There’re a few ways to protect eyesight, ranging from plant foods to a healthy habit.
Plant Foods Promote Healthy Vision
Wholesome plant foods provide the eyes with all the nourishment they need to fight free radicals and prevent diseases and premature aging. For example, temporary myopia can be prevented or reversed with a diet high in antioxidant-rich plant foods in addition to having good eye care habits.
The seeds of Cassia tora show strong free radical scavenging activity and inhibit the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which have been linked to cataract development. They are also used for eye conditions such as dim vision and night blindness and to relieve red, sore, and swollen eyes due to liver inflammation. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Cassia tora is beneficial for vision. According to Chinese medical theory, a strong relationship exists between the health of the liver and the health of the eyes. Modern research confirms that Cassia tora seeds help to protect the liver by boosting the activities of antioxidant enzymes.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. ALA has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent eye conditions linked to oxidative stress and inflammation. These include dry eye syndrome (DES) and diabetic retinopathy. ALA is converted to two other omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, in the human body. DHA and EPA can reduce the risk of AMD and help retinal cells fight oxidative stress. DHA makes up 60% of fatty acids in retinal cells in optic nerves. Research has shown that open-angle glaucoma patients have lower-than-average DHA and EPA concentrations in blood. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can help lower eye pressure.
Chinese wolfberries are the richest natural source known of the carotenoid zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin protects the eyes by absorbing damaging blue light and reducing glare. Chinese wolfberries also have high levels of polysaccharides, polyphenols, and lutein, which have been shown to improve vision and prevent diabetic retinopathy and blindness. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people with the highest dietary carotenoid intakes-particularly zeaxanthin and lutein-had a 43% decrease in AMD risk compared to those with the lowest intakes.
Carrots are rich in carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that can protect the eyes against free radical damage. Beta-carotene is the carotenoid with the highest vitamin A activity. Vitamin A is essential for the retina to function properly. It also moistens the eyes to prevent dryness and irritation and helps the eyes adjust to light changes. Vitamin A deficiency can cause reduced night vision and is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children. Lutein helps to increase the density of macular pigment in the human retina and to decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration. A U.S. study showed that women who ate more than two servings of carrots a week had a 64% lower risk of glaucoma compared with those who ate less than one serving a week. Eating carrots can also help in lowering the risk of AMD.
Comparison of Vitamin A Source
|Pros and Cons
|– High doses may increase the chance of death from all causes
– Other side effects
– Very bioavailable
– Easily stored in body tissues
– May cause toxicity
|– In the form of carotenoids
– Only converted to vitamin A when the body requires it
– Do not build up in the body
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in grape seed have antioxidant capabilities greatly superior to beta-carotene and vitamins E and C. OPCs may strengthen blood vessels in the eyes, slow down their aging, and help to protect against and improve eye conditions, including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. OPCs protect against the damaging effects of oxidative stress. Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract has been found to prevent cataract formation.
The blueberry has a high concentration of antioxidants can and phytochemicals that effectively neutralize free radicals and protect the retina. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins-powerful antioxidants that can protect the eyes from free radical damage, strengthening the retina’s defenses.
Adopt Healthy Habits for Healthy Vision
Besides eating wholesome plant foods for nourishment, protect the eyes by practicing good habits.
Spend Time Outdoors
Spending time outdoors aids in preserving healthy vision and preventing myopia. The intensity of outdoor light stimulates the retina to release dopamine, which prevents myopia and its worsening. Intense light also causes the pupils to constrict that the eyes can see further more clearly. Research in Australia revealed that children who spent the most amount of time outdoors daily had the lowest risk of myopia.
Rest and Relax
To reduce eye fatigue and keep myopia from worsening, rest for a few minutes after every half an hour of work at the computer. Relax the eye muscles by looking into the distance or repeatedly closing the eyes tightly, then opening them wide. Adequate sleep prevents dry eyes and bloodshot eyes. Closing the eyes and lightly massaging along the sockets can also help in eye relaxation.
Keep the Eyes Moist
Blink regularly to keep the eyes moist when looking at the computer or television screen. Prevent dry eyes by drinking water frequently.
Ensure a Good Reading Posture
Sit up against a table when reading, holding the reading material about 30 cm from the eyes. Read under adequate lighting that does not flicker.
Go for Regular Eye Health Checks
Go for regular eye health checks at professional medical centers. If there is discomfort in the eyes, do not self-medicate with eye drops, but seek the advice of a medical professional immediately.
Daily habits and nutritional intake are crucial for maintaining healthy vision. Care for your eyes to keep eye conditions at bay so that you can continue to see the wonderful world around you!
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