If you have ever suffered from poor vision, you know how frustrating it is to function without your glasses or contact prescription. Your body’s ability to interpret your surroundings involves processing visible light.
This process involves your brain and the many elements of your eye, including the cornea, lens and retina.
Your ability to process light is heavily influenced by your genes but it also decreases with age.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
These tissues in your eyes are just like any other tissue in that they benefit from vitamins and minerals. There are a variety of fruits and vegetables, proteins, grains and legumes that contain specific vitamins and minerals that play a role in your eye health and can actually enhance your vision.
5 must-eat foods
If you’re looking for a natural solution to maintaining or improving your eyesight, here are 5 foods that are important to you.
While egg whites may seemingly appear the healthier choice, ditching those egg yolks can prevent you from getting three vital nutrients: lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two types of carotenoids that naturally exists in plant foods.
They can be found in the leaves of plants where their purpose is to absorb excess light energy to prevent damage. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also present in the macula of the eye and may produce a similar effect.
Zinc is a mineral that also reduces your risk for macular degeneration.
That’s because it plays a role in delivering vitamin A from the liver to the retina of the eye. In the eye, vitamin A is used to produce melanin which is a protective pigment you may be familiar with. Melanin is famously known as your skin pigmentation and your body’s natural protector from the sun.
Aside from being refreshingly sweet, citrus food is packed with an abundance of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts by maintaining the integrity of the blood vessels in your eye.
Other foods rich in vitamin C include bell peppers, strawberries and Brussels sprouts.
Almonds and plenty of other nuts and seeds are rich sources of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights unstable free radicals in your cells and prevents them from causing damage.
Vitamin E also contributes to the immune system and maintaining cell membranes. Your body doesn’t make vitamin E, so it relies on good nutrition daily.
Salmon along with other fish, contributes to your body’s pool of healthy fatty acids. Essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, help develop your brain as well as mature your sensory systems.
One type of omega-3 called DHA, is found in the highest concentration in the retina.
Research suggests that DHA protects your eyes and your brain by reducing inflammation. People who do not get enough DHA suffer visual impairment and degradation of the retina.
Carrots are infamously known for optimizing your eye health. Even though carrots have hogged the spotlight, other vibrant orange veggies like pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potatoes also benefit your eyes. This is because orange vegetables contain high concentrations of beta-carotene.
As mentioned before, beta carotene is a form of vitamin A that protects the cornea of the eye. They also allow the proper functioning of rods in your eye which prevent night blindness.
Getting a variety of wholesome foods is the best way to improve your eye health. Foods rich in zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotenes will give your eyes the boost they need to keep your vision in the long haul.
Connect with Expert Bonnie Giller