The Eye Diet: the diet for healthy eyes

February 22, 2010

Diets & Nutrition

Since we were children we were all told that if we eat carrots, we will see better, and especially in the dark. This is more or less true, but there are medical evidence that show that the consumption of certain foods can maintain and even improve the health of the eyes and visual acuity.

For example, a large study concluded that by administering a complex of vitamins A, E and C and zinc we can slow the process of macular degeneration caused by aging. Also, vitamin E, considered the eye vitamin, helps inhibit the development and advancement of cataract. A good eye diet is what you need to make sure you will have a 20/20 eyesight.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two substances stored in the eyes and act as anti oxidants, neutralizing free radicals that cause degeneration of the cells. Excessive exposure to solar UV radiation is a major cause for the formation of free radicals, so direct exposure and long periods in the sun are not recommended. In fact, these ingredients act as natural sunglasses because they physically help in filtering harmful blue light and prevent it from damaging the retina.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are found mostly in dark fruits and vegetables together: orange, mango, kiwi, plums, watermelon, grapes, peaches, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, peas, green beans, green peppers and orange. The maximum benefits are obtained if these fruits and vegetables are consumed fresh, so the two antioxidants would present the maximum bioavailability for the body.

As for a daily dose a 6 mg quantity is recommended, this quantity can be provided by 4 servings of fruits and vegetables. Chronologically speaking, the ophthalmic system develops by the age of 1 year and that is why young children need a regular basis of unsaturated fatty acids in the diet, which can be taken from mackerel, salmon, tuna, and cod.

In older children, an adequate consumption of vitamin A and folic acid is recommended. Liver and butter are rich sources of vitamin A, while cereals, vegetables and oranges with dark pigment contain folic acid. Zinc is also a beneficial nutrient for the health and it is found in cereals, meat, fish and green beans. An annual medical examination for children up to 16 years is recommended for early detection of any ophthalmic problems.

Between 19-35 years, the body is exposed to greater quantities of alcohol and nicotine, both substances having a negative impact on the functioning of the eyes. The antioxidant action of vitamins C and E is useful and at least 60 mg of vitamin C per day of fresh citrus fruits and juices or supplements are recommended. Vitamin E can be found in wheat germs, nuts and vegetable oil. Healthy adults should go to a routine ophthalmologic monitoring every 2-3 years.

Between 36-55 years, hypertension is a common problem and it erodes the health and function of the ophthalmic system. Thus, the consumption of salt should be limited to 5 g a day; low-sodium foods are recommended. Some eye conditions can develop due to obesity and diabetes, thus we recommend you maintain a normal body weight and exercise for 30 minutes a day.

Nutrients such as selenium help stop the process of eye degeneration caused by exposure to environmental pollutants, sources of selenium are meat, cereals and vegetables with roots. Around 45 years the vision starts to degrade, this is a normal part of aging.

After 56 years, eye health can only be maintained through a healthy nutrition, by maintaining normal body weight, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene and Zeaxanthin are the main substances that maintain healthy eyes at this age.

So through a healthy eye diet, exercise and an orderly and balanced lifestyle, we can fully enjoy our eye sight at all ages but we will also enjoy a state of wellness and freedom.

You should also check out What Vitamins Are Good For Your Eyes: the eye health vitamins

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