EYE NUTRITION TIPS
MORE ON EYE AM HEALTHY
HOW TRENDY VEGGIES CAN IMPROVE YOUR EYE HEALTH
We know that what we eat can impact our vision, but why? Antioxidants are one of the key components of many common foods that can help your eyes stay at their best.
Our very own, Giuliana Baggoley takes a look at the science behind antioxidants to give you the knowledge you need to keep your eyes in shape and showing how all-the-rage veggies like spinach and kale can help more than your waistline.
ANTIOXIDANTS FOR YOUR EYES
- What are antioxidants
- Deep down inside some nutritious (and delicious) foods, are nutrients known as antioxidants, which can help maintain your eye health and prevent the onset of macular diseases. Antioxidants neutralize chemicals called ‘free radicals’ produced by oxidization in the body, which may cause damage to your eyes.
- How do antioxidants help
- By adding antioxidant rich foods to your diet, you’ll have more nutrients in your system that can help protect these cells and avoid early onset of macular degeneration, cataract and other vision issues, as you get older. They can also help protect your macula; an important part of the retina that is responsible for your sharp, central vision.
- Foods that contain antioxidants
- Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale have high levels of antioxidants but you can also find them in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, whole grains and fish. Add pan-fried salmon with a kale spinach and roasted tomato salad to the menu and you’ll start reaping the antioxidant rewards.
- When should I start adding antioxidants to my diet
- Making sure antioxidants feature in your diet is important from a young age. Many chronic eye conditions progress with time so the earlier you add antioxidants to your diet the less likely it is that you’ll experience problems down the track.
TOP EYE HEALTH TIPS
- Know your family history
- A family history can increase the risk of macular degeneration. Regular eye exams and a plan with your optometrist is essential.
- Get loads of lutein and zeaxanthin
- A diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which is found in green leafy vegetables and egg yolks, particularly raw egg yolks, can assist with combating the progression of eye diseases.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- A healthy diet low in saturated fats and rich in fresh fruit, leafy green vegetables and nuts are great nutrition for your eyes.
- Supplement your diet
- There are many vitamin and dietary supplements on the market designed to slow the progression of certain types of macular degeneration. Talk to your optometrist for a healthy plan.
- Stop smoking
- Smoking can increases the risk of macular degeneration. Quitting smoking may reduce your risk and slow the progression of the disease.
- Wear sunglasses
- Wearing sunglasses in the harsh Australian sun will help block UV light that causes eye damage.
FOOD FOR HEALTHY EYES
- Include blueberries and strawberries in your diet, as they are rich in antioxidants, which are present in high concentrations in a healthy macula.
- Leafy green vegetables
- Spinach, broccoli and kale have essential vitamins and minerals, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for good retina health.
- Oily fish
- Fish such as salmon are great for their omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of high eye pressure and glaucoma.
- Eggs are great for fatty acids, lutein, B-vitamins and zinc, which are essential for general eye health.
- Garlic can enhance blood flow and boost the immune system, for overall health benefits.
- Dark chocolate
- What a great excuse! Eat dark chocolate for its antioxidants and flavinoids, which help circulation and blood flow in the retina.