Recently, ophthalmologists around the world are sounding the alarm: more and more people of all ages are faced with problems with visual impairment. Moreover, eye diseases “get younger”, affecting even young citizens. For example, according to unofficial data, about 30% of modern children need vision correction. And these are only those of them that have undergone routine examinations.
However, the real number of future patients of the ophthalmologist is still a mystery. After all, many diseases are asymptomatic, so they can be diagnosed on time only if you regularly visit an ophthalmologist.
Nevertheless, according to the assurances of doctors, some eye diseases and, in particular, loss of visual acuity, can simply be prevented. To do this, you need, at least, to correct your diet, and, as a maximum, to slightly change your habits, limiting the time spent in front of a computer monitor, TV or gadget.
Read also our dedicated eye food article.
Can nutrition affect eye health?
As medical practice and statistics of search queries show, people from all over the world are asking this question. However, scientists began looking for a link between food intake and human vision long before many of them were born.
Back in 1945, it was found that the macula of the eye (a yellow spot in the center of the retina) contains yellow carotenoid pigments. Considering the fact that the servants of science began to study in detail food foods only many years later, then no one knew that the same pigments were present in some of them.
However, in 1958, scientists experimentally proved that taking certain vitamins (the very first of them investigated vitamin E), which is also in food, can prevent macular degeneration. Moreover, the results of that experiment were simply stunning – two-thirds of the participants were able to avoid the development of visual impairment, simply by improving the state of the macular spot.
Since then, a huge amount of research has been carried out in this area. Meanwhile, those of them, the results of which showed an improvement in the health of 2/3 of patients can be counted on one hand. This gives the right to put certain foods on a par with the most effective remedies for the fight against vision problems.
30 years later in the United States, during another study under the National Health and Nutrition Examination Program, scientists found that the risk of developing a disease such as macular degeneration in people who adhere to a diet enriched with beta-carotene is 43% lower than that of those who do not consume carotenoids. And then they completely proved that eating spinach or collard greens 5-6 times a week reduces the risk of macular degeneration by up to 88%. A good reason to heed their advice, isn’t it?
Top 15 foods for improving vision
Cabbage. It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which accumulate in the retina and allow maintaining good vision for a long time. Their main function is to protect against the harmful effects of light, especially shortwave blue. In addition, these substances prevent the appearance of cataracts. And their effectiveness is so high that both the treatment of macular degeneration and the treatment of cataracts are based on their use. Also in cabbage there are vitamins A and C, which are responsible for the speed of adaptation of the eyes to darkness and protection from the effects of radicals.
Turkey. Thanks to its zinc and niacin content, it helps the body absorb vitamin A, resist free radicals, and maintain normal eye function through the formation of new cells.
Salmon. Doctors often joke that this type of fish is jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids. They allow a person to fight dry eye syndrome (it is often observed in people working at a computer), thereby reducing the risk of developing glaucoma, as well as macular degeneration by up to 30%. And in order to feel a positive result, it is enough to eat 100 grams. fish 2 times a week. In addition to salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, or herring are good options.
Almond. An excellent source of vitamin E. Its regular use prevents the development of various eye diseases and preserves visual acuity for a long time.
Sweet potato. It has more beta-carotene than carrots. Moreover, in order to provide a triple daily intake of vitamin A, it is enough to eat a medium-sized sweet potato.
Spinach. It contains lutein, which, among other things, prevents vision loss.
Broccoli. It is a storehouse of nutrients for eye health, such as lutein and vitamin C.
Cereals. The list of benefits from using them is, in truth, endless. However, as far as vision is concerned, it is they that prevent deterioration due to their high content of iron and selenium.
Carrot. In the absence of sweet potatoes, you can use it to enrich the body with vitamin A.
Citrus. They contain lutein and vitamin C, which have an antioxidant effect, thereby maintaining good vision for a long time.
Eggs. All the same beneficial substances – zeaxanthin and lutein are found in egg yolk. Therefore, their presence in the diet of a modern person is mandatory. However, it must be remembered that the abuse of this product leads to the formation of cholesterol plaques.
Black currant and grapes. They contain both antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which, among other things, provide eye health and prevent vision loss.
Bulgarian pepper. It is an excellent source of vitamin C.
Seafood. Like salmon, they contain omega-3 fatty acids that help maintain visual acuity and joy in life for a long time.
Avocado. Its use can increase the level of lutein in the body and, thereby, reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
How else can you improve your eyesight
- 1 Exercise regularly for the eyes… These can be movements of the pupils left and right, up and down, rotational movements, oblique movements or blinking. The main thing is to pause for a few seconds after each of them.
- 2 Quit smoking… It not only increases the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration, but also provokes disturbances in the functioning of the optic nerve.
- 3 Wear sunglasses more often… They protect the eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
- 4 Don’t overdo sweet and salty, since high blood sugar levels provoke the development of eye diseases and lead to visual impairment. And salt prevents the excretion of fluid from the body, thereby increasing intraocular pressure.
- 5 Limit alcohol and caffeinated beverages as much as possible… They cause dry eye syndrome and metabolic disorders. Therefore, it is better to replace them with natural juices – tomato, orange, berry or beetroot. They contain not only vitamins, but also lycopene – one of the carotenoids.
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