As we grow older, our body changes by the year and we’re no longer as fit or healthy as we were five to 10 years ago. However, you can slow down these changes by ensuring your diet consists of nutritious food rich in vitamins and minerals. Begin from the top, starting with your eyes – they are not only the windows to your soul, but they also help you see the outside world. It’s paramount that you consume sufficient nutritious food to prevent eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma - especially if you're facing the computer screen all day.
Try incorporating these 10 food below into your diet for a 20/20 vision.
First and foremost, carrots! Yes, this comes as no surprise and we can’t stress enough how important it is to incorporate it into your diet. Carrots are highly rich in vitamin A, beta carotene and lutein (antioxidants that help prevent eye damage). Furthermore, carrots are also beneficial for your health as they reduce the risk of cancer, good for your heart, lowering cholesterol levels and promotes healthy digestion.
Fish contains an abundant amount of omega-3 fatty acids – especially salmon. It contains “healthy fats” that has been shown to reduce Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), which is a condition that results in blurred or zero vision in the center of the visual field. Studies have shown that low level consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is linked with dry eyes. Other types of fish that are also good for your eyesight are trouts, mackerels, tunas, anchovies and herrings. Start by consuming fish at least twice a week.
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4. Olive oil
A healthier option for cooking fat is olive oil, as it is free from trans fats and low in saturated fat. Studies have shown that people who consume olive oil were 48% less likely to contract ARMD. When doing your grocery runs, purchase extra virgin olive oil as it has higher antioxidants which is excellent for your immune system.
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Besides fish, nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts contain a nutritious amount of vitamin E that helps protect your eyes from ARMD. If you binge snack when doing your work or watching TV, consider swapping to nuts instead - such as walnuts, cashews, peanuts and almonds. Almonds are highly rich in vitamin E, its oils are used in cosmetic items such as skin, hair and eye care.
Similar to nuts, seeds contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Seeds can be eaten with your salad, or mixed together with your morning breakfast cereal. Some seeds that are excellent for your eyesight are chia, flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Mix up nuts and seeds for your daily snacking – a better and healthier option.
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8. Sweet potatoes
A sweeter option compared to regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, fiber and potassium. These delightful root vegetable is best eaten baked as it is healthier and retains all the nutritious vitamins and minerals for the perfect eyesight. Before baking, add a drizzle of olive oil (rich in omega-3 fatty acid) and a dash of pepper to taste.
9. Fruits rich in vitamin C
Besides being the go-to vitamin to improve your immunity and promotes healthy aging, vitamin C is required to develop collagen, a type of protein that provides structure to your eyes. Studies have shown that by consuming fruits rich in this vitamin, it may help to lower risk of developing eye disease such as cataracts. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and they can be found in oranges, lemons, grapefruits, strawberries and kiwis.
While eggs are a good source of protein, they are also one of the best food to eat for a healthy eyesight. The yolks contain vitamin A, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin, which helps prevent ARMD and helps you see better at night. Additionally, eggs also help to boost protective pigment in the macula (part of your eye that controls central vision). Eggs can be eaten at any time of the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner! Do consider a hardboiled egg instead of a sunny side up or omelette instead, for a healthier snack.
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7. Leafy green vegetables
Rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, green leafy vegetables are highly nutritious and should be eaten in surplus in every meal. Some examples are spinach, kale and broccoli which are best eaten as salad, soups or blended for an early morning smoothie.
Last but not least, ensure you’re drinking sufficient water and keep yourself hydrated, especially in Singapore’s heat. Your eyes have high water content and it depends heavily on fluids to ensure they’re functioning well. Dehydration could lead to a dry eye syndrome which may lead to retinal vascular disease or even cataracts. Ensure you always have a bottle by you, especially if you’re at a deskbound job that requires you to be glued to your laptops.
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