What is the relationship between your diet and the quality of your vision? Why talk about nutrition in ophthalmology?
As expected, a nutrient-rich diet interferes with our quality of life, including eye health. This is because hypovitaminosis — a low concentration of vitamins in the body — is usually accompanied by other associated pathologies.
It is known, for example, that one of the risk factors for age-related macular degeneration is a lifetime diet with vitamin D and E levels below what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended.
Vitamin E (found in eggs, nuts, and dark green leafy vegetables) is a natural antioxidant that, among many functions, acts in favor of the cells of the macula (the central part of the retina responsible for sharp vision). On the other hand, vitamin D (derived from milk, fish, and liver) conducts oxygen in this region.
To find out which foods are beneficial for your eye health and can prevent the development of certain diseases, follow this article.
How Can I Adjust My Diet To Preserve My Eyesight?
The “Enemies” Of Your Diet
Sugar, without a doubt, is a bad alternative for general health and eye health. Patients who develop diabetes, for example, and who continuously use sucrose can acquire diabetic retinopathy (when the excess glucose in the blood damages and weakens the ocular blood vessels).
In this regard, it should be noted that the presence of sugar is found in various types of food: bread, pasta, biscuits, ready-to-eat sauces, and seasonings, among others. Get in the habit of checking the ingredients and nutritional information on products and opt for natural foods whenever possible.
The “Friends” Of Your Diet
On the other hand, natural antioxidants (citrus fruits, red fruits, papaya, pineapple, olive oil, and linseed) can reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Sources of vitamin A (pumpkin, broccoli, spinach, liver, eggs, and milk) help directly in the fight against blindness, while vitamin C (tomatoes, strawberries, and cashew) acts in the prevention and relief of glaucoma. Another tip is omega 3, which considerably improves dry eyes — so common during the driest and coldest time of the year.
Here are other simple nutrient tips that contribute to your eye health:
- Beta carotene: Combined with zinc and vitamins C and E, it can reduce the progression of macular degeneration. Betacarotene sources: kale, passion fruit, peach, watermelon, Tommy mango, and acerola.
- Flavonoids: These may help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Flavonoid sources: grape, apple, pomegranate, raspberry, onion, nuts, linseed, honey.
- Vitamin D: This may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Vitamin D sources: tuna, sardines, mushrooms, liver steak, and egg yolk.
- Zinc: combined with vitamin A, it may contribute to reducing the risk of night blindness and helping to reduce the risk of advanced macular degeneration. Zinc sources: oysters, cashews, peanuts, shrimp, whole milk.
How To Encourage Good Nutrition For Children?
If you have children at home, the golden tip is to avoid repetition on the menu. Try to prepare meals with five different colors on the plate and encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Does your child not want to eat the fruit? Invest in vitamins, juices, fruit salad, and, of course, creativity. Who knows, he may end up giving in to a guava in the shape of a flower.
In doubt about which fruit to buy? Check the list below and the main benefits of each one.
- Kiwi: contains lutein, which helps protect the eyes from some diseases, and is rich in fiber, contributing to better digestion.
- Papaya is also a source of lutein, in addition to vitamins C and E, helping protect the body’s healthy cells against the action of free radicals.
- Avocado: rich in vitamin E and zinc, can reduce the risk of progression of age-related macular degeneration.
- Orange: source of vitamin A, orange has carotenoids, which prevent the aging of the crystalline body.
- White guava: the fruit is rich in vitamin C and contributes to the prevention of cataracts.
- Red Guava: with a high vitamin A concentration, it helps prevent macular degeneration and night blindness.