Eat Your Way to Healthy Eyes
According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), over half of all sight loss could be avoided by simply looking after your eyes - and what you eat plays a big role in this.
Now in its fifth year, National Eye Health Week is back on 22-28 September to raise awareness of general eye health and the importance of regular eye examinations. Even if you don’t need to wear glasses, having a simple eye test can detect the signs of underlying conditions like cataracts, glaucoma and even diabetes.
Most eye conditions are preventable and taking simple measures to improve the health of your eyes can drastically reduce the risk of developing problems with your vision later in life. Healthy eating is an essential part of maintaining good eyesight and there are many foods that actively promote eye health. Foods rich in lutein, a carotenoid vitamin sometimes referred to as the “eye vitamin”, are known for their role in lowering the risk of developing eye conditions such as aged-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein can be found in broccoli, spinach, kale and many other fruit and vegetables.
Antioxidant Vitamins A, C and E are also vital to maintaining healthy cells and tissues in the eye. In developing countries, Vitamin A deficiency is seen as one of the leading causes of preventable blindness among children. Vegetables such as sweet potato and carrots have a high Vitamin A content, while oranges, red peppers and strawberries are packed with Vitamin C. Raw almonds are one of the best foods for Vitamin E and are great for maintaining a healthy immune system.
Dr Ionides from the Moorfields Eye Hospital recommends eating omega 3 rich foods such as oily fish to help combat dry eyes as this decreases the evaporation of tears. And of course, drinking plenty of water will keep your eyes healthy and hydrated.