Our eyes sight is precious and this is something very few people would argue about. Although most people attend for their routine eye test every 2 years or so, this is the only thing that most of us do to ensure our eyes remain healthy. Are there there things we should be doing and can our diet make a difference?
Getting the right nutrition in terms of vitamins and minerals is extremely important for our eyes and an example which highlights this is a condition called xerophthalmia, which can cause blindness in children. Xerophthalmia is disease rarely found in developed countries such as the U.S and this makes it even more depressing. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in the developing world with over five million children each year being affected. This disease is caused by insufficient vitamin A in a child’s diet and having the right nutrition would stop this condition from ever occurring. By simply increasing the amount of Vitamin A in their diet, by means of fruit and vegetables or supplements, this would dramatically reduce the amount of blindness in children . It’s sad to think that something we take for granted such as fruit and vegetables is not available in sufficient quality for millions of people around the globe.
Most people interested in health and wellness will know about the beneficial effects of anti-oxidants in the body and the same can be said about the eyes. Anti-oxidants play a key role in maintaining healthy cells within our eyes as well as the rest of the body. More specifically, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that 2 anti-oxidants in particular are vitally important to our eye health and they are Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Studies have shown that people who have a diet which is high in both Lutein and Zeaxanthin can slow down the onset of both cataracts and age related macular degeneration (ARMD).
Both these conditions tend to occur as we get older and although cataracts are easily treated by a simple surgical procedure, there is no treatment for age related macular degeneration which is effectively an ageing process of the very central part of our vision. There are supplements (tablets) available that offer a more concentrated form of these anti oxidants but for those that would prefer a more natural approach, you should try and ensure your diet is rich in the following fruit and Vegetables:
Vegetables: Yellow peppers, spinach, broccoli and Kale.
Fruits: mango, bilberries tangerines and oranges.
By ensuring you have a diet rich in these fruit and vegetables so you will ensure your eyes receive all the nutrients and minerals they need to function healthily. There is some evidence to suggest that eating these vegetables raw will ensure more of the vitamins and minerals remain but this is not something that is absolutely necessary. There is no concrete evidence that they will stop you from developing cataracts and macular degeneration but they may well slow down the onset and progression of these diseases. We are now living longer than we ever have done which makes our diet even more important than it ever has been. Age related Macular degeneration is not some thing that can be treated by laser eye surgery or any other procedures so prevention is definitely your best option.