Here at EyeCare 20/20, we pride ourselves on being direct and honest, which is why we feel we should notify you that at some point in this article, we will tell you to eat kale. If you feel comfortable doing so, please read on.
Now, why would we push the vegetable that has become the punch line of so many healthy eating jokes? One very simple reason: We want you to see better! And kale (like many other foods) contains vitamins that can help you improve and maintain the quality of your vision.
Researchers have discovered the modern diet can leave you lacking in many vitamins that are vital for maintaining good eye health, and people of all ages are being impacted. Whether you’re dealing with minor issues such as dry eye or more serious issues that require surgery such as cataracts, the diet you eat directly impacts whether you develop those conditions and whether they worsen if you already have them.
Here are some vitamins that can improve your eye health:
One of the vitamins many people don’t get enough of is vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness. It causes your eyes to stop producing key pigments that enable the cells in your retina to work properly. In some third-world nations, up to half of the people who go blind do so as a result of vitamin A deficiency, and will die within a year of becoming blind. The chances of people in the west going blind from a vitamin A deficiency is rare. But it can also cause dry eye, cornea issues or night blindness.
So how can you get more vitamin A in your diet? Orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A. So are leafy greens like spinach and kale. If you’re a fan of fruit, stock up on cantaloupe to get your daily dose of this key vitamin.
Lutein and zeaxanthin
A few years ago, Apple added a special feature to all their devices called “night shift.” It reduced the amount of harmful blue light users would experience when using their devices at night. Blue light throw’s off your body’s “clock,” and thus can throw off your sleep patterns. When you have sleep problems, it can cause all kinds of issues for your body, including eye damage and macular degeneration.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two vitamins that can help you combat sleep problems by protecting your eyes from blue light and macular degeneration. Known as “natural sunblock,” studies have shown lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of macular generation, especially in middle-aged and elderly people. Some studies also show consuming foods with lutein and/or zeaxanthin can also help reduce the risk of cataracts.
Spinach, kale, parsley, green peas, egg yolks, sweet corn, red grapes, and pistachios are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.
Many studies have shown the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids to the body, so it should come as no surprise the benefit to your eyes is significant. Omega-3 can help maintain regular eye health, and is especially good at fighting dry eye disease. Studies even show that omega-3 acids can help fight eye diseases related to diabetes.
Oily fish like mackerel, salmon, and herring are great sources of omega-3.
Dr. Silverman and the team at EyeCare 20/20 know that eye health is important to the overall health of your body and encourage you to see out ways to have a healthier life all around! If you want to know more about the kinds of ways you can improve your overall health in a way that impacts your eyes, contact Dr. Silverman and the team at EyeCare 20/20 today.
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