Foods for eye health

There is more to vision than just eating a carrot each day !

Eye is the most overlooked organ with its day to day strain from electronic gadgets, pollution, dust and sun damage. But did you know that you can protect your eyes and eyesight with your choice of food?

There’s more reason to eat the humble palak! Not a big fan of Popeye’s favourite food?  Try kale, romaine lettuce, collards, turnip greens corn, green peas, broccoli, zucchini, brussel sprouts and green beans instead. These foods are high in lutein and xeaxanthin. Lutein and xeaxanthin belong to the carotenoid family ( beta-carotene and vitamin A), which is naturally available in orange, yellow fruits and vegetables like mango, tomato, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables and even eggs.

The duo is important antioxidants, present as the color pigments of the human eye in the retina. They protect its cells against damage caused by dangerous, naturally occurring free radicals and filter harmful blue light. These pigments also have a protective role in heart health by reducing the thickening of the artery walls, preventing its blockage (atherosclerosis).

Did you know that the absorption of lutein is enhanced with cooking especially when coupled with oil ? Yay! Oil is healthy and it helps enhance the assimilation of fat soluble vitamins.

However the human body cannot synthesize lutein and it must be provided as food. Ageing depletes lutein and therefore it must be constantly replenished. With poor dietary habits it’s inevitable to bolster vision by consuming lutein rich green leafy vegetables and carotenoids. 

Recent research evidence from clinical studies suggests adequate lutein in diet improves vision in age related eye disorders and reduces the risk of chronic eye diseases such as age related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, retinitis and pigmentosa.

In addition eat a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids zinc, vitamins C and vitamin E to intensify eye health. Derive omega 3 from cold water fish-salmon, mackerel and sardines, zinc from chickpeas, nuts, seeds, peanuts, oysters and poultry, vitamin c from kiwi, guava, tomato, peppers, vitamin E from almonds, wheat germ, whole grains and dark green leafy vegetables.

Colouring your food is eating right to improve eyesight ! 

Published for B positive magazine 


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