When it comes to the health of your eyes, most of you are familiar with the basic rules that you’ve heard since you were young. These include eating a balanced diet, wearing sun protection and keeping an eye appointment with your eye care professional.
Though all of these tips are important for keeping your eyes healthy, research have proven the nutrients and diet for the health of your eyes and to prevent eye disease.
Why Do Healthy Healthy Eyes Need Their Antioxidants?
Antioxidants help prevent many diseases which affects not only the heart and immune system, but also the eyes. Antioxidants include Vitamin A, C and E. These antioxidants help prevent age-related macular degeneration, help slow down the growth of cataracts and prevent other eye diseases.
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of antioxidants. The highly pigmented ones have a higher concentration. So when picking vegetables and fruits, choose the ones with more color to them.
Diet and Nutrition:
Choosing a diet that is high in vitamin A, C, E and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, you can provide your eyes with compounds that can help support long term eye health.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is important for the proper functioning of the retina. Also it helps prevent night blindness by helping the eyes to adapt to changes in lighting.
It also helps reduce the risk of AMD or age-related macular degeneration and it inhibits the formation of cataracts. Cataracts and AMD are the leading causes of visual impairment. Therefore, getting enough Vitamin A is important for your eye health.
Foods derived from animals, which includes eggs and meat, fruits and vegetables such as carrots and spinach contain Vitamin A. Most types of milk, are also fortified with vitamin A.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin c are found in very high concentrations in the eye. It is a well-known antioxidant which, similar to zeaxanthin and lutein, help filters UV light and fights free radicals.
To increase your vitamin C intake, you can try adding bell peppers, citrus fruits and broccoli into your diet.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is known to be a primary fat soluble and free radical-scavenging vitamin. It is mainly found within membranes of a cell, where it helps to maintain membrane integrity and structure by inhibiting free radical damage. This includes free radical damage initiated by UV light.
The prime sources of vitamin E include nuts like almonds, plant seeds, peanuts and sunflowers. Avocados, eggs and spinach are also good sources of vitamin E.
4. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin help promote eye health in two ways. These two antioxidants can absorb high energy blue light that generate free radicals and that Ultraviolet light would otherwise promote. They can also scavenge free radicals by picking them up and adding them to their own chemistry. This process does not damage other compounds in the eye.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are present in eggs, kale, broccoli, corn and through dietary supplements.
Antioxidants are more abundant in raw vegetables and fruits, but they are lost in the cooking, drying, canning and freezing processes. Also too much of these antioxidants will cause various negative effects, therefore be careful how much you consume.