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Foods That Promote Vision Health

It is well established by now that being healthy does not simply refer to an absence of disease but rather a complete state of wellness. This includes mental, emotional, spiritual, social and of course physical. While all sciences seem to keep being involved in every organ of the body, one small part remains forgotten: the eyes! If you are one of those who are always on the lookout for some super food to boost your vision; then, you are among the very few aware of its importance. Did you know that in the United States, about 12 million people above the age of 40 years have some type of vision impairment? In addition, about 93 million adults are at high risk for serious vision loss.1 That being said, you ought to start exploring what helps prevent such an unfortunate health happening, the natural way! So, how do you do it? By simply readjusting your diet by adding the following nutrients.

  1. Lutein and Zeaxanthin:

    Belonging to the carotenoid family of antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin are phytonutrients that give fruits and vegetables their red yellowish greenish orangish color. So, what links such beautiful colors and nutrients to your eyes? Simple. They are the only carotenoids found in food that are also found in the retina, specifically at the back of the eye. That being said, they have amazing eye protecting properties like taming down inflammation and glare impairment, boosting vision sharpness, protecting the eyes from blue lights, as well as protecting against myopia and ocular cell loss. It even protects against cataracts.2 The good news is that a lot of very tasty food are rich in both carotenoids like corn, lettuce, parsley, pistachios, peas, red peppers and others. You may want to keep in mind that lutein, specifically, can be better absorbed by the body when taken with a high fat meal.

  2. Omega-3 Fatty acid:

    If you are thinking about adding some omega-3 rich food to help your brain and heart, then you may be surprised that you are also doing it for your eyesight! While this nutrient cannot reverse any existing ocular damage, it can help preserve your vision, while calming down dry and inflamed eyes. What you need to be aware of is that Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, constitutes the majority of the retina structure.3 So, basically adding flaxseeds, halibut, salmon, tuna, sardines, and walnuts can actually boost your meal taste and health benefits!

  3. Vitamin E:

    When you decide to add almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter to your diet, you are adding an accomplice to the lutein. Together, they work on protecting your retinal cells from oxidation and free radicals that your body accumulates from both internal and external sources. 

  4. Zinc:

    One major fact you need to know about Zinc is that your body cannot make it. Your body cannot even store it. What does it mean? You have to make sure you are having your daily recommended intake of zinc, well, on a daily basis! This nutrient works hard to make sure to keep your overall health at its best and your eyesight too. It carries Vitamin A, essential for a healthy vision, to the retina where melanin gets produced.This latter plays an important role in keeping your vision normal and regulating your eye color. So, next time you see a platter of hummus in the supermarket, make sure you plan on buying it. Chickpeas are great sources of Zinc, and so are red meat, yogurt, pork chops and oysters.

In conclusion, I can simply state that your health becomes what you ate in the years that passed and what you are planning on eating in the coming years. Since vision problems are a hassle for American adults, you may want to be more vigilant in your food choices. Sometimes, very simple ingredients added to your diet can make big differences to your overall wellbeing and that of your eyes.

References

  1. Fast Facts of Common Eye Disorders | CDC
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16936087/
  3. The Benefits of Fish Oil for Dry Eye - American Academy of Ophthalmology (aao.org)
Author Image Dr. Sandra

Dr. Sandra is a Naturopathic MD who specialized in Preventive Global Health from the United States of America.

Her 12 years of education were obtained from one of the most prominent universities in Beirut, as well as two leading universities in the State of Florida (USA). Dr. Sandra made sure to incorporate interdisciplinary and multicultural approaches in her work. Her long years of studies helped her create her own miniature world of knowledge linking together the healthcare field with Research, Statistics, Food Technology, Environmental & Occupational Health, Preventive Health and most importantly her precious last degree of Global Health.