Although aging and eye strain are big contributors to failing eyesight, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.
Certain nutrients such as zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene may reduce the risk of age-related eye health problems by as much as 25 per cent.
The best, nutrient rich foods recommended by the American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are:
Oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout, anchovies, herrings and sardines are beneficial choices for eye health. Some studies have found that fish oil can help fix dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time staring at a computer screen.
Seeds are high in omega-3, and are a good source of vitamin E. Seeds to try includes chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds.
Like fish and seeds, nuts are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, and have a high level of vitamin E. Nuts and legumes that are good for eyes are: walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts and lentils.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, and are a good source of vitamin C, which helps eye health.
Lemons, oranges and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps fight age-related eye damage.
Turns out it’s not a myth that eating carrots are good for your eyes! They are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A. Beta carotene is needed by the body to make vitamin A, which is essential for vision. It’s a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light.
Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to long-term eye health. Other meats such as chicken breast and pork loin contain zinc, but not as much as beef.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin E, and are also rich in beta-carotene.
A surprising entry, but water is essential to keep eyes healthy. It prevents dehydration, which could reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
Eggs are a great source of zinc, and vitamins C and E. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help reduce the risk of age-related loss of vision.
How to Keep Eyes Healthy
There are some other tips you can follow to help keep your eyes healthy:
• Wear sunglasses outside. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause cataracts
• Stop smoking • Wear eye protection if working with chemicals or other potential eye irritants
• Wash your hands before putting contact lenses in
• Protect your eyes from computer-related eye strain by following this easy to remember rule – look away from your screen every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds
• Get regular eye exams, especially if your family history shows poor eye health