Healthy eyes at every age

When it comes to staying healthy as we age, many of us tend to focus on our heart, brain and bones.

However, it’s important not to neglect our eyes as healthy ageing also involves seeing well into the future. Keeping our eyes healthy is an important way to help prevent age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, vision loss, dry eyes, cataracts, and problems with night vision. While an overall healthy, active lifestyle is the key to bright eyes, adding more of these 5 healthy foods to your diet will help keep them sparkling and strong.

Dark green, leafy vegetables

To reduce the chance of developing eye diseases such as macular degeneration—a condition which causes progressive damage to the retina, resulting in a gradual loss of vision—dark green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, collard greens and dark green lettuce (e.g. Romaine) are recommended. This is because they contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These two important nutrients that have antioxidant functions in the body and help to prevent cell damage and are found as pigments in the fovea (the central part of the back of the eye).
 

Bright, colourful fruits and vegetables

Bright orange fruits and vegetables get their colour from beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, which helps promote healthy vision. Examples of these include squash, carrots, apricots and pumpkin and they can help the eyes to adjust to low levels of light at night.
 

Fatty fish

The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel, have all sorts of health benefits—including your eyes. Recent studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids helped to protect adults from both age-related macular degeneration and dry-eye syndrome.
It is important to try and eat only omega-3 foods and supplements (especially those containing DHA and EPA) because they help reduce the inflammation that can lead to dry eyes. However, that some omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids can actually cause inflammation in the eyes and so it would be sensible to try and avoid supplements containing these if dry eyes are a problem.
 

Broccoli

While this hearty cruciferous vegetable has long been touted for keeping cancer and heart disease at bay, it’s important for eye health, too. In addition to containing lutein and zeaxanthin, broccoli is also high in vitamin C and so can offer a combined nutrient boost to the visual system.
 

Beans

From chickpeas and kidney beans, to mung beans and lentils, eating beans and other legumes is an easy way to add zinc to your diet. Zinc helps release vitamin A from the liver so that it can be used in eye tissues, while a zinc deficiency can cause deterioration of the macula, at the centre of the retina. Serve up beans in stews and casseroles, or add them to salads. Zinc is also found in oysters, beef, poultry and pumpkin seeds.
 
 
 Retinal ImagingMacushieldGold

 

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