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Ten best foods for eye health

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

Organizations such as the Ontario Association of Optometrists and the Canadian Association of Ophthalmologists recommend the following 10 nutrient-rich foods:

1.Fish

Many fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as; tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and herring.

Some studies have found that fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer.

2.Nuts and legumes

Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids; they also contain a high level of vitamin E, which can protect the eye from age-related damage.nSome of the best sources are; walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts and lentils.

3.Seeds

Like nuts and legumes, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds are high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E.

4.Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Just like vitamin E, vitamin C is an antioxidant that is recommended to fight age-related eye damage. Familiar sources such as lemons, oranges and grapefruits are your best sources of vitamin C.

5.Leafy green vegetables

Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and collards are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a good source of eye-friendly vitamin C.

6.Carrots

Carrots are rich in both Vitamin A and beta carotene. Beta carotene gives carrots their orange color.  Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light.

7.Sweet potatoes

Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene. They are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.

8.Beef

Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration. Meats such as chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc, but at lower levels than beef.

The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina, and the vascular tissue surrounding the retina.

9.Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also good sources of vitamins C and E, and zinc.

10.Water

It may come as no surprise that a fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which may reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.

Other eye health tips

  • Diabetes continues to be a leading cause of blindness. People with diabetes should carefully monitor blood sugar levels, take medications exactly as prescribed by their doctor, and manage carbohydrate intake while focusing on eating low-moderate glycemic index (GI) foods.
  • Early treatment for eye health problems can prevent them from getting worse. So people who notice changes in their vision should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist.

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Written by Sagar Hamidi

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