Improve Your Vision

Foods That Can Help Improve Your Vision

It is a gift to be able to see the world unhindered. The eyes are perhaps the most important sensory organs for experiencing the world. Therefore, it is important to eat certain foods to improve eyesight naturally. Eyesight is often affected by heredity, age, and gadget use, but the foods you consume can reduce photodamage.

People often believe that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain. In truth, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, found that certain nutrients — zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — may reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by 25 percent.

This study was updated in 2013 to test different versions of the original formula. The variations included omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene; the study found that certain combinations may work better than others.

Further studies agree that omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin are vital for eye health.

Can Eyesight Be Improved Naturally?

Unfortunately, there is no way of reversing refractive error, such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, or presbyopia. This type of visual difficulty can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

However, there are other reasons for diminished eyesight, such as macular degeneration, that respond favorably to nutritional changes. In that sense, there are foods to improve eyesight without glasses.

What Vitamins Are Good For Eyesight?

Certain vitamin deficiencies can negatively impact how we see. Our ocular health depends on the balance of many nutrients, but some key vitamins improve eyesight.

Vitamin A

When you think of what vitamin helps eyesight, you may instinctively think of vitamin A. It is indeed an essential nutrient for the eyes.

Vitamin A is a broad term used for a group of compounds called retinoids. Retinol is the form of vitamin A derived from animal foods. In the eye, retinol is taken up by the retinal cells to make a pigment called rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is used by rod cells in the eye to enable vision in low light. When vitamin A is deficient, problems with night vision can develop.

Xerophthalmia is the term used to describe the constellation of symptoms that arise from vitamin A deficiency, including night blindness and dry eye, among others.

Vitamin C

Our body is constantly producing what are called free radicals. These are byproducts of our metabolic processes that take place every day of our waking life. Our body also produces antioxidants, which combat these free radicals. When there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress is responsible for many aging processes, including cataract formation.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that we can take to fend off free radicals and possibly delay cataract formation. It has also been shown to slow the progression of macular degeneration, a potentially blinding age-related condition.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that has been shown to slow the progression of macular degeneration.

Vitamin B

There is a myriad of B vitamins out there, and several of them have been found to be beneficial to the eyes. Folate, B6, and B12 may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Taking a B complex may also delay the onset of cataracts.

Lutein

What vitamin is good for eyesight? Although there isn’t just one, lutein is pretty high up on the list. It is one of the best vitamins to help eyesight.

Lutein is a carotenoid related to vitamin A and beta-carotene. It is beneficial for the macula, slowing the progression of macular degeneration. It has the ability to filter out blue light emitted by digital devices. It may also delay cataract progression.

Best foods for eye health

Kale

Like spinach, kale is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and lutein. Lutein helps prevent light and oxidative damages and protects the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataract.

About 100 g of kale can provide you with 11 mg of lutein. You can have kale in salads, soups, smoothies, wraps, and sandwiches.

Nuts

Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and vitamin E, which helps reduce inflammation. Research has also confirmed that consuming nuts rich in vitamin E can help prevent age-related cataract formation.

You must have a handful of mixed nuts every day to help improve and protect your vision. However, be careful with these small bundles of joy as you can easily go overboard with them.

Dairy

Milk and yogurt are great for improving eye health. Apart from calcium and phosphorus, they are loaded with zinc and vitamin A. Vitamin A helps protect the cornea, and zinc helps transport vitamin A to the eyes from the liver. Zinc also helps with night vision and prevents cataract.

You can drink grass-fed milk in the morning or at night before going to bed. Have yogurt after lunch or as a snack.

Eggs

Eggs are loaded with essential amino acids and both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. The egg yolk, though a little high in cholesterol, is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which impart the yellow color to it.

Consume one or two whole eggs to keep your eyes healthy. Boiled, poached, or soft-boiled eggs are best and can be added to other foods to enhance their taste.

Spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamins E, A, B, and C, minerals like iron and zinc, and phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. The carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, consuming an adequate amount of spinach daily can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Since it contains zinc, spinach can also keep the corneas healthy.

Add a bunch of lush green spinach to your smoothies. You may add fruits to your spinach smoothie to nullify any grassy or bitter taste. Spinach daal or soup tastes great too! Add baby spinach to sandwiches or a creamy pasta dish to give a little crunch to your food.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish are rich sources of omega-3-fatty acids. And omega-3s help reduce inflammation by balancing out the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio. When the inflammation levels are low, your body and brain functions improve, thereby strengthening your immunity. Plus, the area near the retina is loaded with DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Therefore, consuming fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel is beneficial for your eye health.

If you are not a fish eater, you can take fish oil supplements after talking to your doctor. The best way to consume fatty fish is to grill it. Frying or poaching may reduce its food value.

Carrots

Carrots are gorgeous and wholesome vegetables. They are very versatile and impart an amazing color to any dish. They are loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant and a precursor of vitamin A. Scientists have found that consuming carrots improves night vision in people and can prevent deterioration of eyesight. Carrots also help prevent oxidative damage and inflammation – the two major causes of eyesight problems.

You can find several recipes for carrot soup on the internet. Add them to curries or pair them up with other veggies. Raw carrots offer maximum nourishment since cooking them slightly deteriorates their nutritional profile. Munch on a carrot whenever you get an urge to snack. Or add it to your salads. But remember to drink lots of water. Also, do not overeat carrots as vitamin A can be toxic in high doses.

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Whole Grains

Whole grains are a great source of dietary fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Zinc and vitamin E are the two main eye health-promoting nutrients present in them. These help protect the eyes from oxidative damage and inflammation.

Consume quinoa, whole lentils, oats, and brown rice to boost eye health.

Oysters

Oysters are rich in zinc that helps improve eye health. You may consume oysters from a reputed restaurant.

Red Bell Pepper

Red bell pepper is a good source of vitamins A, E, and C and zeaxanthin and lutein. These vitamins and phytonutrients are known to protect the eyes from macular degeneration and help maintain good retina health by preventing oxidative damage.

Consume raw, blanched, or sautéed red bell pepper.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one vegetable that has numerous health benefits. The vitamins A, E, C, and lutein present in broccoli makes it an excellent food for your eyes. It helps protect your visual health by preventing photodamage and oxidative damage.

Consume roasted or blanched broccoli.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are extremely good for your overall health. These are packed with vitamin E, protein, and healthy fats. These nutrients help reduce inflammation and remove metabolic wastes from the eyes.

Toss a few sunflower seeds in your breakfast bowl, salads, or smoothies.

Citrus Fruits

The eyes have a high metabolic rate and constantly need antioxidants to flush out toxins produced as a result of metabolic reactions. Citrus fruits like oranges, berries, and kiwis are loaded with vitamin C – an amazing immunity booster. It is an antioxidant that helps scavenge the harmful oxygen radicals, thereby protecting your eye muscles from damage. Vitamin C also helps improve the health of the blood vessels present in the eyes.

Beans And Legumes

Beans and legumes are great sources of zinc and bioflavonoids. These help protect the retina and prevent the risk of developing a cataract.

Consume an adequate amount of lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, green peas, and sprouts to improve your eye health.

Sweet Potato/Purple Sweet Potato

Sweet potato and purple sweet potato help improve vision. As mentioned above, the yellow pigment in foods is imparted by zeaxanthin and lutein. Sweet potatoes contain these antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and flush out toxins.

You can consume baked or boiled sweet potato to reap all its benefits.

Apart from these foods, here are a few tips to maintain and protect your eyesight.

How To Take Care Of Your Eyes To Prevent Eyesight Problems

Foods make taking care of your eyes easier, but you must do a few things to help these foods do their work properly. Here are a few things you need to do to prevent visual impairment.

  • Eye Exercises
    You must exercise your eyes to strengthen the muscles. Focus unfocus, palming, rolling your eyes, etc. are a few examples of eye exercises.
  • Splash Water
    All of us are hooked to our laptops, iPads, or cell phones. The radiation from these devices is very harmful, and no matter how many layers of protective coats we add to the glasses, the eyes always get affected. Cool your eyes by splashing water on them every one or two hours.
  • Close Your Eyes
    A tight deadline can turn you into a night owl. Unfortunately, the eyes of owls are designed differently. Give your eyes 2-3 minutes rest simply by closing them. Do it every 30 minutes, and you will see a difference.
  • Adjust The Lighting
    Adjust the lighting on your computer, cell phone, and iPad – it will help protect your eyesight by preventing photodamage.
  • Wear Sunglasses
    You must protect your eyesight from bright sunlight. If you are stepping out and it is very sunny outside, wear sunglasses. They will prevent photodamage and UV damage.
  • Get The Right Spectacles
    Go to a good eye doctor for a checkup. Make sure you answer his/her questions correctly to help him/her prescribe the correct glasses for you.

While vision health may decline with age, it is necessary to maintain and improve it. You can do so by keeping a close eye on your diet. Foods to improve eyesight naturally include carrots, spinach, eggs, nuts, and whole grains. These natural ingredients are effective as they contain good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that promote vision. Additionally, they contain beta carotene, which the body uses to create vitamin A, an essential nutrient for good eyesight.

Bottom Line

Eating a varied diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins is enough to ensure most people get the right nutrients for eye health.

People who cannot get these nutrients from their diet should ask an eye doctor about eye health supplements.

People with vision problems or those with very restrictive diets should talk to an eye health provider about the right foods to eat.

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