A balanced diet is essential, not just for a healthy body, but also for great eye health. That means eating the right foods in the right amounts and exercising regularly.
We all know the benefits that a balanced diet of healthy and nutritious food and drink can have for our general wellbeing, but how many of us think about the positive effect it has on our long-term vision?
Eye-friendly nutrients can be found in fruit and vegetables, such as spinach, red peppers, kale, leeks, avocados, peaches and blueberries. They can help to protect against the risk of eye conditions including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Cold water fish, such as sardines, mackerel and tuna, are all excellent sources of DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids, which provide structural support to cell membranes in the eye. Eating these fish can help to prevent dry eye and AMD.
Be careful with certain foods
Avoiding too much of certain types of food is just as important, so try to cut out overly sugary and fatty foods that might cause you to gain excess weight. It has been shown that obesity could raise the risk of serious eye conditions, such as AMD, as those with a higher body mass index (BMI) have a lower pigment density, which affects how your body prevents the breakdown of cells in your retina. Damage to blood vessels in the eye caused by excess body weight has also been linked to the onset of glaucoma and diabetes.
What you drink also plays a part in the health of your eyes. Drinking too much alcohol can result in dehydration, which can lead to dry, sore and irritated eyes, so take it easy on the pints and keep your water bottle topped up. The Food Standards Agency recommends that you drink approximately 1.2 litres, or six to eight glasses, of water every day.
Smoothies are a great, easy way to pack lots of eye-friendly nutrients into one glass. Try this recipe below.
- 2 handfuls kale
- ½ avocado
- ½ lime, juice only
- Large handful frozen pineapple chunks
- Medium-sized chunk ginger
- 1 tbsp cashew nuts
- 1 banana, optional
Put all of the ingredients into a bullet or smoothie maker, add a large splash of water and blitz. Add more water until you have the desired consistency.
Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com, February 2018