When it comes to visual health, food isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. We know that diet can affect various parts of your body: your glucose levels, your blood sugar levels, your cholesterol and so much more. But something that passes the majority of individuals’ attention is the fact that your diet can have significant effects on your ocular health too. Did you know that your eyes are vascular? A diet that results in a healthy heart will help to ensure that the blood vessels in your eyes are functioning well and reduce your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts in older age. So here are a few foods that will help to keep everything functioning healthily.
Any good eye doctor will recommend that you up your consumption of foods containing omega-3 for healthy eyes. Oily fish, such as tuna and salmon, contain some of the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids available to us. For healthiest results, try out salmon or tuna steaks in a fresh salad with crisp leaves and low-fat dressing.
This wonder oil can add the eyes to the long list of body parts that it benefits. Cooking your meals in olive oil, as opposed to alternative oils, helps promote a balanced diet low in trans fats and saturated fats. This leads to a healthier heart and, consequently, healthy blood distribution throughout your eyes. So ditch the vegetable or sunflower oil and give olive oil a try.
Eggs are great for your visual health. Especially the yolks. Egg yolk contains relatively high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and is a good source of vitamin D. If you’re feeling especially dedicated to improving the health of your eyes, specialty eggs with higher levels of these nutrients are available. They are produced by feeding hens a diet rich in carotenoid.
A carotenoid-rich food that graces most of our tables is the humble tomato. The carotenoid lycopene is what gives the tomato it’s bright red color! Lycopene aids your eye tissue, reducing your risk of light-induced damage to your retina. So don’t go easy on them. Toss plump beef tomatoes them in your salad and pop some thinly sliced cherry tomatoes onto your sandwiches.
Kale is the superfood of the moment. Kale, spinach and other dark, leafy greens have high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which help your eyes to cope with the blue lights emitted by devices such as laptop screens and your mobile phone. If you don’t fancy chowing down on these greens at dinner time, try packing them into a healthy green smoothie with your breakfast!
Nuts contain lutein and vitamin E. But the star of the show are pistachios, which hold the highest levels of these nutrients. Rather than reaching for a packet of crisps, snack on nuts throughout the day. They’re healthier and will tide you over well to the next meal. Alternatively, for a sweet treat, try sprinkling them on top of homemade cakes.