If you were to lose one of your gifts of senses, the least likely that you pick would be the sense of sight. It’s that important to everyone to see. Although you can’t go to the gym to bulk up your eyes, you can eat your way to healthier eyes and better vision. Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin benefits the eyes the most.
There are two causes of visual impairment and acquired blindness that you want to avoid. One is the cataract, a cloudy or opaque area in the clear lens of your eyes could interfere with your vision. Another is the age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a loss of central vision in the eyes. Are there foods that can lessen or remove the risk of both eye diseases?
Here’s the thing with scientific studies. There are a lot of research already done, with the need for more. So far, the most comprehensive, albeit older, studies on AMD are:
1. The Age-Related Macular Degeneration Study (AREDS) of NIH National Eye Institute, completed on 2001.
2. The NIH National Eye Institute launched a five-year study on AMD called AREDS2.
In the original study, there was evidence that the AREDS formulation slowed down the progression of AMD to advanced stages. The formulation consists of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper taken daily.
In AREDS2, changing the formulation to include lutein and zeaxanthin did show an increase in benefits. In other words, the progression of AMD slowed down further. Another benefit is that those who had low dietary levels of lutein and zeaxanthin gained some protection resulting in healthier eyes.
For more information, please refer to: NIH study provides clarity on supplements for protection against blinding eye disease.
Can Lutein and Zeaxanthin Promote Healthier Eyes and Better Vision?
After cutting a piece of apple in half, what happens after several minutes? Some parts of the apple start to turn brown, right? It’s called oxidation. Think of the same things happening to the cells in your eyes. Unstable molecules referred to as free radicals damage the cells.
But the eyes are not defenseless. Lutein and zeaxanthin are nutrients in the eyes that act as antioxidants. They neutralize the free radicals that damage your eyes. If the nutrients are not enough, then that would hasten the onset of eye diseases.
In other words, it’s in your best interest to have optimal amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin for healthier eyes and better vision. There are other factors that you cannot control such as age and ethnicity in relation to eye diseases. But one thing that you have complete control of is choosing the foods you consume.
Lutein and zeaxanthin do not only protect your eyes by acting as antioxidants. For example, one of the things these nutrients do is to protect the macula from damage by blue light. Lutein, in particular, absorbs the blue light to reduce the damage it could cause. It’s also referred to as the ‘eye vitamin’ for its role in protecting against other ocular diseases.
Perhaps in some ways, the popularity of Bugs Bunny contributed to a popular misperception. And that is carrots being the best food for healthier eyes. Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, a pro-vitamin A and antioxidant. But the best source of lutein and zeaxanthin is Kale.
For a list of superfoods that helps promote eye health and better vision, refer to the infographic. Please share, especially on Pinterest, as this contains excellent information.
For more excellent articles on eye health, visit the blog of Focus Clinics.
A lot of people have the misguided idea that they can change lifestyle later when needed. But for the present, it is best to enjoy life as best they could. After all, you only live once, right? But the price to pay is too steep.
There is a reason why the word ‘regret’ exists. And that is exactly what happens when the cost of eye health begins. Choosing to have healthier eyes by picking the right foods to eat today may seem strange at first. But in time, these superfoods become as enjoyable as the less healthy choices in the past.
How important is your eye health and having a better vision? The choice is yours. You can eat your way to healthier eyes with the right superfoods if you choose to.