It is very common for people to think of carrot whenever you mention food for the eyes. Well, Carrots are good for vision, but the eyes need more than just eating all the carrots in the world.
it has been said ‘’One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well’’. Good food is the foundation of Good health. Quality eye health starts with eating the right kind of food in the right proportion for the eyes.
Why do we eat?
It is important for us to remind ourselves of the main reasons for eating. Over time, many people have forgotten and this explains why we eat all manner of junk. For some, eating is just a means to quench the natural feeling of hunger. If there wasn’t anything like hunger, many would probably stay without food.
The main purpose for eating is to supply the body with a wide range of nutrients required for proper functioning.
The body needs energy to drive cellular activities and these energies are primarily derived from food. The eye, a component of the body requires lots of nutrients for quality vision.
The body needs vitamins, minerals, water, fat, carbohydrates, fibres, and proteins. The next time you are about to eat, ask yourself a simple question, Am I really giving the body what It needs from this food?
What do we need?
The eye needs a wide range of elements derived from food for excellent vision. Below are the basic nutritional requirements for the eyes.
What to eat?
To eat for your eyes, you must of necessity eat foods that contain ALL of the basic elements listed above for effective functioning of the eyes. Let’s take a look at what to eat:
- LEAFY VEGETABLES
- Bitter leaf
- Scent leaf
- Afang leaf
- Pumpkin leaf (Ugu)
2. AVOCADOS (Nutrient All-Stars)
Contains over 20 Vitamins
Green leafy vegetables and Avocados are Very rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin which serve for good vision and also prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
3. FISH & SEAFOOD (Crab, shrimps, periwinkle snails)
Cold-water fish and seafood are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts.
Eggs are rich in Lutein and vitamin A (which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes), it promotes eye health and function especially for growing children.
Beef contains zinc, which helps the body absorb vitamin A and may play a role in reducing the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration. It should be consumed in moderation for people above 40 years because of the cholesterol content
6. WHOLE GRAIN
Like brown rice, whole oats and whole-wheat bread and pasta- contains Vitamin E, zinc and niacin which help promote overall eye health
Nuts like Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts, and Cashew nuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E that boosts eye health.
- Lemons and
- Water Melon
- Bell Pepper
- Papaya (Paw Paw)
Colourful fruits Supply pigments in cells as well as are rich sources of vitamin A which is essential for good vision.Citrus fruits are rich sources of Vitamin C which reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration
- Kidney beans
- Soya beans
Legumes supply our body with Bioflavonoids and Zinc besides protein, which helps to protect the retina.
What to avoid?
Things to avoid for your eye sake
- Quit smoking – Studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome.
- Avoid excessive drinking – heavy drinking does a lot to our eyes, short-term effects like blurry distorted vision, eye twitching happens when a person is drunk. In the long term, it increases the risk of developing cataract, Age-related Macular degeneration. It also affects the absorption of vitamins in the liver, and most of the vitamins needed for healthy eyes and vision.
- Reduce fast foods – Some fast foods are fast poisons. Many contain chemical preservatives that can alter normal functions. Fat filled snacks and fries containing mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids have been found to increase the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degenerations.
- Reduce synthetic food and seasonings – Most synthetic foods are just chemicals, they offset the healthy balance of the body. Avoid seasonings that contain Monosodium glutamate (MSG) that pose a lot of harm to the body and the eyes as well.
Remember, Good eyes begins with Good food. Cheers to Healthy Eating!!!
(If you have food allergies or a medical condition that prevents you from eating any of the food types listed above, please avoid them or consult with your doctor for further guidance)
Ref: Culled from VCGi Eye Health Bulletin, Issue 9, February 2017 written by VCGi Awareness Team