Worried that excessive screen time is affecting your child's eyes? Why not introduce foods which are good for eyesight. Here's a list of foods that are essential for healthy eyesight
Good sources of vitamin E:
Sources of vitamin C are:
Source of lutein and zeaxanthin are:
Our eyes are our windows to the world. Yet, we start abusing them from a very early age by indulging in activities such as reading in low light or rubbing them to get relief from irritation.
Nutritional deficiencies also play a role in causing a deterioration in eye health by giving rise to diseases such as xerophthalmia (Vitamin A deficiency) and nutritional optic neuropathy. In fact, poor nutrition is a leading cause of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Taking a cue from this, we can understand that good nutrition from childhood can help in preventing and retarding the progression of several eye diseases. It is recommended that an individual should take five servings of fruits and vegetables, and two servings of nuts every day along with fish at least two days a week for healthy eyes.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyesight. It is also essential for immunity and the maintenance of mucous membranes. Deficiency of this vitamin leads to poor eyesight.
Vitamin A deficiency can occur due to the following three reasons:
|Good sources of vitamin A:|
A cataract is the clouding of the lens, which is an important part of the eye. The lens helps to bend light rays and focus them on the retina.
Non-modifiable risk factors to the lens are:
Modifiable risk factors are:
Higher intake of carbohydrates and higher dietary glycemic index (dGI) are associated with increased incidence of cataracts.
Studies have shown that antioxidants have a significant role in preventing and slowing down the progression of cataracts. These include vitamins C, E, carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Individuals with a high intake of lutein and zeaxanthin have a significantly lower risk of developing cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin are pigments found within the lens, retina and macula. They help to protect the eyes from the effects of ultraviolet radiation.
|Good sources of vitamin E:|
Good sources of vitamin C:
Good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin:
Dry eye is a common condition. It occurs when the eyes fail to produce the adequate amount of tears required for lubricating and keeping the eyes moist. Clinical trials have shown that omega 3, a group of fatty acids that we get from our diet, can have a positive effect on dry eye symptoms when taken in certain quantities. Omega 3 is also helpful in the treatment of dry eyes and the prevention of cataracts.
Omega 3 can be obtained by consuming oily fish such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout, herring and fresh tuna. The National Health Service recommends that we eat at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish. Those who do not eat fish can consume flaxseed and soy products such as tofu, walnuts and eggs.
It is also important to cut down on added sugar in the diet. Added sugar is found in items such as cakes, fizzy drinks, chocolate and other sweet foods such as pastry and jam. There can also be hidden sugar added to some pre-prepared savory foods such as pasta sauce and baked beans. However, there is no need to cut down on natural sugars found in foods like fruit and milk.
In a nutshell, a healthy diet for the eyes should include:
Vitamin A: Cod liver oil, liver, cheese, cheese, carrots, sweet potatoes
Lutein and zeaxanthin: Dark green vegetables, egg yolk, corn, mango, spinach, lettuce
Vitamin C: Oranges, strawberries, all citrus fruits, tomatoes, cherries, grapes
Vitamin E: Peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds
Selenium (an antioxidant): Yeast, seafood
Zinc: Oysters, wheat, nuts
Omega 3 Fatty acids: Cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, trout)
Along with a healthy diet, regular eye checkups for the detection of problems is also a must. Also, encourage your child to do regular eye exercises.
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