What you eat doesn’t just affect your weight and your body, it also affects your eyes. In fact, a number of eye conditions and disease are linked to your diet and nutrition. So it’s important to take good care of your health by eating right. Here, we’ll show you how what you eat affects your eyes and what you can do to improve your diet to achieve optimal eye health.
Vitamins and Nutrition
What Not to Drink
Having one or two alcoholic drinks a week may not cause any major health issues, but drinking excessively could most definitely damage your eyesight. Not only will your overall visual performance be altered, but you may also experience a complete loss of vision, altered peripheral vision, or reduced colour vision over time.
Caffeine has also been shown to cause negative effects on your eyes. In fact, caffeine has been linked to glaucoma and a higher risk of vision loss. Light consumption won’t cause any real damage but drinking numerous cups of coffee a day might. So if you love a hot beverage in the morning or at night, try swapping out your black tea with a caffeine-free herbal tea instead to protect your eyes and health.
What to Drink
Hydration is extremely important when it comes to eye health. If you constantly have itchy, dry, or watery eyes, try drinking more water. Hydration is essential for your body, and if you’re low on water, it can highly impact your eyes.
Making freshly juiced drinks is also a good way to achieve optimal eye health. It produces the freshest, purest, and most concentrated form of nutrients for your body to digest. And once your body absorbs the nutrients, it carries it through the bloodstream directly to the eyes.
What Not to Eat
What you eat can also have an impact on your eye health. If you have a diet that’s high in saturated fat and sugar, your chances of developing eye disease increase sharply. So those tasty treats, like potato chips and candies, should only be enjoyed occasionally.
High sodium intake is also correlated to cataracts, so it’s important to keep your daily salt dose low. And if you love having a juicy steak every week, you may want to cut back, as red meat and dairy products can increase your risk of macular degeneration.
What to Enjoy
We all know how crucial it is to eat a diet that’s high in colourful fruits and vegetables since they’re packed with vitamins C and E, but what else? If you want to improve your eye health, you need a balanced diet of whole grains, protein, and foods that are high in Omega 3-fatty acids. Omega 3s help to prevent dry eyes and cataracts, whole grain foods help reduce your risk of age-related eye diseases, and good sources of protein are an excellent source of zinc and lutein which are required for healthy eyesight.
Foods to eat that will help to prevent eye disease and inflammation include walnuts, flax seeds, soy milk, oily fish like salmon and oysters, lean meats, 100% whole grain foods, eggs, spinach, kale, legumes, balsamic vinegar, coconuts, avocado, raspberries, blueberries, oranges, and citrus fruit.
It’s not just what you eat that’s important; it’s also how you eat. For optimal eye health, it’s important for you to maintain a healthy weight. If you are classified as obese or underweight, you will be more susceptible to disease and serious eye conditions. By lowering your weight to a healthy BMI, you can ward off diseases, like type 2 diabetes that can lead to blindness. And remember, binge dieting and starving yourself won’t do your eye health any favours either. The best way to diet is to cut back on processed foods and eat more fresh, plant-based, and whole grains instead.
As a rule of thumb, a healthy heart also means healthy eyes. Because our eyes are made up of tiny blood vessels that are supplied by the heart, it’s essential to have a heart-healthy diet to ensure these blood vessels are filled with nutrients and not fat. And that means you need to keep your cholesterol levels in check. If you have high cholesterol, the fats can actually break away from the arteries and enter your eyes. So by eating high processed foods and saturated fats, we are putting our eyes at risk of plaque buildup that leads to macular degeneration. For optimum vision, it’s essential to feed your body with healthy fats, fresh fruits, vegetables, as well as low-fat dairy and meats as often as possible.
Your eyes, heart, and body are all connected. That’s why it’s imperative to eat a healthy diet and maintain a safe weight. What you eat and drink directly impacts your vision, so the healthier you eat, the healthier your eyesight will be. To find out more, contact one of our eye specialists today at Laurier Optical!