Our eyes are one of the most precious senses we have and maintaining great eye health for as long as we live is of vital importance. Imagine not being able to see clearly, differentiate between colours, not being able to read or see your loved ones or beautiful scenery. This is what could happen as we age if we do not give priority in looking after our eyes when we are younger. Most people believe that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain. In actual fact, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.
You can do this by understanding and appreciating what nutrients our eyes require in order to keep healthy. For example, our knees require calcium, magnesium, selenium, molybdenum and boron for the synovial fluid to work. With the eyes, you need the entire B Complex Vitamins. You need Vitamin A, which is beta carotene, Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids, Selenium, Zinc, Sulphur and Molybdenum. The eyes also need lutein and zeaxanthin. You can find lutein in cocktail or cherry tomatoes and zeaxanthin in bilberry.
Carrots are rich both Vitamin A and Beta Carotene. Beta Carotene gives carrots their orange colour. Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light. Most people, before they eat or cook carrots, they peel the carrots. This is wrong! The sun and the soil have worked on the carrot and when you peel the carrot, you are actually removing the taste of the carrot as most of the nutrients are directly under the skin. The minerals are under the skin and inside the carrot is the beta carotene. Rabbits will chew carrots including the skin and the leaves so they are smarter than humans as they know how to consume carrots properly to maintain great eyesight.
Our eyes also need copper and these can be found in tomatoes. However because of soil depletion, most tomatoes these days have hardly any copper which is why we encourage you to grow and eat your own organic tomoatoes.
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Our eyes also need Essential Fatty Acids and these can be obtained from Avocados. It is also known as Nature’s Butter. If you are expecting and you want your eyes to be healthy and your infant’s eyes to be healthy, you must eat avocados daily. The avocado looks like a womb with a baby inside. Avocados are beneficial for everyone, so instead of using butter from cow’s milk which is acidic, you can use avocado as an alternative healthier spread.
Many fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that fish oil can reverse dry eyes, including dry eyes caused by spending too much time on a computer or other modern electronic devices.
The flesh of a pontiac potato is yellow. The flesh of a common sweet potato is orange. These contain beta carotene and similar to the carrot, the skin of these potatoes must be eaten as well. You may of course remove any impurities from the skin of the potatoes before cooking and eating them. After cooking the potato, you can serve it with thyme and oregano herbs.
Nuts, seeds and legumes are also rish in omega 3 faty acids and Vitamin E, which can protect the eye from age-related damage such as macular degeneration. Unless you have an allergy to these foods, do eat walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, lentils, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds daily or at least several times a week.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits are rich in Vitamin C. Just like Vitamin E, Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is needed to fight age-related eye damage.
Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin. It helps reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also great sources of Vitamins C and E and zinc. Go for free-range and organic eggs where possible. Free range eggs are eggs produced from hens that have been permitted to roam freely outdoors versus cagged hens. These enable the hens to have a much better quality of life, since they are allowed outdoors to engage in natural behaviours, such as foraging and walking. Hens who are caged in large flocks can be vulnerable to disease.
Our eyes rely on water to help keep them lubricated in the form of tears. Lubrication is required to keep our eyes moist, remove dust particles and bacteria. It is therefore important for our body to remain hydrated to maintain good eye health. You may also keep hydrated by eating liquid rich fruits like watermelon, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Similarly, eating vegetables like cucumbers will also help keep our bodies hydrated.
Leafy Green Vegetables such as spinach and kale are rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and Vitamin C. These are the nutrients required to keep our body and eyes healthy.
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