Macular degeneration can be both age-related and due to the lack of necessary nutrients in your daily diet. The busy lifestyles and poor dietary choices have made it difficult to pack all the required nutrients in our meals, resulting in millions suffering from vision problems. These vision impairments can be minor issues like near or farsightedness or complicated ones like cataracts. While vision correction techniques like contact lenses and glasses are effective, a wholesome diet is equally important for good eyesight. Keep vision problems at bay by adding these foods to your diet:
Carrots: This bright-colored vegetable is rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that’s converted into vitamin A by our bodies. Vitamin A is crucial for the production of rod and cone cells in the eyes, which help us differentiate between colors and see clearly even in low light. The antioxidants present in carrots minimize macular degeneration due to free radicals, preventing vision defects like glaucoma and cataract.
Kale: The dark leafy green is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Like carrots, kale is rich in beta-carotene and helps improve and maintain eye health. Apart from this, kale contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which are oxygen-containing carotenoids with antioxidant properties. Many optometrists and ophthalmologists recommend these to help improve vision and reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses. The leading cause of eye defects is reduced blood circulation in the eyes, which makes it difficult for the necessary nutrients to reach the eyes. The nitric acid present in kale enhances blood flow to the eyes and helps keep eye defects at bay.
Blueberries: These delicious, pearly fruits not only taste good but are also good for your eyesight. Blueberries are great sources of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that has the ability to cross the blood-retina barrier and protect the eyes from any kind of macular degeneration. These berries also help improve vision among people with eye health conditions like glaucoma.
Eggs: While contact lenses and other vision-rectifying apparatus can improve vision, foods like eggs enable you to eat your way to good eyesight. Eggs can be considered wholesome foods; they are packed with protein and are rich in necessary nutrients like zinc, vitamin E, lutein, and omega-3 fatty acids. All these nutrients can contribute to enhancing or maintaining your vision, so enjoy a hearty breakfast or a light snack of eggs prepared in your preferred way! Specific eggs can fight vision problems more effectively, so you can consult a nutritionist for advice on which eggs have a higher amount of nutrients.
Fish: Fish, especially freshwater fish like salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats not only promote heart health but are also good for your eyes. Many who wear contact lenses complain of dryness and itchiness in their eyes, but optometrists advise not to rub the eyes because it can scar the eye tissues and endanger vision. Fish oils can aid in the improvement of tissue health and also keep the eyes hydrated.
Oranges and citrus fruits: Oranges and other citrus fruits have become synonymous with essential nutrients like vitamin C. The antioxidant is crucial for eye health, as it protects the body from free radicals produced due to unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits like eating fried foods and smoking, which can degenerate eyesight and increase the need for glasses or contact lenses. Vitamin C also destroys free radicals produced due to environmental factors like pollution and sun rays, reducing the risk of cataracts and other macular degeneration diseases.
Meat: Meats like turkey and beef are rich sources of protein and other nutrients like zinc and vitamin B (niacin), which can help fight cataract symptoms. Zinc is specifically important for the absorption of vitamins that play a vital role in fighting macular degeneration and other defects like glaucoma and cataract.
Oysters: Zinc is essential for healthy eyesight, and shellfish like oysters are abundant in this mineral. Zinc helps in melanin production, which plays a vital role in protecting the eyes. It also lowers the risk of cataracts, night blindness, and other macular degeneration diseases that are specifically caused due to zinc deficiency. Some vegetarian sources of zinc are beans, nuts, fortified cereals, whole grains, and dairy products.
Seeds: Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds are considered superfoods, as they boost immunity and help improve overall health. They are rich in calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E. Vitamin E is particularly known to maintain healthy eyesight and reduce the risk of cataract.
Green tea: Green tea is rich in a flavonoid called gallocatechin, which accumulates in the retina and protects it from harmful blue light. Sipping on green tea while working on your laptop or watching TV can surely reduce the risk of vision problems. Green tea also inhibits the production of a certain protein called MMP-9 that causes dryness in the eyes, preventing dry eyes when wearing contact lenses.