People talk of protecting your heart, your skin, your overall health in general. But have you thought of protecting your eyes from damage? Taking your eyes for granted can leave them damaged. If you are reminded of carrots when you talk of eye care then you need to read further on as other foods and nutrients may be equally or more important when it comes to taking care of your eyes. A combination of nutrients play a role in eye health rather than any one particular nutrient.
Protecting your eyes starts from the foods you eat.
Nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Lutein along with Vitamin A may help in good eye health, especially important as you age. So, here is a list of the nutrition powerhouses just for your sparkling eyes.
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Lutein & Zeaxanthin: Two of the best antioxidants for the eyes, lutein and zeaxanthin, they can help delay development of cataracts and macular degeneration. Cooked spinach and cooked kale are one of the best natural food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Other good sources include corn, egg yolk, kiwi fruit, grapes, orange juice, zucchini and broccoli.
Beta Carotene: One of the antioxidants responsible for protecting the cells from free radical damage, beta carotene in combination with other nutrients like zinc, Vitamin C and E may slow the progress of macular damage. Foods rich in beta carotene include carrots, mangoes, apricots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, cantaloupe, etc.
Vitamin C: Scientific evidence suggests that Vitamin C, an antioxidant, lowers the risk of developing cataracts. Besides citrus fruits this vitamin is also found in dark green leafy vegetables, green bell peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, strawberries, guava, papaya and Indian gooseberry (amla).
Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E besides from helping prevent or reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, is known to slow cataract growth. Some of the best sources of Vitamin E are nuts, seeds, wheat germ, leafy greens and vegetable oils. Just a handful of almonds provides about half your daily dose of Vitamin E.
Essential Fatty Acids: The essential fatty acids that help to keep your heart and brain healthy may also protect your eyes from inflammation, dryness, cataracts and muscular degeneration. Fish such as tuna, salmon, herring are some animal sources of the omega 3 fatty acids. For vegetarians omega 3 sources are walnuts, soy, flax seeds and their oils and chia seed oil.
Zinc: Zinc is responsible for bringing the Vitamin A from the liver to the retina and is present in the eyes in the retina and the choroid. Oysters contain the most zinc in them. However, red meat and poultry also provide zinc to the diets. Vegetarians can get their zinc from beans, nuts, whole grains and dairy products although the bio availability of zinc is low from plant sources.
Age related deterioration is definite to the eyes. But as per eye health research, with proper diet and nutrition, the process can be slowed down. Make sure to include these eye friendly nutrients in your diet and keep your eyes healthy for a longer time.