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Nutrients that can help our eyes
The American Optometric Association has put forward some recommendations for the sorts of food that have nutrients in them which can help with the health of eyes.
Interestingly, it notes that its most recent American Eye-Q survey found that 49 per cent of its American sample thought carrots were the food that was best when it came to eye health.
But the Association says that even though carrots are a source of beta-carotene, a substance that’s essential when it comes to night vision, the foods which are healthiest where eyes are concerned are found elsewhere in the vegetable section of the supermarket.
Leafy dark green vegetables like spinach are the foods that take the crown when it comes to being healthiest for your eyes, it says.
The reason? These foods have high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein in them.
These antioxidants are two of the six nutrients which the association says have been shown to help promote healthy eyes and protect vision.
The others are Vitamin E, Vitamin C, essential fatty acids and zinc.
Our bodies do not create these nutrients on their own, meaning incorporating them into our diets every day is important, it advises.
Being deficient in zinc, for example, could mean people end up with poorer night vision or cataracts. As a result, the Association says that eating things like whole grains, baked beans or poultry each day is important.
People can help reduce the chances that they will get eye condition AMD (age related macular degeneration)
by eating “one cup of colourful fruits and vegetables” four times weekly, it also suggests.
Veggies that fit into this category include kale, broccoli and green beans.
Meanwhile Vitamin C-rich fruit and veg like oranges can make a difference in bringing down the chances of getting AMD or cataracts, it says.
If, after you’ve washed your hair with organic shampoo in the morning, you would normally drink coffee or tea with breakfast, why not switch to fresh orange juice for a Vitamin C hit?
"More than two decades of extensive research have provided a better understanding of how diet and nutrition can not only keep our eyes healthy, but reduce the risk of certain eye diseases as we age," explained AOA president Ronald L. Hopping.
"From dry eye to age-related eye diseases, research shows that nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining the health of our eyes."
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