As someone who suffered from poor vision (near-sightedness also known as myopia) since middle school, I can speak to how important sight is in one’s daily life. My sight was so bad I couldn’t see the chalk board in class. My contacts were often cloudy, creating a haze over my whole world. Sometimes I would even feel dizzy when I looked over to the side while wearing glasses, I really felt the effects! While somewhat manageable, I was definitely always annoyed with my poor vision. This past year I finally bit the bullet and underwent Lasik eye surgery. Wow, was my world transformed! Now I have 15/20 vision in both my eyes, and I became aware of how much of the visual world I was really missing, even with corrective lenses!
While the exact causes of poor vision are not always know, often these conditions are genetic and run in families. If both parents have vision problems, it’s likely that you may suffer as well. While we might not be able completely avoid all vision disturbances, there are a few things that can help. One imporantant element of healthy vision is good nutrition. I plan to keep eating these foods because I want my eye sight to remain excellent.
Best foods for eye health
- Dark, leafy greens: These are things like collard greens, spinach and kale. These foods contain lutein and zeaxanthin which can help with age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
- Salmon: EPA and DHA are two kinds of omega-3’s fatty fish are high in. These omegas are vital to your eyes and have been found to help with glaucoma, dry eyes, and AMD.
- Raw red peppers: These little babies are loaded with vitamin C which is excellent for the blood vessels in our eyes. They also contain eye friendly vitamin A and E. Heat can easily break down vitamin C, so go raw when you can and avoid cooking them.
- Orange fruits and vegetables: Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe are all high in beta carotene. Beta carotene is a form of vitamin A that helps our eyes to adjust and see at night. Switch out those regular potatoes for sweet potatoes and see the difference.
- Zinc rich foods: Chickpeas, peas, lentils and oysters are just a few options. Zinc carries vitamin A to your retina where it helps to make melanin, a protective pigment.
- Eggs: Having just one egg per day will increase your zeaxanthin and lutein in your body and the zinc in the egg with help you utilize them. Aim for organic, cage-free, omega-3 fortified eggs, which contain higher levels of DHA. If you’re like me, and not much of a fan of eggs for breakfast, try adding a hard-boiled egg to your spinach salad at lunch or dinner.
Don’t forget, no diet is an alternative to regular eye screening and care. Make sure you continue to get regular checkups at your eye doctor. Health factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure can also negatively effect eye health. Talk to your doctor about it.
Regular exercise is very important. Stay away from smoking cigarettes, of course. Always wear a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Remember, if you start experiencing vision changes, see your doctor immediately and find out what’s really going on.