An Eye on Health
When looking to boost eye health and improve vision, we have some good news for you! The same diet that helps many parts of the human body, including the heart, also helps your eyes function better. Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals can rapidly and readily improve the function of our eyes by supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tiny arteries that bring blood to the eyes. Failing eyesight does not have to be an inevitable result of aging so follow along for some simple tips to significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.
Vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A: Orange-colored fruits and vegetables contain perhaps the best-known eye healthy nutrient which is Vitamin A. The retina relies on vitamin A to turn light rays into the images we see. Vitamin A also prevents dry eyes. Carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and apricots are all great sources of vitamin A.
- Vitamin C: as an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect the body from damage caused by things we eat, unhealthy habits and environmental factors. There are many toxic elements in our environmental that produce free-radicals in our body (these are molecules that damage our cells). Vitamin C helps to repair these damaged tissues. Antioxidants can delay macular degeneration and cataracts. Good sources of vitamin C from food include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, peaches, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries.
- Vitamin E: this is also an antioxidant that helps keep our cells healthy, similar to vitamin C. Profound sources of vitamin E are avocados, almonds and sunflower seeds.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish may help reduce the risk of developing eye disease later in life. They are good for tear function so this helps people that suffer from dry eyes. Good sources include salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut and trout.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: these antioxidants are found in the pigments of dark, leafy greens and other brightly colored foods. They are key to protecting the area of the eye that gives us our central and most detailed vision, the macula. Kale and spinach contain plenty of these substances, as do romaine lettuce, collard greens, broccoli and peas. While not a leafy green, eggs are also a good source of these nutrients.
- Zinc: this is a mineral that helps the retina stay healthy and may protect eyes from light damage. Unfortunately, consuming high amounts of zinc can negatively affect the formation of red blood cells by lowering the amount of copper in the body. Consuming beans and legumes like lima beans, kidney beans and black-eyed peas can help to increase both zinc and copper. Other foods that contain high levels of zinc include oysters, lean red meat and poultry.
Supplements vs real food:
Acquiring these vitamins and minerals through real food sources is always preferable to taking a supplement. Supplements pull a particular component and isolate it from the rest of its naturally occurring elements, which often lessens the effect of the supplement itself. Try finding ways to incorporate these nutrients with real food for the most potent effect!
If you have a hard time knowing where to start in changing your dietary habits to include all of the proper vitamins and nutrients that you need, reach out to Chiropractic Health & Wellness to see how we can help you in your goals. Call us at (952) 209-7447 or click on the link to schedule an appointment.