttime vision, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
Common foods high in zinc:
- Red meat
7. Promotes Normal Blood Vessel Growth
There are many blood vessels present in the retina. When abnormalities occur in these vessels, a major retinopathy may be possible. Retinopathies can be very serious and even lead to blindness.
To promote normal blood vessel growth inside the retinas, omega-3 fatty acids have been said to help. This includes eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Get your omega-3 fatty acids from:
- Cold-water fish
- Plant oils
- Fortified foods
8. Antioxidants Protect Eyes
Vitamins C and E, iron, and carotenoids all behave as antioxidants. They function this way to protect your eyes from damage. This will allow you to maintain your vision and prevent future problems from arising.
With this in mind, you’ll be able to get a hold of maintaining your eye health and vision. It’s never too late to try and prevent future deterioration.
Take Care of Your Diet and Eye Health
Diet has a lot to do with our overall health. When we miss out on much-needed nutrients we are putting ourselves at a higher risk for all sorts of different ailments. We are only given one set of eyes, so we must protect them and consider our eye health.
Need help with your eye health? We would love to help you protect and improve your vision. Contact us to get expert advice!