If you’re looking to better care for your eyes, nutrition is one of the most straightforward ways to keep your eyesight healthy. Eye health goes hand in hand with your holistic health, as you can do more things with good eyes.
Don’t take your eyes for granted. You want nutrients that help maintain good eye function and lower the risk of age-related degenerative diseases. Here are seven eye health nutrition tips you can follow.
#1. Take Healthy Helpings of Fruits and Vegetables
Your eyes are the windows to your health. Giving them the proper nutritional support can help them function properly longer. A high intake of fruits and vegetables is linked with a lower risk of AMD (age-related macular degeneration). However, there is still debate about what foods protect the vision of those who already have early signs of the illness.
A diet high in carotenoids, zeaxanthin, and lutein may provide some protection from blue light and oxidative stress. The antioxidants in food may help reduce the symptoms associated with glaucoma.
Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables every day. They’re low in calories but high in essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, they contain antioxidants that protect the eyes from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
#2. Eat Right
Nutrition affects your whole body, including your sight. A healthy diet can help prevent most vision problems. A healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your whole body, including your vision. Eating right can lower your risk of cataracts and dry eyes. It can also slow the progression of diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy.
The 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming various nutritious foods from all key groups and following a healthy diet pattern at every life stage.
These foods are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. They contain little to no added sugars. They supply vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. A poor-quality diet and obesity appear to increase the risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.
#3. Add More Omega-3 To Your Diet
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These polyunsaturated fats are found in cold-water fish, fish oil, and algae oil. They help lower blood lipids, blood pressure, and inflammation.
Foods such as salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for maintaining ocular and cardiovascular health. DHA is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid.
Studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acids promote optimal retinal development, particularly DHA and EPA. They reverse some of the effects of aging, such as deepening of the retina’s blood vessels and developing pigmentation. High levels of omega-3 in the blood are associated with a 62 percent reduced risk of developing advanced stages of proliferative vitreoretinopathy.
#4. Don’t Smoke
Smoking harms nearly every part of your body. It can put you at higher risk for cancers of the lungs, mouth, and throat. It can affect the blood vessels in your lungs, raising your blood pressure. These can negatively impact your eye health and lead to blindness.
It worsens plaque build-up in your arteries, narrowing them and increasing your heart rate. It can cause the constriction of your peripheral vasculature, which raises your chances of heart attack and stroke.
Bacteria, viruses, and toxins from cigarette smoking can get into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, leading to an increased risk of infection. In addition, smoking can increase your risk for cataracts, optic nerve damage, and uveitis. Both conditions can impair your visual acuity and may result in complete or partial loss of your visual field.
#5. Improve Your Weight
Being overweight or obese can contribute to several severe medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. It puts undue strain on many bodily systems. Being overweight is a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which has been linked to several systemic and ophthalmologic complications.
Obesity can also lead to increases in intraocular pressure (IOP). It’s also been linked to an increased risk of cataracts, pterygium, and macular edema. It has also been related to the development of neovascular ARMD.
Maintaining a healthy weight may help prevent cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Lower weight reduces intraocular pressure on your eyes, which will help reduce the risk of blurry eyesight.
#6. Get Enough Rest
You need not simply food and vitamins to take care of your eyes. Sleep is vital for your overall health, as it plays an essential role in how we control our appetite, cope with stress, and make new memories.
Getting enough high-quality sleep can help you stay healthy and feel your best. It can also help you keep your metabolism in check, boost your productivity, and improve the quality of your work. Our body also plays a crucial role in restoring and repairing itself during sleep.
Sleep gives your eyes enough rest to lubricate and regenerate for the next day. Research shows that not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of nightly sleep may increase your risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Keeping yourself properly hydrated is another easy way to keep your eyes and the rest of you in tip-top shape. Water regulates your body temperature. Staying sufficiently well-hydrated will help flush out impurities and help ease a cough. It can also help stop a migraine in its tracks.
Dehydration is a condition in which you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out your vital functions. Severe dehydration occurs when you lose more fluids than you take in, which can happen when you sweat heavily, vomit, or have diarrhea.
Drink enough water to keep your eyes well-lubricated and moisturized. This helps you avoid dry and itchy eyes and irritated eyelids. Without the proper moisture, you may experience excessively dry and tired-looking eyes and a dry mouth. Drinking sufficient water helps flush the body, removes waste, and regulates body temperature.
The Bottom Line
A healthy diet and enough sleep are easy ways to improve your eye health and overall wellness. Maintain an overall healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Get regular exercise to maintain healthy body weight to give your eyes the longevity you need.