It’s safe to say you don’t have to look far for reasons to maintain a healthy diet. After all, we all know poor eating habits can contribute to some of the most debilitating health issues there are. Conditions like heart disease, high-blood pressure, diabetes, and even some cancers. Nutrition also affects the very things we see the world with – our eyes. To keep your eyes healthy, it’s important to understand that what you eat and what you don’t eat can affect your vision in the long run.
How your visual system works
About one-quarter of the nutrients your body takes in goes toward keeping your eyes functioning properly. The complex network of blood vessels, nerves, and areas of the brain that make up your visual system can’t do their job without the right nutrients.
What nutrients support healthy eyes
The nutrients that support good vision do their best work when they are working together. Making sure you get a combination of these vision protecting nutrients is key.
- Lutein – Eating carrots for good vision is not a myth. They contain lutein, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the eyes as we age. Lutein can also be found in leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens.
- Zeaxanthin – This rare antioxidant sounds more like a superhero, which is kind of appropriate. This nutrient provides critical protection to your eyes and works with lutein to shield your eyes from damaging blue light and other oxidants that can negatively affect your vision. Peppers, corn, and egg yolks contain Zeaxanthin.
- Vitamin A – Found in beef, chicken liver, sweet potatoes and whole milk, Vitamin A protects the cornea by forming a barrier against harmful bacteria. It can also improve vision in low light.
- Omega-3 – Not all fat is bad. Our bodies don’t produce this essential fatty acid, so we need to get it from what we eat. Salmon, tuna, nuts, and leafy greens are all great sources of Omega-3.
What to avoid
What you don’t eat is just as important as what you do eat when it comes to eye health. Studies have shown that excess blood sugar levels may increase the risk for age-related vision issues like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Limiting your sugar intake can not only help you protect your eyes but may also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The best way to protect your vision is by maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of the nutrients your eyes need. It’s equally as important to get regular eye exams to intercept vision problems early and prevent long-term damage. Whether you’re experiencing vision loss or just need a check-up, contact the caring professionals at Tyson Eye Center and schedule a consultation today.