We all know that maintaining a healthy diet is important for our body and overall wellbeing, but did you know that the food you eat can reinforce your eye health and potentially prevent problems from developing further down the road?
To celebrate National Eye Health Week 2020, why not cook up a dish with one (or more) of the following ingredients that are known to promote better eye health:
Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin - yellow carotenoid antioxidants known as macular pigments.
These antioxidants act as a natural sunblock and can play a crucial role in protecting your eyes against harmful light.
Various studies suggest that daily consumption of foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Add a splash of spinach to your evening meal with one of these delicious recipes.
2. Oily Fish
Oily fish (herring, salmon or sardines) contain long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
DHA is found in high amounts in your retina, where it is thought to maintain eye function. A DHA deficiency can impair vision, especially in children.
Studies have shown that people who take EPA and DHA supplements experience a reduction in symptoms of dry eye syndrome. It’s also been found that middle-aged and older adults with diabetes can reduce their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by ensuring their diet contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Fancy a fish dish this evening? Let’s get cooking!
3. Citrus fruits
The liquid that fills the outermost part of your eye (the aqueous humor) contains more vitamin C than any other fluid in the body. The levels of vitamin C in your eye are directly linked to dietary intake, so it’s important to eat food rich in vitamin C or take supplements.
Studies have shown that people who take vitamin C supplements are less likely to get cataracts. Similarly, studies indicate that people with cataracts have a low antioxidant status.
Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Sometimes it can be tricky to eat fruit every day, check out these fun ways of integrating citrus fruit into your daily diet.
Zinc is involved in the formation of visual pigments in your retina, it therefore plays a big part in eye health.
Night blindness (or nyctalopia) can sometimes be linked to a zinc deficiency. This means that the eye is unable to adapt to low-light conditions and can be the reason people struggle to see or drive at night.
In addition to this, studies have suggested that zinc may have the ability to slow the development of AMD in middle-aged to older people. Though there is not enough evidence to form a strong conclusion on this just yet.
Peanuts (or cashews) are a great source of zinc, there are lots of ways to integrate peanuts into your diet. Here are a few recipes you can start with.
If you’ve got a peanut allergy but still want to stay on top of your zinc intake, you could consider Oysters instead.