Generally, despite knowing how important the role of our eyes is in our day to day functioning, we tend to neglect the day to day care necessary to maintain optimal eye health. Health eating habits can help reduce the risk of eye disease. Some of these nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, copper, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamin E, A, C, and beta-carotene. These can be found in the following foods.
1. Fish - Fish is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially oily fish. They are regarded as the major source of omega-3 fatty acids which help in improving the immune system and brain function. More so, it helps in the development of the eye and retina and in keeping the eyes from dryness. Incorporating fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, herring, mackerel, and anchovies about 3 times a week is important in helping to maintain optimal eye health.
2. Eggs - The yolk of an egg contains a combination of the nutrients that vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and lutein which help to safeguard the cornea, reducing the chances of suffering from cataracts and macular degeneration and zinc which keeps the retina healthy and aids night vision.
3. Carrots - Carrots contain beta-carotene and vitamin A which protect the surface of the eyes and help to prevent infections. Vitamin A is a form of protein known as rhodopsin, which aids the eyes in absorbing light.
4. Nuts and Legumes - Legumes and nuts provide a lot of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids which guard the eyes against age-related disorders. Brazilian nuts, peanuts, walnuts, lentils, and cashews are perfect examples.
5. Citrus Fruits - Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for healthy eyes. Vitamin C helps in keeping the blood vessels in the eyes healthy. It also stands against cataracts, and with other nutrients, it helps against macular degeneration. Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, and lemons.
6. Green Vegetables - These types of vegetables are very rich in zeaxanthin, lutein, which help protect against macular degeneration. These nutrients are not produced in the body and therefore need to be consumed regularly. One of the most instrumental vegetables in keeping a healthy eye is kale, while other vegetables include spinach, red pepper, and collards.
7. Water - Water is a very important element for the body system to function normally. It also plays an important role in eye health. Water helps against dehydration and as such, it helps against dryness of the eyes.
Foods that contain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, copper, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene should be incorporated into your diet. The recommended daily intake of these nutrients are:
Vitamin C – 500mg
Vitamin E – 400mg
Lutein – 10mg
Zeaxanthin – 2mg
Zinc – 25mg-80mg
Copper – 2mg